Masters degrees in Health Psychology explore the psychological factors and related behavioural processes that contribute to the maintenance and improvement of physical wellbeing.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Public Health and Psychology of Health. Entry requirements typically include an undergraduate degree such as Sport and Exercise Science, Medicine, Nursing or Psychology.
Health psychologists don’t only think about health in terms of biological wellbeing; they also consider how psychological factors (such as thoughts and beliefs), and behavioural factors (such as habits) can improve or damage it.
With this in mind, you may study how certain behaviours like excessive alcohol consumption may be harmful over time, and how a psychological approach can reduce these habits.
Alternatively, you might explore how the encouragement of habits such as increased exercise may improve health, and how approaches like psychotherapy or positive reinforcement can boost the development of normal behaviours.
Health psychologists typically work alongside other health professionals such as doctors and nurses within a clinical or healthcare setting. This could include inpatient departments, rehabilitation centres, community centres, probation services and prisons.
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.
If you enjoy understanding the way we think and interact with the world and different areas in it, especially the behaviours and coping mechanisms displayed within health and health care this advanced degree will enable you to play an active role in solving major health challenges. As a society we have already seen the positive health impacts of therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy and mood control, moving many away from traditional drug therapies to thinking therapies.
As we understand more about the power of the mind we can look at ways to improve our quality of life and impact on others and our life experiences to promote good health outcomes much earlier on and work towards them. This is a highly rewarding field which can have a major impact on people's lives and create more positive outcomes within health services to better manage long term illness, disability, stress and impacts on our coping mechanisms.
The University of Aberdeen MSc in Health Psychology, which is accredited by the British Psychological Society, offers you the opportunity to expand on and apply your knowledge and skills to help solve some of the big health issues facing society today. To be considered it is ideal to have a 2:1 Honours degree in Psychology or equivalent programme overseas which is equivalent to the British Psychological Society accreditation. Topics covered in Health Psychology include:
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about international fees
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
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.