Health Psychology

Health Psychology MSc

Course fees

Option / fee Value
Home full time annual tuition fee: £5,500
Home cost per credit: £30.50
International full time annual tuition fee: £12,000

More about course fees »

Course type


Master of Science


Natural Sciences & Psychology

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

Liverpool John Moores University's Masters in Health Psychology meets the stage one training requirement for BPS accreditation. The course has a strong emphasis on psychological investigation and exploring ethical issues.

  • Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
  • British Psychological Society accredited for applicants with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology
  • Academic team includes RAPPS Approved Supervisors for trainees continuing onto the BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology
  • Teaching is via small groups which means you can expect a high level of academic and pastoral support set within a friendly and informal atmosphere
  • Access to world-class facilities in award-winning Tom Reilly Building

I found the course stimulating and the teaching outstanding. With an emphasis on practical application of theory to intervention and research the course provides a current and relevant grounding for a career in health services.

Katy Davis, recent graduate

The reputation of LJMU as a vibrant research and teaching community meant that it was always a first choice when deciding where to undertake the course. Overall the course was well organised and gave a good grounding of health behaviour within the rapidly expanding discipline. The teaching was exceptional and it was gratifying to be taught Health Psychology by experts within the field.

Emma Brown, recent graduate

Introduction to the School

The School is based in LJMU’s City Campus at the Byrom Street site, which is located in the heart of Liverpool city Centre. We offer postgraduates excellent laboratory and research facilities, including appetite laboratories, Psychology testing labs and Neuroscience labs in our award-winning Tom Reilly Building.

Research excellence

96% of research from LJMU submitted to the REF 2014 for the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience category is considered world-leading or internationally important. This research helps ensure that all of our degrees deliver a curriculum that reflects the latest developments in the field. 

Staff in the school produce quality research in a range of areas in psychology and applied psychology, including health psychology, appetite, human factors, cognition, neuroscience, public health psychology, personality and social psychology and substance abuse. 

Programme outline and structure

The primary goal of health psychology as a discipline is to contribute to the understanding of how physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual factors influence health and illness within a sociocultural framework.

Recent advances in psychological, medical, and physiological research have led to a new way of thinking about health and illness. This conceptualises health and illness as the product of a combination of factors including biological characteristics such as genetic predisposition, behavioural factors such as lifestyle, stress, health beliefs, and social conditions such as cultural influences, family relationships, social support.

Utilising this framework, the primary goals of health psychology are centred on:

  • understanding the causes of health conditions, promotion and maintenance of health
  • the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of physical and mental illness
  • the study of psychological, social, emotional, and behavioural factors in physical and mental illness
  • the improvement of the health care system
  • and the formulation of health policy.

This MSc is suitable for anyone with an interest in how psychology affects health and illness behaviours, and how it can be used to enhance wellbeing and encourage healthier lifestyles. It is also suitable for those intending to or currently working with clients with chronic illnesses, as it examines issues of coping and adjustment and relationships with caregivers. It covers all aspects of health across the lifespan which makes it suitable for those working with children as well as adults.

The programme emphasises the application of psychology to health in different contexts and settings, identifying how psychological approaches can be used to understand and change the way people think and behave in relation to health, illness and health care issues. You will investigate individual differences in health and to review a range of health conditions applying the theoretical and practical aspects of health psychology.

A multidisciplinary approach

This programme is underpinned by a strong emphasis on both psychological investigation and consideration of ethical and professional issues. You will study two modules exploring the methods used in health related research. These include the theoretical underpinnings of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in addition to training in the use of these methodologies. You will also produce a thesis giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your grasp of research principles at an appropriate intellectual level.

This successful BPS accredited programme, draws on a multidisciplinary approach to health, covering the main areas of Health Psychology:

  • Contexts and perspectives in Health Psychology: historical overview and current theories and approaches in health psychology
  • Awareness of related disciplines: medical sociology, medical ethics, medicine, behavioural medicine, health policy, health economics, medical anthropology
  • The impact of social and cultural factors: epidemiology of health and illness; Causes of mortality / morbidity; behavioural epidemiology; Bio-statistics; inequalities in health; social capital, empowerment and advocacy
  • Biological mechanisms of health and disease: psychoneuroimmunology; physical systems underpinning behaviour: dietary, sexual etc; circadian rhythms
  • Health-related behaviour: theoretical models; protective / promotional behaviour; behavioural risk factors; socio-cultural factors
  • Health-related cognitions: efficacy and control beliefs; attributions; social and individual representations; symptom perception, the perception of pain; perceptions of risk; decision making by health care psychologists, by patients / clients etc; Mood and cognition; Health beliefs and attitudes
  • Individual differences in health and illness: personality factors in health and illness; dispositional optimism / pessimism; locus of control; self-efficacy; negative affectivity; emotional expression and health; stress, health and illness; causes / consequences of stress; models of stress; stress management

Professional accreditation

Health Psychology is a relatively young, but rapidly growing discipline. In order to become a Health Psychologist, students must have the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership from the British Psychological Society and fulfil a number of requirements:

  • Stage 1 training involves the satisfactory completion of a BPS accredited Masters programme in Health Psychology
  • Stage 2 training involves a minimum of two years spent acquiring a range of supervised competences

This programme meets this requirement and is BPS accredited for applicants with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and for Stage 1 Training in Health Psychology. The academic team also includes RAPPS Approved Supervisors for trainees continuing onto the BPS Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology.

Modules, core and optional

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course.

Core modules:

  • Analysis for Health Psychology
  • Research Methodology for Health Psychology
  • Health Psychology: Context and Application
  • Living with Long Term Conditions
  • Psychological Aspects of Health and Illness
  • Stress and Health
  • Fundamental Issues in Health Psychology
  • Empirical Project

How will I be assessed?

A range of methods are used throughout the programme to assess the learning outcomes of individual modules. These include: essays, reports, seminar papers, exams, project work and an empirical dissertation. This assessment strategy attempts to ensure a reasonable spread of assessments over the duration of the programme.

Entry requirements (Home)

Graduates interested in pursuing Health Psychology as a career need a good honours degree in Psychology (upper second class or above) and eligibility for GBC. Applications from those who show that they have some experience of working in health are welcomed.

Overseas students whose qualifications have satisfied the BPS conditions for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) will be admitted in accordance with the University's regulations.

In addition, international students should hold IELTS English language at a minimum of 6.5 or equivalent.

Health professionals or graduates from related disciplines with an interest in psychology related to health are advised to contact the course director or admissions officer for further information.

The programme runs on Mondays and Wednesdays and can be studied full time or part time. Full time students attend both days for 1 year while part time students attend on Wednesdays in year 1 and Mondays in year 2.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence.

If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, Masters by Research, MPhil/PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance.

Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application. 

In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

Will I be interviewed?


Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Applications for RPL will not be accepted on this programme.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.

Sources of funding

Scholarships for taught masters students

LJMU will be awarding over 100 scholarships worth £10,000 each to students starting a taught Masters degree in September 2015 and January 2016. The funding is part of the government match-funded Postgraduate Support Scheme and is a fantastic opportunity to secure a Masters qualification in any discipline without added financial worry. You will have to pass certain eligibility criteria in order to be considered for one of these generous scholarships. For example, you must: 

  • be a UK or EU resident
  • have been paying the higher undergraduate tuition fee since 2012
  • want to start a full-time Masters degree (MA, MSc, MREs) in September 2015 or January 2016

LJMU Alumni Award

Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 15% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*). 

Postgraduate International Scholarships

LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants. 

English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs. 

Employer sponsorship

Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

Support for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

Council tax exemption

All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

Graduate employment

Health psychology graduates work in a variety of areas. Many go on to Stage 2 training and subsequently achieve Chartered Psychologist status and become HCPC Registered Health Psychologists.

Others work in research and/or teaching. A growing number of graduates work in health education, health promotion, health administration and health audit. Others are involved in the organisational aspects of delivering health care work within the health service.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify this information at any time.

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