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Course content

Health psychology focuses on the roles of psychology, biology and social or environmental factors on health and health related behaviour. Health psychologists promote healthier lifestyles and seek to improve well-being by understanding the impact that health related thoughts, feelings and behaviour can have on the individual. Health strategy has been shifting from the treatment of disease to the maintenance of health and prevention of illness. This is particularly important in the Welsh context given that self-reported 'good health' is lower in Wales compared to other areas of the UK (ONS 2011), with a high level of risky behaviours (Welsh Assembly Government, 2004).

​Course Content​​

This MSc aims to produce high quality graduates that are in a good position to improve health and well-being by using specific psychological knowledge and skills. The programme is specifically designed with future employability in mind and provides a student centred approach to preparing graduates for future training and / or careers. Some graduates go on to complete further training to become fully qualified health psychologists, but many others go on to work in health-related career roles including health promotion, education, health and well-being at work, research or develop their own businesses.

Students will complete the following six taught modules along with a dissertation, which consists of an independent piece of research. Placement style dissertations are offered in external settings so that students, who choose to, are able to build experience in the type of settings in which they might later find employment.

Research Methods and Design:

  • Equips the student with the qualitative and quantitative research skills necessary to undertake masters level research.

Biopsychosocial Issues in Health:

  • Explores the impact of biopsychosocial factors in health

Health Psychology and the Health Psychologist:

  • Provides a critical account of the application of health psychology in the community and workplace and builds employability skills.

Changing Health Behaviour: 

  • Critically evaluates psychological theories of behavioural change

Chronic Illness, Stress and Pain:

  • Critically evaluates theories and models of chronic disease, stress, pain and their management.

Communication in the Health Care Context:

  • Develops the students' understanding of effective communication strategies.

Assessment

The MSc is assessed by a range of different coursework assignments including literature reviews, research reports, essays, presentations and posters. No exams are used in the assessment for this programme. Assessments are designed to help students develop the skills they will require during their future careers. There is a lot of choice in terms of the topics that students choose to base their assessments on, allowing them to develop their own areas of interest within the field.

Employability & Careers​

An MSc in Health Psychology is the first step (stage one) towards Chartered Psychology status for students who are eligible to hold the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). The MSc in Health Psychology will provide the knowledge base and research skills, which will underpin stage two of the process towards Chartership with the BPS (two years of supervised practice). Completion of stage two with the BPS also confers eligibility to become a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Health Psychologist. All practitioner psychologists are regulated by the HCPC. Health psychologists work in all areas relevant to health, illness and health care delivery. However, the majority of students do not pursue this route. Graduates from the programme have gone on to work or train in a number of areas including health promotion, research, teaching or private consultancy. Many graduates go on to complete PhDs, some have gone on to complete clinical psychology training and many work or train in a range of roles that promote health and well-being. The MSc in Health Psychology can either be used as a launch pad for further training and development or can provide the knowledge and skills that are valuable in a range of employment roles. Careers options are explored extensively throughout the programme.


Visit the Health Psychology - MSc/PgD/PgC page on the Cardiff Metropolitan University website for more details!

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