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Health Psychology - MSc


Course Description

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.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

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.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

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. 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.
-Conducting Health Psychology Research
-Chronic Conditions
-Psychological Aspects of Health Care
-Maintaining Health Throughout the Lifespan
-Dissertation
-Qualitative Research Methods
-Quantitative Research Methods
-Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology
-Aspects of Experimental Psychology
-Crafting Research: Linking Theory and Methods
-Ergonomics and Human Factors
-Inquiry and Design
-Psychological Neuroscience: Psychophysics and fMRI
-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Health Psychology
-Psychology of Sustainable Development

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The aims of the programme are:
-To provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in Health Psychology in accordance with the 15 competence requirements pertaining to Stage 1 of the British Psychological Society criteria for achieving Chartered Status in Health Psychology
-To train students in the informed and systematic application of the research-practitioner involving problem analysis and formulation, intervention design and evaluation
-To enable students to harness relevant theory and evidence in the integrated formulation of a wide range of commonly encountered health problems and issues
-To produce students equipped with the basic interpersonal, technical and creative skills required for the effective analysis and formulation of health problems, and for the effective design, implementation and evaluation of health interventions
-To prepare students for professional work pursued in a highly responsible, self-regulated, self- efficacious and politically sensitive fashion
-To facilitate self-reflection in support of personal and professional development via constructive feedback

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

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
-Health psychology as an applied science
-The relevance of theory to professional practice
-Theory and evidence pertaining to the core areas as detailed by the british psychological society: context and perspectives in health psychology, epidemiology in health psychology, biological mechanisms of health and disease, health-related behaviour, health-related cognitions, individual differences, stress, chronic illness/disability, lifespan, gender and crosscultural perspectives, health care contexts, applications of health psychology, research methods, empirical research project, measurement issues and professional issues
-Basic and advanced research design and methods of investigation (qualitative and quantitative), data analysis principles and techniques
-The contemporary economic and political context of health care work
-Place and value of health psychology within an interdisciplinary framework

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Critically assess and comment on both published and unpublished sources of research and commentary on health psychology issues
-Critically weigh up the contributions and limitations of health psychology in addressing various problems and issues
-Analyse and theoretically formulate various problem scenarios and issues pertinent to the practice of health psychology using a range of models and theories consistent with the principle of integrative practice
-Design, conduct and evaluate health psychology research and researchbased health psychology interventions
-Analyse and take into consideration the economic and political context of a health problem or issue in the process of designing and implementing tailormade interventions
-Reflect on particular case examples (hypothetical and real) with a view to informing theory development/elaboration in an iterative fashion

Professional practical skills
-Select, design, implement and evaluate a wide range of research techniques pertinent to research and research-based practice in health psychology
-Acquire some preliminary skill in designing research-based health interventions
-Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data in a competent and critical manner
-Present/communicate their work in a professional manner for both academic, non-academic and business audiences, in both written and verbal (one-to-one, group) formats
-Apply problem-solving strategy and techniques
-Prioritise work, multi-task and manage time under pressure

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate ideas, principles, theories and problem formulations by oral, written and visual means
-Elicit high quality information and data from field sources
-Operate within a problem-solving research-based practitioner framework
-Conduct oneself in a professional (accountable, responsible), self-regulated and constructively critical fashion
-Use interpersonal and social skills as appropriate
-Apply analytical skill in a problem solving context
-Use information technology
-Pursue continuous improvement via self-reflection and other forms of professional and personal development activity

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Visit the Health Psychology - MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sarah Bolger

“Although the demands on my time and energy were challenging, I received unbeatable support from the team at Surrey.”

Sarah, a Practice Development Midwife with 15 years’ experience as a qualified nurse and 11 years’ experience as a qualified midwife, explains how a Masters from the University of Surrey has boosted her career prospects.

“I wanted a course that would enable me to consolidate my previous experience and give me the qualification I needed for career progression. I chose the University of Surrey because it offers higher education as part of a contract with local Trusts. I was also looking to study at a university that could rival others at a national and even an international level.

The most challenging aspect of the course was juggling my academic work, working for the Trust and family life. The impact of studying for a Masters on family life can never be underestimated, so time management is key. For me, this often meant studying in the evening, which after a long day at work was gruelling.

Although the demands on my time and energy were challenging, I received unbeatable support from the team at Surrey. The emphasis wasn’t on taking away my challenges, but providing me with guidance so I could find a path that enabled me to achieve my full potential.

Now I have completed the course, the sense of achievement I have is immeasurable. At Surrey, you’re encouraged to think outside the box and consider new ideas.

Based on the results of my Masters, I have been awarded a full-time funded PhD studentship at Surrey. It’s thanks to the experience I had during my Masters that I had the confidence to even apply.”

(Student Profile)

Marianna Dalkou

What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study your course here?

I chose the University of Surrey because of its reputation and the very good ranking it had in university tables. Regarding the specific programme that I chose I found that it had the most interesting course and the professors are some of the most prominent figures in the field of Health Psychology (Jane Ogden, Mark Corpley).

What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?

Being at Surrey was one of the best experiences of my life and when I think about my time in the university a big smile always crosses my face. Even though I was away from my home country, the University offered me a great sense of security and hospitality. I knew that if I had any problem it would be solved in minutes.

Something that I will never forget is the first thing that Mark Corpley (the course director) told us in our first lecture: “be aware... during your MSc you have to remember that time flies.” He was so right.

Last but not least, one of the best things that happened to me was that I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and to make new friends for life.

What were the best things about your course?

The best thing is that the course provided us with a variety of very interesting modules and taught us how to critically evaluate scientific data. I am grateful that after the completion of my MSc I further improved my research skills.

I really enjoyed the seminars that were held in the university campus addressed only to Health Psychology Postgraduate students. During these seminars I had the chance to learn very enlightening things related to my field and also useful information and tips about job opportunities.

What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?

Critically evaluate everything you read, be creative, be patient and enjoy the ride!


(Scholarship)

Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount

Eligibility

Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]



Entry Requirements

A first or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in psychology.

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