Our innovative MSc Health Psychology programme applies the theories, methods and techniques of psychology to issues of health and illness.
These are integrated into the psychological processes related to the maintenance of health, the promotion of the psychological wellbeing of the physically ill, and the normal and pathological responses to ill health and stress.
Our MSc Health Psychology programme will equip you with a sound knowledge of theories and practical issues relevant to health psychology.
You will consider the psychological and physiological responses of the individual to ill health, as well as the social and community contexts of health-related behaviours and healthcare systems.
The programme will equip you with a sound knowledge of theories and practical issues relevant to health psychology, in addition to a solid understanding of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research.
The programme, which is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), provides the academic component (Stage One) on the route towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The aims of the programme are:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the following:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Students will be able to:
Professional practical skills
Students will have the skills to:
Key / transferable skills
Students will be able to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Public health is the science and art of promoting and protecting health and wellbeing, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society.
This is a fully online, distance-learning course using digital learning technology to allow learners to study from anywhere in the world and better fit study around personal and professional commitments. Flexibility in the course start dates (September, January or May) and module choices in Year 2 helps provide students with a more bespoke learning experience designed to match learning needs, interests and aspirations.
This course is designed for students who want to explore the current and emerging key issues in the field while reflecting on their own practice, experiences and interests. We are keen for students to collaborate with us in better understanding how public health works across research, policy and practice at the local, national and global level.
Public heath practitioner roles differ greatly in the work they focus on and in their specific job titles. Some examples of the types of roles include: Health Policy Advisor; Public Health Advisor; Substance Misuse Worker; Heath Improvement Practitioner; Public Health Nutritionist; Teenage Pregnancy Coordinator; Smoking Cessation Advisor; Advanced Health Improvement Practitioner; Environmental Scientist; Health/Education Advisor; Support Workers and many more.
You will receive the relevant theoretical and practical skills that are needed for careers as researchers, policymakers and/or practitioners across the public, private and voluntary/community/not-for-profit sectors.
You will be provided with expert knowledge and different perspectives from across research, policy and practice, focusing on contemporary public health issues relevant locally, nationally and internationally. The course will be taught by research-active staff alongside input and additional materials from policy and practice partners. Co-creation of content is also a key feature we explore with the course, allowing us to shape the curriculum with our students to build on their experiences, expertise and interests.
Through the course, students will be supported to:
• Explore and understand public health theory and techniques appropriate to their own area of practice or interest.
• Gain first-hand insight into approaches used by researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
• Develop as skilled and knowledgeable multidisciplinary public health practitioners and researchers.
• Develop practical and transferable skills such as report writing, team working, literature searching, research methods and critical appraisal.
• Develop as critical and independent thinkers.
The MPH offers you the opportunity to graduate with a named award recognised globally for public health knowledge and expertise.
The flexibility of this course allows you to manage your studies around your professional and personal life. Further flexibility is provided by the diverse variety of optional modules available throughout the entirety of the course. To ensure that you are equipped with the necessary knowledge and capabilities to conduct a successful research project and complete your Masters, there are taught elements within the research project module designed to develop your understanding and practical abilities.
The MPH Course Director is Dr Tony Robertson. Teaching on the course will be provided by colleagues across the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, particularly from the Centre for Population Health and Public Health Research (led by Prof Andrew Watterson and Prof Sally Haw) and the Institute for Social Marketing (led by Prof Linda Bauld). Module Coordinators include Dr Dawn Cameron, Dr Nicola Cunningham, Claire Eades, Dr Josie Evans, Dr Niamh Fitzgerald, Dr Richard Purves, Dr Tony Robertson and Ashleigh Ward.
You will gain a Masters degree from a multi-award winning faculty, led by a group of world-leading academics.
Year 1 core modules
What is Public Health?
Epidemiology & Its Numbers
What is Public Health Research?
Year 2 core module
Policy in the Real World
Year 2 option modules
Society & Health
Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change
Qualitative Research and Analysis
Quantitative Research and Analysis
Research Ethics and Governance
Year 3 module
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st for health research in Scotland and 12th in the UK, showcasing our commitment to produce world-leading research that improves health and reduces health inequalities.
Stirling is one of only two UK universities ranked in the top 50 by the QS World University Rankings, for universities under the age of 50. This recognises universities that have established a strong position in international ranking tables in an impressively short period of time.
The University of Stirling was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2013 for its public health research.
It is possible to achieve:
· Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health (60 credits – 3 modules)
· Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (120 credits – 6 modules)
· Master of Public Health (120 credits plus a research project of 60 credits)
All modules are at level 11 within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). 180 credits points are awarded for the course of study. All core and optional modules are worth 20 credits, with the research project worth 60 credits.
A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant relevant work/life experience, are also encouraged to apply.
This course is 100% online and only available part time over three years. There are three possible start dates: September, January or May (although a September start date is recommended).
Tony Robertson, Course Director Telephone: UK +44 (0) 1786 466360
Email: [email protected]
Join our Twitter community: @StirMPH
Studying on this course enables you to develop your knowledge and skills to work with children, young people, their families and carers to improve health and wellbeing.
You learn to develop a pragmatic public health philosophy for family healthcare and an evidence-based skill set applicable to the challenges of contemporary practice.
To meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards, your studies consists of 50% practice and 50% theory (alongside 100% attendance). We structure the postgraduate diploma to reflect the important balance of the practice elements, which are designated practice days or work-based learning. A 10 week consolidated practice block (in semester 3) enables you to work independently while remaining under the supervision of a practice teacher. The theoretical elements involve a mix of learning approaches including self-directed study days.
Another key aspect of your studies is to develop an understanding of the levels of accountability and responsibility you take on in these roles. You learn how to ensure public protection is developed to deliver safe and effective health improvements to individuals, groups and communities.
There are many opportunities on the course to share learning from your peers and other disciplines from across the primary /community care teams and services that work with children, young people and families.
When you start to put what you have learnt into practice, you benefit from strong partnerships with health, education and local authority organisations in the region.
The modern and diverse placements you go on are designed to meet the changing needs of children, young people and families, and may include placement with social services, education and a variety of organisations from the voluntary sector – foster collaborations with those that work alongside health visitors and school nurses.
You also complete a research-based module which provides a building block for further study from the exit award of PgDip to MSc qualification. The learning from the research module equips you to use policy and research to underpin and develop innovative practice and gives you the skills to frame a research question, take empirical research and write up an academic dissertation. If you successfully complete the PgDip, you can at a later date (pending additional funding and study) undertake a 60 credit dissertation module and gain an MSc qualification.
Experienced course teaching team
Experienced health visitor and school nurse lecturers deliver the course. As a student you learn from a highly motivated and proactive teaching team aiming to improve lives through excellence in professionalism. We ensure our students and the public benefit from a commitment to evidence-based education, application to practice and impact on quality of care.
Some lecturers are engaged in ongoing research and are publishing in peer reviewed journals with areas of expertise that include safeguarding, the child and families agenda, behaviour change and community development.
Four members of our teaching team are also Fellows of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), a professional body which strives for excellence in the health visiting profession.
Successfully completing the course
Gaining an MSc qualification enhances your employability in advanced and specialist roles available to health visitors and school nurses. These may include working in public health positions in local authorities or in advisory and health education positions in acute health care.
Study individual modules
You have the option to study individual modules from this course and gain academic credit towards a qualification. Visit our continuing professional development website for more information.
This course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Graduates are eligible to apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse - Health Visitor or School Nurse.
You must be registered with the NMC in order to practise as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse in the UK.
To access the full course and gain the NMC recognised qualifications, you need to be sponsored by an employing NHS organisation (hence have NHS contract for the length of the course).
Postgraduate diploma modules
You will enhance your professional and academic development on this course. Completing the course enables you to be registered with the NMC as a registered specialist community public health nurse - as either a health visitor or school nurse (SCPHN-HV or SCPHN-SN). It also enables you to be annotated on the NMC register as a community practitioner nurse prescriber. This course will also provide you with advanced skills in research.
As a health visitor or school nurse you will develop specialist skills and attributes to work in different health, social and educational settings. You gain experience of public health at an individual, family and community level, working with children, young people, families.
You can develop your career
Successfully completing this course allows you to progress onto stage two of the British Psychological Society (BPS) qualification in health psychology or a BPS-accredited doctoral programme in health psychology. Successfully completing stage two confers eligibility to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as a health psychologist.
We designed the course to give you the knowledge, skills, values and academic approach to improve your work and study in health psychology.
You learn to
You will use your work or voluntary experience from within a health-related setting to aid your learning and training. For example, work-based reflection is a core element of the healthcare contexts module and is designed to contribute to your continuing personal development.
If you do not work in a health related setting once you have started the course then we have a careers workshop and a dedicated careers adviser who can help you find suitable employment or voluntary work. The course leadership team can also advise on what types of work will be suitable for your work-based reflection.
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.
Online and class-based study
Full-time – one year
Part-time – typically one day per month for two years
On campus study
This is a blended learning course that combines online learning with on-campus study days. Full-time students attend a block week on campus at the course start in September, plus 9 days across 9 months (October-June), usually on a Friday in the middle of the month.
Part-time students attend the first three days of the block week at the course start in September, and up to 20 days across 24 months.
Health psychologists work in a variety of areas where they identify issues that can affect our health and wellbeing. They provide tailored interventions to address individual, group and community needs.
After successfully completing the course, you can progress onto stage two of the British Psychological Society's (BPS) qualification in health psychology or a BPS-accredited doctoral programme in health psychology. Successfully completing stage two confers eligibility to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as a health psychologist.
The skills and knowledge you develop can also be used within health or in the wider area of psychology including • research • education • industry • health promotion. This qualification can open or progress career opportunities for you inside and outside the traditional health services.