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MSc Health Psychology

Improve your approach to work and study in health psychology on a course that allows you to progress to stage two of the British Psychological Society (BPS) qualification, the next step towards conferment as a registered health psychologist.

Course length 1-2 Year(s)
Location Collegiate Campus

Course description

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
• critically evaluate and apply different approaches, theories and models to health-related issues
• develop in-depth knowledge and advanced skills related to the design, implementation and evaluation of health-related research
• apply problem solving strategies to complex professional scenarios
• critically reflect on your practice, planning and personal development

You can 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.

You may be able to gain supervised voluntary work experience within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ Medical Psychology Service. Potential placements include • diabetes • HIV/GU medicine • renal services • chronic pain • amputation rehabilitation • trauma services • burns unit • spinal injury rehabilitation.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Applicants need one of the following

• BSc or BA Psychology giving Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) with a 2.1 or above

• GBC by an alternative route, for example by examination, or by BPS acceptance of an overseas psychology degree.

Applications from students who have achieved a 2.2 psychology degree will be considered by the course leadership team. Where there is evidence that at least two of the following criteria have been met the applicant may be offered a place on the course. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

• applicants have work experience in a health-related setting

• applicants have an enthusiasm for health psychology

• applicants have demonstrated their ability to achieve a 2.1 within their undergraduate degree (for example, transcripts reveal a 2.1 in key undergraduate curriculum areas such as research methods).

All applicants are required to provide two satisfactory references (normally one of these will be an academic reference) and a personal statement.

If you do not have GBC you can do a BPS accredited conversion course. We offer an MSc in Psychology that would give you eligibility for GBC, provided you achieve an overall mark of at least 50 per cent and pass your dissertation. You should be enthusiastic about psychology and have a good understanding of the British Psychological Society’s core areas

If English is not your first language you typically need an IELTS 6.5 score with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.5 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

Course structure

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.

Typical modules may include


There are nine modules that you have to study within 12 months if you are a full-time student or 24 month for part-time, coming in one day a month. These are as follows • applications and practice of health psychology • client groups and stakeholders • healthcare contexts: work-based reflection • health cognitions and behaviour • health psychology research project • introduction to research methods and • perspectives, contexts and issues in health research and practice • psychobiological determinants of health • research methods and measurement issues in health psychology

Applications and practice of health psychology
In this module you are introduced to a range of interventions applicable to health psychology settings and health and well-being outcomes. You gain knowledge and a critical understanding of behaviour change techniques; health needs assessment and health education and promotion. Issues relevant to the design and evaluation of such interventions are also be addressed.

For the assessment you produce an evidence based health needs assessment targeted at a patient group.

Client groups and stakeholders
You focus on evaluating the role of individual differences in and variation of health and illness at different stages of life (including cross cultural perspectives) and its application in various health care settings. Assessment includes a stakeholders report aimed at health professionals within a specified health care setting.

Healthcare contexts: work-based reflection
The context of healthcare practice affects the health professional and the service user and can contribute to shaping the relationship between them. You reflect on theory in practice to produce a professional development portfolio.

You need to be able to critically reflect on your experiences at work within a health setting because it is essential for your professional development, and for your future employability or further study (stage two training).

Health cognitions and behaviour
You focus on the health psychology models and theories that aim to explain health behaviours and reactions to symptoms and illness. As much of health psychology research is based on these models, you consider their contribution to practical applications, such as quitting smoking and coping with chronic disease. Assessment includes an essay and short answer test.

Health psychology research project
You conduct a self-directed piece of research supervised by a psychologist experienced in undertaking health-related research. You present your findings verbally at a research conference, and in written form as a journal article. These are assessed.

Introduction to research methods
A refresher module of the basic concepts of research methods and statistical analysis and to give you experience in reviewing and critically evaluating research via the systematic review, all of which are skills relevant to your research project. Assessment includes a mini systematic review.

  • essays
  • research reports
  • health needs assessment
  • ongoing reflection by personal development portfolio
  • research project


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.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2016/17 academic year

Full-time - typically £6,300 for the course
Part-time – typically £4,200 in year 1, £2,100 in year 2

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

2017/18 academic year

Typically £6,400 for the course

Part-time – typically £4,270 in year 1 and £2,135 in year 2 (subject to inflation)

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,280 are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

2016/17 academic year

This course is not open to international students.

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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