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Our MSc in Health Psychology covers the application of psychological theories, research and methodologies to the study of health and disease processes. This British Psychological Society accredited, master's course is ideal for those looking for a career in health psychology.

Using a blend of research led teaching and practical experiences, on this course you will explore:

  • The theoretical models of health psychology and how they are applied in practice
  • How individual differences influence health through the lifespan
  • The management of health from individual to societal level
  • Show psychological factors get inside the body and lead to illness

You will learn from an expert team with a variety of health-related backgrounds and excellent research records. Through our experience and networks we will ensure that you and your learning are at the cutting edge of health psychology.

The programme is a BPS-accredited Stage 1 training to students with undergraduate degrees, that confer the Graduate Basis for Chartership. The course is also offered on a part-time basis, over two years. It is also an excellent start to professional development as a practitioner, upon the completion of Stage 2 training, when it is accompanied by the BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBS)

This full time course is heavily employment focused and will prepare you for roles in the areas of health promotion, healthcare delivery, illness management and rehabilitation.

Previous graduates have gone on to work across a spectrum of health-related psychology disciplines locally, nationally and globally. Their roles have included careers as assistant psychologists in the NHS, charitable organisations and the private sector. Some have moved on to research posts, and others are undertaking PhDs.

The broad skills-base means that health psychologists are also attractive to consultancy companies looking for expertise in training, research or intervention.

You will gain first-hand practical experience of a range of measurement and intervention techniques that are not available on other courses of this kind, and we support you in using these experiences to develop your own areas of expertise in work-based and research settings. Our ecologically valid sleep centre, stress laboratory, and practical sessions involving measuring your own stress hormones and stress-reduction techniques are just some of the unique aspects of the programme at Northumbria University, Newcastle. 

*Please note that this course is a first come first served basis and application is therefore competitive*

 


Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
12 months full-time
1 other options available

Department
Psychology

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

Accreditation

Funding and Scholarships

Discover the funding options available to you.

Discover more / Explore Northumbria University

Take a look at what Northumbria has to offer and discover what studying with us can do for you.

Entry Requirements 2021/22

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in Psychology (or MSc equivalent), or a minimum of a 2:1 in another subject including relevant work experience.

Applicants must produce a personal statement detailing their reasons for applying to the Health Psychology course at Northumbria University. In some cases, applicants will be required to answer additional questions related to research methods and background knowledge into Health Psychology.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications</p

Fees and Funding 2021/22 Entry

Full UK Fee: £8,400

Full EU Fee: £16,000

Full International Fee: £16,000



Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK, EU and International Scholarships scholarship, fees, and funding information.


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you'd like to receive news and information from us in the future about the course or finance then please complete the below form

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PY0770 -

Health Psychology in Theory and Practice (20 Credits)

In this module you will learn that the impact of behaviour on health is one of the key areas of health policy concern in the 21st Century, and that health psychology is at the heart of how the state is trying to get us to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Understanding the theory and practice of health psychology will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and design behaviour change interventions. You will learn that a range of factors contribute to how we behave, and you will look in detail at how health psychology theories have attempted to systematically develop and apply this understanding. Having developed a sound theoretical understanding of health psychology in semester 1, in semester 2 you will hear from health researchers how they apply it in the real world. You will learn about the practicalities of conducting
health research through looking at a number of recent and on-going intervention studies in a variety of health complaints, including head and neck cancer survivorship, fear of falling, obesity and medically unexplained symptoms. By the end of the module you will have learned how to use health psychology, in theory and in practice, to improve people’s lives.

Some specific topics covered include:

Economic, cultural, social and psychological determinants of behaviour
Key health psychology theories such as the theory of planned behaviour
Theoretical frameworks for developing, describing and evaluating psychosocial interventions
Individual lectures from researchers describing their intervention development work.

More information

PY0771 -

Lifespan, Individual and Cultural Perspectives on Health Psychology (20 Credits)

You will gain an insight into the inter-individual (e.g. personality, intelligence, illness perceptions) and cultural influences on physical health and wellbeing from a lifespan perspective. Topics will be introduced and discussed in context of psychological and physiological disorders that manifest at different stages of the lifespan (e.g. obesity, dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sexually transmitted infection etc.).
Theories such as ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’, which implicate early life psychosocial factors as predictors of later life health and wellbeing, will be critically discussed. You will also learn that the pathways from individual and cultural factors to health and illness are complex, and involve a number of mediating and moderating factors.

More information

PY0772 -

Psychosomatic Pathways to Health and Illness (20 Credits)

You will learn about the psychobiological mechanisms that act as pathways between psychological and behavioural factors and physical and psychological health outcomes. Starting with key biological systems, and using examples including stress, sleep and pain, you will explore how these systems interact, and how they can be measured to provide indices for research and clinical indicators of health and disease.
Topics will include:

Biological mechanisms (e.g., nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular and immune) and their interaction
Biopsychosocial models of health and disease
Biological and clinical indicators of health and disease (practical measurement and analytical techniques)
Individual differences in biological activation and disease vulnerability
Interventions and opportunities for modifying mechanisms

This module meets criteria set by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the core areas of physiological and psychosomatic disease processes and measurement issues. The assessment for this module requires the application of knowledge into real-world practice and will developing your professional skills with regard to communicating with a range of audiences, and thus enhance your graduate attributes for further qualifications and employability.

More information

PY0773 -

Systems Approaches to Understanding Health and Disease (20 Credits)

You will learn how a full systems approach (i.e. from macro influencers such as governments and organisations such as the World Health Organisation through to micro influencers such as individuals’ attitudes and beliefs about their health) can help us understand, and evaluate why differences exist in healthcare practice and policy. You will explore how the concepts of health, illness, sickness and disease are constructed, measured and managed across a range of real world contexts and how decisions made at differing system levels can shape the health and wellbeing of the individual. Topics include:

How diseases, disorders and conditions are defined and prioritised
The descriptive and statistical analysis of health behaviours and disease trends
How health promotion campaigns are created, managed and evaluated under the framework of public health
The impact of family and peers on health behaviours and disease management
The role of individual differences in healthcare encounters and the impact of those encounters on health outcomes

More information

PY0774 -

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (20 Credits)

The module is designed to give you a theoretical and practical knowledge of common and more advanced quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting and analysing data in psychology. A range of methods will be studied and relevant hardware and software will be used in exercises. The communication of findings according to the most recent conventions and with due regard to the audience will be addressed. The approach is to provide a theoretical background for each technique, so that you are not simply capable of carrying out and reporting analyses, but also capable of reflecting critically on their appropriateness in psychological research and practice.

More information

PY0775 -

Professional Skills (20 Credits)

This module is designed to provide you with a range of professional skills important for your academic and professional development in Health, Sport & Exercise and Occupational & Organisational Psychology. It will assist with preparation for your thesis as you learn about advanced bibliographic skills, project proposals, and research management, ethical and legal issues. You will learn employment-related skills, media skills, and personal and career development skills such as presentation and communication as well as C.V. enhancement. You will also make practical applications of skills using online resources and employ self-reflective approaches to recording and enhancing awareness of your professional development in Health, Sport & Exercise and Occupational & Organisational Psychology.

More information

PY0776 -

MSc Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

On this module you will have the opportunity to independently conceptualise, plan and undertake a novel piece of research that contributes to psychological knowledge and understanding. You will critically evaluate current theories and evidence in order to generate your own research question. You will engage with the relevant ethical guidelines to design a feasible project plan. You will develop your independent research skills during this module as well as identifying points of collaboration with supervisors, research staff and other potential stakeholders. You will use a variety of relevant skills, techniques and research methods in order to implement your study and finally you will have the opportunity to disseminate your findings in written form.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PY0770 -

Health Psychology in Theory and Practice (20 Credits)

In this module you will learn that the impact of behaviour on health is one of the key areas of health policy concern in the 21st Century, and that health psychology is at the heart of how the state is trying to get us to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Understanding the theory and practice of health psychology will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and design behaviour change interventions. You will learn that a range of factors contribute to how we behave, and you will look in detail at how health psychology theories have attempted to systematically develop and apply this understanding. Having developed a sound theoretical understanding of health psychology in semester 1, in semester 2 you will hear from health researchers how they apply it in the real world. You will learn about the practicalities of conducting
health research through looking at a number of recent and on-going intervention studies in a variety of health complaints, including head and neck cancer survivorship, fear of falling, obesity and medically unexplained symptoms. By the end of the module you will have learned how to use health psychology, in theory and in practice, to improve people’s lives.

Some specific topics covered include:

Economic, cultural, social and psychological determinants of behaviour
Key health psychology theories such as the theory of planned behaviour
Theoretical frameworks for developing, describing and evaluating psychosocial interventions
Individual lectures from researchers describing their intervention development work.

More information

PY0771 -

Lifespan, Individual and Cultural Perspectives on Health Psychology (20 Credits)

You will gain an insight into the inter-individual (e.g. personality, intelligence, illness perceptions) and cultural influences on physical health and wellbeing from a lifespan perspective. Topics will be introduced and discussed in context of psychological and physiological disorders that manifest at different stages of the lifespan (e.g. obesity, dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sexually transmitted infection etc.).
Theories such as ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’, which implicate early life psychosocial factors as predictors of later life health and wellbeing, will be critically discussed. You will also learn that the pathways from individual and cultural factors to health and illness are complex, and involve a number of mediating and moderating factors.

More information

PY0772 -

Psychosomatic Pathways to Health and Illness (20 Credits)

You will learn about the psychobiological mechanisms that act as pathways between psychological and behavioural factors and physical and psychological health outcomes. Starting with key biological systems, and using examples including stress, sleep and pain, you will explore how these systems interact, and how they can be measured to provide indices for research and clinical indicators of health and disease.
Topics will include:

Biological mechanisms (e.g., nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular and immune) and their interaction
Biopsychosocial models of health and disease
Biological and clinical indicators of health and disease (practical measurement and analytical techniques)
Individual differences in biological activation and disease vulnerability
Interventions and opportunities for modifying mechanisms

This module meets criteria set by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the core areas of physiological and psychosomatic disease processes and measurement issues. The assessment for this module requires the application of knowledge into real-world practice and will developing your professional skills with regard to communicating with a range of audiences, and thus enhance your graduate attributes for further qualifications and employability.

More information

PY0773 -

Systems Approaches to Understanding Health and Disease (20 Credits)

You will learn how a full systems approach (i.e. from macro influencers such as governments and organisations such as the World Health Organisation through to micro influencers such as individuals’ attitudes and beliefs about their health) can help us understand, and evaluate why differences exist in healthcare practice and policy. You will explore how the concepts of health, illness, sickness and disease are constructed, measured and managed across a range of real world contexts and how decisions made at differing system levels can shape the health and wellbeing of the individual. Topics include:

How diseases, disorders and conditions are defined and prioritised
The descriptive and statistical analysis of health behaviours and disease trends
How health promotion campaigns are created, managed and evaluated under the framework of public health
The impact of family and peers on health behaviours and disease management
The role of individual differences in healthcare encounters and the impact of those encounters on health outcomes

More information

PY0774 -

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (20 Credits)

The module is designed to give you a theoretical and practical knowledge of common and more advanced quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting and analysing data in psychology. A range of methods will be studied and relevant hardware and software will be used in exercises. The communication of findings according to the most recent conventions and with due regard to the audience will be addressed. The approach is to provide a theoretical background for each technique, so that you are not simply capable of carrying out and reporting analyses, but also capable of reflecting critically on their appropriateness in psychological research and practice.

More information

PY0775 -

Professional Skills (20 Credits)

This module is designed to provide you with a range of professional skills important for your academic and professional development in Health, Sport & Exercise and Occupational & Organisational Psychology. It will assist with preparation for your thesis as you learn about advanced bibliographic skills, project proposals, and research management, ethical and legal issues. You will learn employment-related skills, media skills, and personal and career development skills such as presentation and communication as well as C.V. enhancement. You will also make practical applications of skills using online resources and employ self-reflective approaches to recording and enhancing awareness of your professional development in Health, Sport & Exercise and Occupational & Organisational Psychology.

More information

PY0776 -

MSc Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

On this module you will have the opportunity to independently conceptualise, plan and undertake a novel piece of research that contributes to psychological knowledge and understanding. You will critically evaluate current theories and evidence in order to generate your own research question. You will engage with the relevant ethical guidelines to design a feasible project plan. You will develop your independent research skills during this module as well as identifying points of collaboration with supervisors, research staff and other potential stakeholders. You will use a variety of relevant skills, techniques and research methods in order to implement your study and finally you will have the opportunity to disseminate your findings in written form.

More information

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.


Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints




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