Although people live longer and are currently ‘healthier’ in many ways than before, this has not led to a sense of improved health or wellbeing for all members of society. Health Psychology improves wellbeing by applying psychological theories, methods and research to the promotion of health, prevention and treatment of illness and disability, analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation. A small number of NHS-funded bursaries are available to cover tuition fees and other expenses.
British Psychological Society From the September 2013 intake, successful completion of this course fulfils stage one of the requirements towards Chartered Membership of the Society and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology.
Students on this course will understand and critically evaluate the theoretical basis of health psychology and apply this knowledge to understanding health, health behaviours and health care issues. The course has a strong experiential focus – it includes contributions from health care practitioners and allows you to carry out a brief placement in a health care setting normally arranged by the student with help/support from the course team. You are encouraged to carry out research in health care settings where possible. This MSc is designed to meet the British Psychological Society’s requirements for Stage One training towards Chartered Health Psychology status. Via formal teaching and practical experience, you will acquire relevant skills and core competencies as a basis for professional training in health psychology (Stage Two), or other applications of psychology to health issues.
The modules are taught in two- to three-hour seminars which include lectures, workshops, and practical or experiential sessions. You need to complete and pass the seven modules above to be awarded the MSc Health Psychology. Assessment is by formal exams and coursework (including oral presentations, essays, group work and critical reviews of research).
REF2014 In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
- Strong experiential focus – placement and dissertation. - Grounded in research evidence. - Research active and enthusiastic team based in Centre for Health Behaviour Change. - NHS funded bursaries.
Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results). Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence. Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.
Careers and employability
- Career opportunities Health Psychology is one of the fastest growing areas of applied psychology and this Master’s course provides the first stage of professional training towards becoming a chartered health psychologist. Students intending to go on to become qualified health psychologists can achieve this via working in health care or in academic posts. Scotland is unique in offering a two-year NHS-funded training course for Stage Two health psychology trainees. There are opportunities in many areas, for example, health education or health promotion, or in community-based health improvement projects. Skills gained might also be used in working with patients with specific conditions, such as cancer or chronic pain. The course might also be used for professional or personal development for individuals with a psychology background working in health.
- Employability Our students learn great trasnferable skills through carrying out observational placements in health care settings and dissertations that often involve delivery of an intervention. They also carry out presentations, learn communication and interviewing skills, and behaviour change techniques.
- Industry connections Our students carry out placements in health care contexts – this can include the NHS, third sector (charities) or industry settings.