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Health Psychology - MSc

Course Description

This unique programme accredited by the British Psychological Society aims to equip students to apply the scientific and theoretical principles and ideas of health psychology using a scholarly and critical approach, and to develop the practical skills and knowledge required for employment or research in the field.

Degree information

The programme is regularly reviewed by an advisory board including world-renowned experts in health psychology. It provides a thorough grounding in theories, concepts and empirical findings central to current health psychology. Students are encouraged to develop their own area of specialisation, and are given formal training in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). Please see departmental website for more details. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Effective Research Practice
-Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods 1
-Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods 2
-Health-related Behaviours and Cognitions
-Individual, Social and Cultural Perspectives in Health Psychology
-Stress, Mental Health and Ageing
-Chronic Illness from the Health Psychology Perspective
-Health Care and Intervention Delivery

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation written up as a mock paper submission to the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, class exercises, project work, training workshops, journal clubs and hands-on computer-based teaching on statistical analysis techniques. Assessment is through coursework (including critical reviews and essays), one unseen examination and the research project. Students are also offered a short work placement.


Many graduates of the programme continue with PhD studies, or find work as researchers and other positions allied to psychology, health, illness and healthcare delivery.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Civil Servant, Home Office
-Assistant Health Psychologist, NHS University College London Hospital
-Community Psychologist, Ministry of Health
-Senior Research Nurse, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
-Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, City University London

Given the academic nature of the programme, our students tend to do exceptionally well securing funded PhD studentships or clinical doctorates. As the focus of the MSc is on improving health care and delivery, many students also take up positions within the public or private healthcare sector.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Health Psychology MSc is run within UCL Epidemiology and Public Health, which houses 13 research groups, of which two – the Health Behaviour Research Centre (HBRC), and the Psychobiology Group – provide direct support to the MSc.

The HBRC is one of the largest health psychology research groups in the UK, and undertakes research aimed at advancing understanding of behaviours that have a major impact on health, and contributing to the development of interventions to promote healthy lifestyles. The Psychobiology Group is a multidisciplinary group concerned with the pathways through which sociodemographic and psychosocial factors influence physical disease processes.

This environment provides students with unique networking opportunities, being taught by specialists in their field, and completing relevant placements in clinical, academic or policy-related settings. In addition, students are also encouraged to integrate themselves into the research groups and networks closely associated with the programme which can provide invaluable real-world research experience and potential collaborations with national and international leaders in health psychology and related disciplines.

Visit the Health Psychology - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in psychology from a UK university, or overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent may be accepted with evidence of further study or relevant work experience. Applicants must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) if they want to pursue a career as a Chartered Health Psychologist in the UK.

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