Health Psychology (on-campus) MSc

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate degree
    Upper second class honours (2:1) or above Psychology degree from a recognised university. See below for full details on British Psychological Society (BPS) requirements.
More information
Apply September 2020

Key Dates

Accredited by the British Psychological Society as Stage 1 Professional Training in Health Psychology and commended for the support provided to students

Top 10 in the UK for research quality (Psychology, Complete University Guide, 2020)

Learn from programme staff who are internationally recognised researchers in their fields and work with a number of NHS clinics and other health related organisations

Use purpose-built psychology labs, including a focus group room, driving simulator and cubicles equipped for cognitive, behavioural and physiological testing

Course Summary

Study our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Health Psychology masters at Aston University. Our course follows the BPS curriculum and provides essential Stage 1 Training to become a Health Psychologist.

This course is delivered full time at our modern Birmingham City Centre campus campus. We also offer this course via online distance learning

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Mode of delivery: Full time, on campus. We also offer this course via distance learning

Duration: 1 year

Time commitment: Teaching on campus takes place on two full days in the week (usually Mondays and Wednesdays*). All additional work, independent study, coursework etc. needs to be organised to fit your own circumstances. We understand that some students need to work but emphasise that this is a full-time course and so if working in the daytime you will need to work on your studies in the evenings. 

Start date: September

Fees: UK/EU students: £9,350 / International students: £15,600. Find out more about available scholarships and our 20% alumni discount

Entry requirements:  

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation.
  • Applicants with an undergraduate Psychology Honours Degree, normally 2.1 or above, as this grade makes student eligible for Graduate Basis Recognition of the British Psychological Society (BPS) will be considered.
  • Students who are applying from outside the UK, or who do not have a BPS accredited Bachelor’s degree in Psychology must check with the BPS to see if they qualify for Graduate Basis Registration (GBR). 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.
  • Please note, applicants may be called for interview.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor. 

*Subject to change. 

Professional accreditation

The MSc Health Psychology course at Aston University is fully accredited by the British psychological Society (BPS) and confers Stage 1 Training to become a Health Psychologist.

In our most recent accreditation by the BPS, both our on campus and online courses received five commendations; including the reflective practice incorporated into the course, the online induction programme and the positive feedback from students. 

In order to become a Chartered Psychologist with the BPS or a registered health psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council, students must complete Stage II training. A number of routes to stage II are offered at Aston University. Further details of how to become a Chartered Health Psychologist are available from the Division of Health Psychology or contact Dr Rachel Shaw at r.l.shaw@aston.ac.uk for further information.

Course outline and what you will study

Health psychology investigates the way psychological behaviour influences health, illness and the care for chronic disease. A health psychologist uses their knowledge of psychology to understand health behaviours and promote general wellness. They are trained to assist patients with their emotional and psychological needs as well as caring for those who are chronically ill.

Our MSc Health Psychology course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the theory underpinning health psychology. At Aston, you’ll build your understanding of advanced research methodology and the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to carry out independent work of publishable standard. As you prepare to become a health psychologist, you’ll learn the professional and transferable skills needed to succeed in this role as well as gaining an awareness of the contribution and application of health psychology within multicultural and multidisciplinary settings.

Modules:

  • Advanced Research Methods in Health Psychology
  • Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change Interventions
  • Health Inequalities & Public Heath
  • Psychobiology of Illness & Long-term Conditions
  • Research Project.

In addition to the specialist knowledge that you will acquire, this course has been designed to ensure you develop a wide range of highly desirable transferable skills, such as:

  • Critical enquiry
  • Report writing
  • Active listening
  • Research methods
  • Statistical and qualitative analyses
  • Group work
  • Time management
  • Reflective practice.
Learning, teaching, assessment and staff

This course uses a variety of learning and teaching methods including lectures, seminars, workshops, group work and independent study. We utilise a range of assessment methods including essays, reports, reviews and presentations. There is only one exam which is in statistics.

Teaching on campus normally takes place on two full days in the week (usually Mondays and Wednesdays*). All additional work, independent study, coursework etc. needs to be organised to fit your own circumstances. We understand that some students need to work but emphasise that this is a full-time course and so if working in the daytime you will need to work on your studies in the evenings. 

In addition to learning and teaching, as a student at Aston you will also receive additional support through a tutorial system.

*Subject to change. 

Teaching staff

All of our teaching team are research active and the profile of health psychology related research at Aston and our links with practice in the NHS makes us particularly distinctive. Our research expertise includes health promotion and health behaviours, chronic illness management, parental health behaviour, healthy ageing, and evidence synthesis.

Course Director: Dr Rachel Shaw

Meet the rest of our psychology team.

Facilities

You will benefit from access to:

  • Fully equipped observational suite (two-way mirror, audio-visual recording) appropriate for focus groups, observation studies, interviews.
  • A range of laboratory cubicles equipped for cognitive, behavioural and physiological testing.
  • The Blackboard virtual learning environment, which hosts all material for the course and discussion boards.
  • Aston University’s electronic library which holds thousands of up-to-date texts, journals and media publications which can be downloaded onto your computer for your study.  
  • The wide range of psychometric scales relevant to health psychologists that are owned by the department
  • Data analysis software such as SPS.
Your future career opportunities

Upon successful completion of this course, you can apply for posts as a research assistant or assistant psychologist working in a range of chronic health or health promotion fields. Many of our graduates go on to complete further training (Stage 2) to become a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a registered health psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council. Stage 2 of the training involves developing and demonstrating competences in research, teaching and training, practice and consultancy. 

Recent graduates from both our on-campus and distance learning MSc Health Psychology courses have entered a variety of roles such as Assistant Psychologist, Health Psychologist, Research Assistant, Stop Smoking Adviser. While many have taken up roles within the NHS to run interventions to improve the health of patients and management of their illness or to evaluate and re-design existing health services.

Organisations who have previously employed our students include:

  • NHS trusts
  • Private health clinics
  • Health charities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Universities across the UK and internationally. 

This course is also well placed for students who wish to further develop their careers in research by moving onto further PhD study at either Aston University or another institution. 

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