Health psychologists apply their knowledge of psychology and health to understand illness and promote health and wellbeing. They aim to enhance psychological and emotional outcomes for individuals who are ill or who have a disability.
They develop healthcare policy and work to improve the healthcare system.There is an urgent need to produce graduates who have experience of an interdisciplinary approach and who can apply both their academic knowledge to understand and contribute to the development of topics in health psychology as well as their practical skills to enhance practices such as stress and pain management in clinical health contexts. Furthermore, skills acquired by postgraduate psychological researchers are needed to promote evidence-based practice in healthcare.
The health psychology programme at Teesside presents a coherent programme of study which, at the same time, reflects the major debates and produces graduates who can creatively and innovatively contribute to the development of their field. The programme encourages you to develop your own interests within health psychology and to explore how health psychologists can work within these specialist areas. Health psychologists work in a variety of settings including the NHS, universities, private practice, health-related organisations, within communities and schools.
The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and provides Stage 1 practitioner training, a pre-requisite for Stage II training in Health Psychology and Chartered Psychologist status.
The course comprises six core modules that aim to develop your knowledge of how psychology can be employed to facilitate and protect health, and develop your ability to effect change and suggest alternatives in healthcare provision.
You will explore current issues in health psychology, and gain transferable and practical skills to facilitate progression in the field of health psychology. Supported by a research methods team with expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods, you will critically evaluate the nature and practice of research in health psychology, study research ethics and integrity and systematic reviewing, and develop skills in advanced research design and analysis.
The programme aims to develop writing and presentation skills that are transferable to practice, including conference presenting and writing for publication. Throughout the programme, you will be encouraged to think critically and reflect upon your skills development. Emphasis is given to the study of clinical and professional skills and you will be equipped with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to enable effective communication with patients and health professionals. You will explore our range of physiological measures, have an opportunity to practice assessment techniques and will gain knowledge of interventions including mindfulness, guided imagery and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Opportunities are provided for you to gain work experience in healthcare practice as well as to work alongside academic staff to conduct health psychology research and evaluation. The programme has strong links to organisations providing a range of volunteering opportunities as well as external agencies, including the NHS and within the public health sector.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You learn by knowledge and skills acquisition through directive teaching, group discussions, independent exploration and examination of academic resources. You will work with project data, review professional practice scenarios, and will have an opportunity to present a poster at our annual Teesside University Psychology Conference.
The course is delivered by a team of experts with wide-ranging research, consulting and practice expertise. There are also contributions from practitioners working in the fields of research, consultancy, and NHS practice.
Staff areas of specialism include: breast cancer, complementary and alternative therapies, neurological conditions, doctor-patient communications, psychosocial interventions and sexual health. The team has close links with the Psychology Research Unit within the Social Futures Institute (SoFI) and with AskFuse, The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.
How you are assessed
A range of assessment methods is used, from traditional essays and examinations to a critical review, poster presentation, and a video of you conducting a stress management intervention. You will develop a research proposal including a mini systematic review and will reflect on your skills and development. Your final research project is written in the style of a research article.
Previous students have conducted their final project research on topics including:
• The male pill
• Quality of life and the utility of a guided imagery intervention for individuals with motor neurone disease
• Subject and neural indicators of health-related anxiety as a consequence of using the internet
• Experiences of being a mother with epilepsy
• The effectiveness of weight loss management groups
• Stress management
• Chronic disease
After Stage 1, you can become a Chartered Psychologist by successfully completing Stage 2 training in Health Psychology. This will confer eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC and use the protected title of ‘Health Psychologist’.
The course team includes experienced supervisors of the British Psychological Society Qualification in Health Psychology (QHP Stage 2). The MSc programme additionally provides you with the skills to pursue a PhD and the course team have the expertise to supervise a broad range of health psychology topics.
Following the MSc, our students frequently progress to a PhD, undertake the QHP Stage 2 and obtain posts within academia, the NHS, and public health services.
IT Tralee is currently seeking to recruit ahigh calibre and suitably qualified science graduate to undertake this Master by Research programme in the Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences at IT Tralee. Graduates holding a relevant Level 8 Honours Degree (second class honours or higher) are invited to submit an application. The successful applicants will be awarded a stipend of €700 per month for a maximum period of 18 months and the Institute will waive full fees for this funding period. Postgraduate students are expected to complete their studies full-time at the Institute.
Mr Quille received his Degree in Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds from University College Cork in 2007. He has since completed an M.Sc in Biotechnology in the Shannon ABC laboratories at IT Tralee on a project entitled: The preparation of an alginate with a hydrophobic moiety that retains its biocompatibility and immunosuppressive properties while remaining suitable for cellular encapsulation. He has previously worked in Astellas as a Process Technician and in Shannon ABC as a Biochemical Technician. He currently holds the role of Research Scientist with Shannon ABC. Previous projects include developing a commercial focus to the use of bioassays in the assessment of different components of seaweed and the impact of seasonality. He has worked on the FP7 funded project NatuCrop where he oversaw extensive tomato growth room, glasshouse and field trials. Results of his work have been presented at a number of conferences all over Europe and in Brazil. He is currently working on a Horizon 2020 project.
Crop productivity relies heavily on nitrogen fertilisation which in itself requires huge amounts of energy to produce. Also excess applications of nitrogen to the land is detrimental to the environment therefore increasing plant nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential in the promotion of sustainable agriculture. The use of seaweed and seaweed extracts in agriculture is well documented. The most popular and well researched type of seaweed extract commercially available is an Ascophyllum Nodosum extract (ANE). Ascophyllum is a brown seaweed that is native to the waters of Ireland as it grows best in the North Atlantic basin. Seaweed extracts have been described to enhance seed germination and establishment, improve plant growth, yield, flower set and fruit production, increase resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and improve postharvest shelf life. Previously a seaweed extract when combined with a fertiliser regime increased the productivity and oil content and accelerated maturation (colour and firmness) of the olive fruits from olive trees. Oil-Seed Rape (OSR; Brassica napus) is a member of the Brassicaceae family that is grown for its oil content. It requires extensive nitrogen fertilisation, however it has a poor N-harvest index meaning a lot of nitrogen is lost in the straw rather than transported to the pod. The aim or our study is to apply 4 commercially available ANE’s to winter and spring crops of OSR (different varieties) in a controlled growth room and glasshouse and finally in a field setting under different fertiliser regimes. Treatments will be assessed by comparing fresh weight, dry weight, and seed/oil yield and oil quality. Plant tissue will also be saved in order to assess other parameters such as flavonol accumulation, nitrate reductase, gene expression (NRT2) and photosynthetic parameters.
600,000 Ha of OSR is planted in the UK and Ireland alone every year, recommended input of nitrogen is 200 kg (0.2 tonnes) per Ha meaning 120,000 tonnes of nitrogen every year. As OSR only has an N-harvest index of 0.6, representing 48,000 tonnes lost, which is a massive financial loss as well as potentially environmentally detrimental. In determining the effect of ANE’s on NUE current research focuses on the outcome, i.e. is yield increased, rather than investigate the method by which the yield has increased. This research is aimed a filling some void of knowledge here by linking phenotypic differences to biochemical and genetic data of treated plants in order to assign a potential mode of action.
While ANE’s have been shown to increase nitrogen assimilation, extensive growth trials, especially in economically important crops (such as OSR) which investigate their role in affecting NUE are scarce and are only seemingly becoming popular in recent years. However considering the increased price of nitrogen, the additional interest in biostimulants (ANE’s in particular), the need to feed a growing population and coupled to the environmental damage of excess nitrogen this can be considered a ‘hot topic’. Plant (glasshouse and field setting) trials will be conducted and analysed for phenotypic data (photosynthetic measurements, yield). Materials from these plant trials must then be harvested, extracted and saved for biochemical and genetic determination. Lab-based techniques employed include protein extraction, western blotting and spectrophotometry, RT-PCR and HPLC. This 3 pronged approach from assessing phenotype to the biochemical level and finally to the gene level will provide evidence on mode of action of the ANE’s potential impact on NUE in OSR.