Health Psychology MSc | 2018/19
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Health Psychology MSc 2018/19 entry

Course code:

HLST047

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018

 

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Overview

Accredited by British Psychological Society (BPS), this course is designed to help you become a practising health psychologist, supporting others in dealing with the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illness, as well promoting healthier lifestyles.

If you already possess Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), either from a recognised Psychology degree or conversion course, successful completion of this Master’s fulfils the first of two stages towards becoming a BPS Chartered Psychologist and obtaining full membership of the Division of Health Psychology.

You’ll be taught by our respected and experienced course team, which includes staff qualified themselves, who have worked in a variety of settings as a health psychologist, such as pain management, smoking cessation, public health, clinical health psychology and community health.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

British Psychological Society (BPS)

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Graduates must achieve the necessary 50% pass mark for all modules contributing to the accredited MSc degree (BPS Standards for the Accreditation of the Masters Programme in Health Psychology, October 2017). Graduates who do not meet this requirement will exit with a non-accredited award. To achieve the necessary number of credits for all non-accredited awards, graduates must achieve the necessary 40% pass mark for all modules contributing to the award.


Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

What our students say...

The academic skills I have gained during my MSc in Health Psychology have given me excellent grounding to gain a place on a PhD programme immediately after graduating. The course offered me a good insight in to the work of Health Psychologist and I was extremely well supported throughout the course from the tutors and other teaching staff. I felt they cared not only about my academic performance, but also me personally and my general wellbeing.

Karen Maher, MSc Health Psychology, graduated 2013, now PhD student at Loughborough University and part-time lecturer for Coventry University and Loughborough University

Course information

Healthy psychology is based on the premise that illness is caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors – things like genetic conditions, anxiety levels or lifestyle choices, family relationships and support systems – some of which can be remedied with counselling, education and support, as well as or in place of medicine.

Designed to meet the Stage One training requirements of the British Psychological Society (BPS), this course will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to understand and eventually practice health psychology.

It is divided into four theory modules covering the key areas of the BPS knowledge base for Health Psychology, together with modules on ‘Advanced Research Methods in Psychology’ and ‘Professional Practice’, as well as your dissertation.

You should gain a sophisticated awareness of the psychosocial aspects of health and illness. For example, how people react, cope and recover from illness or the relationship between stress, illness and health, how this affects individuals differently and the ways in which the impact of stress on health and illness is mediated.

You will have the opportunity to learn how to develop, evaluate and deliver relevant interventions in a whole range of situations which are designed to improve health or enable individuals to better cope with physical or mental illness. This may include helping people maintain a healthy weight, avoid risky or unhealthy behaviours and maintain a positive outlook in order to combat stress, depression and anxiety.

We place a significant emphasis on professional research methods, developing your knowledge and skills in planning, carrying out, analysing and writing about research in applied health psychology. For your dissertation, you will produce an extensive piece of independent research on a topic of your choice – anything from sleep, pain management, mindfulness, sexual health, healthy lifestyles to long-term conditions.

Modules

Overview

Modules

  • Semester 1

    • Health promotion and behaviour change
    • Stress, health and illness
    • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
    • Introducing Research Informed Practice in Health Psychology
    • Dissertation Preparation in Health Psychology 
  • Semester 2

    • Interactions and outcomes in healthcare practice
    • Management of long term conditions and disability
    • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
    • Advancing Professional Practice in Health Psychology
  • Semester 3

    • Dissertation in Health Psychology

In more detail...

  • Opportunity to apply for and achieve additional certification in British Psychological Society (BPS) psychometric testing.
  • Staff with expertise in pain management, exercise and healthy lifestyle, sexual health, mindfulness, sleep and long term conditions.
  • 91% of Psychology students felt staff are enthusiastic about what they teach in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016.
  • Learn to act in accordance with the legal, ethical and professional standards and regulations of the BPS and the Health and Care Professions Care Council (HCPC).
  • Outstanding track record for graduate employability – 100% of our Psychology students were in work or continuing their studies within six months of graduation (DLHE 2014/15).
  • Successful completion of the course fulfills the BPS Stage One requirements, towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist and obtaining Full Membership of the Division of Health Psychology.
  • Opportunities to learn about Stage Two training via independent production of a portfolio and BPS examination, which provides eligibility to apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • A library with key Health Psychology texts and journals, access to specialist equipment and software, like Biopac and SuperLab, as well as a range of specialist laboratories, including sound-proofed cubicles, a closed-circuit TV observation suite, ‘mock’ prison cells, light and dark multisensory laboratories, all supported by dedicated psychology technicians.

Expert guest lecturers from practising Health Psychologists and staff from the University Research Centres, including the Applied Research Centre in Technology Enabled Health. Recent topics have covered online interventions and sexual health.

Your main study themes are:

  • Research and research methods: aims to develop your ability to conduct qualitative and quantitative research of relevance to health psychology. You should gain appropriate skills and capabilities to collect and analyse data, using a range of techniques and research methods.

  • Contexts and perspectives in health psychology: We will teach you about historical and current theories and approaches in health psychology, as well as an awareness of related disciplines, such as medical sociology, medical ethics, medicine, behavioural medicine, health policy and health economics. 

  • Physiological and psychosomatic disease processes: Builds a fundamental understanding of the physiology of health and illness, to appraise and evaluate evidence relating to the epidemiology of health and illness, including acute and long-term conditions, stress, and psychoneuroimmunology.  

  • Client groups and other stakeholders: Provides the knowledge and skills to progress to working with a range of client groups, encompassing: cross-cultural perspectives (eg. those relating to ethnicity or religion); sex and gender differences; children and the role of the family in health and illness; and death, dying and bereavement. We also cover how you may work with other professionals, exploring leadership and the role of collaborative working. 

  • Health-related behaviour and cognitions:  Enables you to critically evaluate theoretical models of health-related behaviour and cognitions. This will include: health enhancing and compromising behaviours; efficacy and control beliefs; attributions; health beliefs and attitudes; social and individual representations of health and illness; symptom and risk perception; and decision making by health psychologists, patients/clients. We will also examine the ways that factors such as personality, health literacy and emotional intelligence impact on these.
  • Interventions: applications of health psychology: You will learn to compare and contrast a range of interventions applicable to health psychology settings and health and well-being outcomes, for example, cognitive-behavioural approaches and motivational interviewing. We will cover: health needs assessment; the process of formulation, based on assessment, which informs choice of intervention; management of acute and long-term conditions; behavioural change techniques; and health education and promotion.

  • Healthcare and professional settings: Aims to develop the skills needed to work in a range of health settings, including appropriate use of communication and interviewing skills, such as development of rapport and trust, questioning, reinforcement, reflection of content and feeling, and non-verbal communication. We also examine the impact of a range of situations, such as hospitalisation on adults and children and preparation for stressful medical procedures.

  • Measurement issues: Provides a critical understanding of psychometric issues and how to administer psychometric tests relating to the development of outcome measures for acute and long-term conditions, stress and coping, health-related quality of life and other psychological outcome measures.

  • Professional issues: We will encourage you to take responsibility for your own professional development, aware of the legal and statutory obligations and restrictions on health psychology practice in the UK context.

The course can be studied full-time over one year or part-time in two years, normally attending University one day a week starting in October.

This course is taught using a mixture of lectures, small group seminars and practical, ‘hands-on’ skills workshops. Core course content will be delivered during the interactive lectures, while the associated seminars and workshops offer opportunities for you to explore topics more independently, receive guidance on coursework assignments, begin to apply your knowledge and develop your academic and transferrable skills.

Each year, we organise an optional spa trip to a local spa (subject to a small additional charge) as part of the course to develop skills in mindfulness to help students plan their dissertations and get to know each other.

We consciously embrace a variety of learning styles, using PPT lecture notes, videos and media clips, discussion based group work and student-led presentations. You will often be provided with recommended reading materials to engage with prior to, and outside of teaching sessions, such as book chapters, journal articles or other web resources.

All modes of study feature guest lecturers from industry, which are video recorded and often provided as podcasts. Past speakers from industry have included a Professor of Health Psychology, Senior Researcher, Health Psychologist, Leadership trainer, Counsellor and Performance Coach. We will also encourage you to attend the Midlands Health Psychology Network Conference.

A broad range of assessment methods are used – most include essays, but there are also practical reports and multiple choice tests, ethics proposals, examinations and journal articles. Many of the assessments have elements linked to real world tasks and provide direct training for a future career in health psychology. You will receive guidance on how to tackle each assessment during the course.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Coursework, practical reports: 50%
  • Formal examinations: 50%

On the successful completion of 180 level Masters credits, awards may be made with a ‘Distinction’ or ‘Merit’, based on the achievement of an average mark of at least 70% or 60% respectively. Students may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if they achieve 120 credits and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if they achieve 60 credits. Students may only progress to the final stage of Masters programmes after meeting the requirements for award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

50% assessed by exams

On completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: Theoretical principles of psychological knowledge as applied to health psychology and as specified in the Division of Health Psychology core curriculum guidelines for a stage one programme; a variety of research methods and analytic techniques to an advanced level; the relevance of theory and developments to professional practice; contemporary developments in health psychology.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of psychological theory and method.
  • Critically evaluate research findings in the field of health psychology.
  • Synthesise information from a range of sources in health psychology.
  • Select appropriate methodologies and plan research which would meet stated aims and operate within ethical guidelines.
  • Structure and present information in a manner appropriate to communicate with other psychology professionals.
  • Implement research plans and conduct research in a professional manner and in accordance with the BPS Code of Conduct.
  • Monitor, evaluate and set goals for future professional development.

In a typical teaching week, you will have a minimum of approximately 4 ‘contact’ hours of small and large group teaching and later project supervision.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake approximately a further 30 hours of self-directed study each week, for example, completing the recommended reading that accompanies your lectures, working on coursework assignments, taking part in group work and exam revision.

We offer a multicultural, international experience attracting students from a wide range of diverse backgrounds and different countries, particularly Malaysia, China, India, Nigeria, Germany, Bulgaria,, who provide global insight and experience.

Our partnership with the Colombo Institute of Research and Psychology (CIRP) in Sri Lanka provides an opportunity for work experience for 10 days each year, covering teaching, visiting hospitals and attending conferences.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,264

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15



12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


What our students say...

The academic skills I have gained during my MSc in Health Psychology have given me excellent grounding to gain a place on a PhD programme immediately after graduating. The course offered me a good insight in to the work of Health Psychologist and I was extremely well supported throughout the course from the tutors and other teaching staff. I felt they cared not only about my academic performance, but also me personally and my general wellbeing.

Karen Maher, MSc Health Psychology, graduated 2013, now PhD student at Loughborough University and part-time lecturer for Coventry University and Loughborough University

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to degrees in relevant subjects such as science or social sciences where relevant psychology modules have been studied.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to degrees in relevant subjects such as science or social sciences where relevant psychology modules have been studied.

English as a Foreign Language an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to degrees in relevant subjects such as science or social sciences where relevant psychology modules have been studied.

English as a Foreign Language an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

What our students say...

The academic skills I have gained during my MSc in Health Psychology have given me excellent grounding to gain a place on a PhD programme immediately after graduating. The course offered me a good insight in to the work of Health Psychologist and I was extremely well supported throughout the course from the tutors and other teaching staff. I felt they cared not only about my academic performance, but also me personally and my general wellbeing.

Karen Maher, MSc Health Psychology, graduated 2013, now PhD student at Loughborough University and part-time lecturer for Coventry University and Loughborough University

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

TBC (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

TBC (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

TBC (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

What our students say...

The academic skills I have gained during my MSc in Health Psychology have given me excellent grounding to gain a place on a PhD programme immediately after graduating. The course offered me a good insight in to the work of Health Psychologist and I was extremely well supported throughout the course from the tutors and other teaching staff. I felt they cared not only about my academic performance, but also me personally and my general wellbeing.

Karen Maher, MSc Health Psychology, graduated 2013, now PhD student at Loughborough University and part-time lecturer for Coventry University and Loughborough University

Career prospects

Health psychologists work in a wide variety of organisations, such as hospitals and community health settings, health research units, local authorities, public health departments and university teaching or research departments. They often work in partnership with other medical professionals such as GPs, nurses, dieticians and public health practitioners.

There are two stages to becoming a practising Health Psychologist and Chartered Member of the BPS – requiring a combination of professional education and practice.

In the first instance, you need the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), followed by an accredited Masters in Health Psychology, such as this course. The second stage requires two years of supervised practice before you are eligible to register with the HCPC and use the title of ‘Health Psychologist’.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Many of our graduates go on to further related study, including the Stage Two Health Psychology training, a PhD or DClin. Recent graduates have found work directly related to health psychology, such as health promotion, research in health psychology or work within a healthcare setting as practitioner psychologists and public health workers.

What our students say...

The academic skills I have gained during my MSc in Health Psychology have given me excellent grounding to gain a place on a PhD programme immediately after graduating. The course offered me a good insight in to the work of Health Psychologist and I was extremely well supported throughout the course from the tutors and other teaching staff. I felt they cared not only about my academic performance, but also me personally and my general wellbeing.

Karen Maher, MSc Health Psychology, graduated 2013, now PhD student at Loughborough University and part-time lecturer for Coventry University and Loughborough University
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.