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    Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    17 January 2018

Course content

Our MSc in Health Psychology is designed for students interested in a career in health psychology and has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). 

Health psychologists are interested in the psychological processes underlying health, illness and healthcare. They seek to develop interventions that enable people to maintain good health, as well as improve outcomes for people with health conditions and improve the experience of undergoing diagnostic and healthcare processes.

On successful completion of a BPS-accredited MSc in Health Psychology, students who hold BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership can continue to Stage 2 training to become Chartered Psychologistswith the BPS and to become registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as Registered Health Psychologists.

You will learn from staff at the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology , covering topics such as:

  • key theories in health psychology and how to apply them;
  • current approaches to changing health-related behaviour at individual, population and regulatory levels;
  • the interaction between psychological processes (cognitions, emotions, behaviour) and disease and illness;
  • the ways in which social-cultural factors contribute to health;
  • advanced research methods and analysis techniques in both quantitative and qualitative research;
  • the role and scope of health psychology within academic and healthcare settings.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through face-to-face interactive sessions consisting of some lecture material with discussions and group work, as well as audio-visual stimuli.

All course units are supported by the use of Blackboard (a virtual learning environment) through which you can access lecture slides, reading lists and other accompanying material. 

Each course unit on Blackboard also has its own discussion board, where you can post questions and interact with staff and other students on the course.

A significant amount of teaching and learning will take place through the dissertation unit (60 credits), where you will be expected to take a lead role in developing a research project with regular support, input, and mentorship from their project supervisor.

Coursework and assessment

We use a wide range of methods to assess your progress on the course, including:

  • the dissertation (in the format of a paper prepared for publication in a scientific journal);
  • oral presentations;
  • poster presentations;
  • systematic reviews;
  • case reports;
  • portfolio of tasks;
  • research poster and writing for a lay audience;
  • essays and examinations;
  • a reflective log, in which you will reflect on your learning and development as you progress along the course.

You will also be required to prepare a CV and application for a job or further training, providing you with the opportunity to gain feedback on the way you present yourself to maximise employability or progression to further training at the end of the course.

Course unit details

Full-time students will take four 15-credit taught units in each of Semester 1 and Semester 2. Two of these units will be taught on Mondays, the other two on Thursdays. Part-time students will take two taught units each year of their studying (such that they will be expected to attend classes on one day of the week each year).

In addition, all students will be allocated a supervisor for the dissertation (60 credits), a unit that runs for the full year (students are also expected to work on the dissertation over the summer). The dissertation consists of an independent piece of research.

Note: we are aware that you may have other commitments outside of the MSc (eg employment) and we fit teaching into two days of the week to help you to manage multiple commitments. However, this is an intensive, demanding course, so you need to make sure that you are able to fit in full-time (or part-time) studying hours around external commitments. 

Semester 1:

  • Research Methods 1
  • Professional Issues
  • Facilitating Change (Part 1)
  • Health and Society

Semester 2:

  • Research Methods 2
  • Mind and Body
  • Health Behaviour Change
  • Illness and Healthcare

This course is taught in parallel with the  MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology and students on both courses take the same units for the first semester. Students enrolled on the MSc Health Psychology may transfer to MSc Clinical and Health Psychology at the end of Semester 1 should they wish to do so.


You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service 

Career opportunities

Health psychologists work in a range of settings including academia, health authorities and the NHS. Find out more about health psychology careers on the BPS website .

Our MSc also provides a strong grounding in health psychology and research skills, producing students who are strong candidates for roles or training in research (eg PhD study). Find out more about research careers in psychology on the BPS website .

Accrediting organisations

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which has commended various aspects of the course. Its comments include:

  • The programme team are highly accessible to students, as well as being enthusiastic and supportive programme leaders.
  • The programme has a variety of innovative and rigorous assessments that allow students to apply their knowledge to real-life tasks which will help them with their future employment or study, and with engaging with a wide variety of audiences.
  • There is a broad range of skills and experience within the Health Psychology team who, along with the range of external speakers that are involved, give students an excellent teaching and learning experience.

Visit the Health Psychology (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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