Health psychology concerns the scientific study of the psychological processes of health, illness and health care. The aim is to promote healthier lifestyles, improve health care systems and ideally prevent illness and disability, supporting those affected when this is not possible.
Developed with a focus on your future employability, this course places a practical emphasis on the teaching of health psychology as it is applied to real-world situations. For example, development of public health campaigns, intervention development and case study examples.
The ‘Introducing Professional Practice in Health Psychology’ and ‘Advancing Professional Practice in Health Psychology’ modules are also taught by current practitioners, who share their own experiences. This helps to maintain an outstanding track record of having 100% of our postgraduate Psychology students in work or continuing their studies within six months of graduation (DLHE 2014/15).
You should gain a thorough grounding in the core psychological theories, themes, issues and practical skills that are central to the practice and application of psychological research into behaviour relevant to health, illness and health care. We also host a programme of guest speakers to keep you abreast of the latest issues and trends, which have recently included PhD students, public health consultants, epidemiologists, researchers and therapists.
Recognising that our graduates are increasingly looking to work all over the world, we also encourage an international perspective, enabling you to consider a diverse range of patient groups, such as health and epidemiology in a range of different countries. You also have the opportunity to gain work experience in Sri Lanka, teaching to undergraduate students, visiting hospitals and attending conferences.
We aim to develop a comprehensive understanding and application of psychological theory and research, studying qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to conduct your own empirical research project. In the past, some students have collaborated with researchers in the University’s Centre of Technology Enabled Health, working as researchers there after graduation. For example, looking at online support for sexual health interventions and the HOPE programme for self-management of long-term conditions.
Our innovative teaching and learning incorporates numerous active learning methods to encourage your participation and deepen your understanding of specific subjects. For example, we will often debate and discuss topics, such as children having a say in their health care choices. We also examine a number of real-life case studies, such as the girl who refused a heart transplant and how to enable rehabilitation after illness. We receive regular praise from students; 94% found our Psychology courses intellectually stimulating in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016.
You’ll be taught by staff with extensive professional psychological experience, either as Chartered Members themselves or as active researchers. Their recent projects have ranged from looking at pain management, exercise and weight management to cyberchondria, also known as 'compucondria', the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomology based on online search results and literature.