Health Psychology

Learn how to improve others’ wellbeing through behaviour change interventions. 



30 Months

Mode of Study


Upcoming starts:

11 Jan 2022

About the Programme

Start on the pathway towards researching and understanding the psychological, emotional and behavioural aspects of health, physical illness, and wellbeing. 

This programme will provide you with the specialist knowledge required to support behavioural changes in those with illness, long-term health conditions or people physically well but wanting to improve their health.  

You will critically explore historical and current theories and approaches in health psychology. You will also evaluate theoretical models of health-related behaviours and cognition, appraise evidence of psychological interventions, and explore how socio-cultural factors contribute to health from an individual, community and societal level across the lifespan.  

You will gain an awareness of the legal and statutory obligations of health psychologists and the implementation of policy, strategy and legislation in health contexts. You will also build on your research skills and develop the confidence to contribute towards a range of interventions.  

What is Health Psychology?

Health psychology focuses on the psychology of the mind when it comes to health and illness. The health psychologists that study and work in the field are equipped to help patients deal with their thoughts around the behavioural and psychological factors of both wellness and illness.

A key part of the health psychology sector is the drive to promote healthier lifestyles among the general public – health psychologists use psychological methods to encourage things like healthier eating, manage addictions like smoking and alcohol, and improve the emotional wellbeing of their patients. They can also help other medical professionals to understand more about how patients feel and how they can be communicated with.

In playing such a vital role in our understanding of the relationship between psychology and illness, health psychologists often need a significant amount of training and education to better approach the different models of health psychology. Often, this education takes the shape of health psychology courses, such as the University of Liverpool’s Online Health Psychology MSC.

This programme consists of the following modules. You are required to complete 180 credits to achieve a full Master of Science (MSc), 120 credits to achieve the postgraduate diploma (PG Dip), 60 credits to achieve the postgraduate certificate (PG Cert) and 30 credits to achieve the postgraduate award (PG Award).
  • Fundamental Issues in Health Psychology (15 credits)
  • Research Methods I – Quantitative Methods (15 credits)
  • Health Related Behaviour and Cognitions (15 credits)
  • Research Methods II – Qualitative Methods (15 credits)
  • Lifespan and Socio-Cultural Perspectives (15 credits)
  • Health Promotion, Behaviour Change and Interventions (15 credits)
  • Professional Issues and Skills (15 credits)
  • Health Psychology and Long-Term Conditions (15 credits)
  • Empirical Project (60 credits)
Applicants should possess:
  • A minimum of a 2:1 class degree in psychology, equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.
All applicants must provide evidence that they have an English language ability equivalent to an IELTS (academic) score of 7.5. If you don’t have an IELTS or equivalent certificate, you can take our free online English test to assess your proficiency. You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.
  • MSc: £15,300 These fees* are fully inclusive of all costs, including all teaching materials, core textbooks, assessments and resits.
In order to apply, you will need to provide copies of the following supporting documentation:
  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (EU and international applications only)
  • Personal statement
  • An up-to-date CV
You may be able to benefit from the following scholarships and discounts:
  • Regional Scholarships of up to 15%. To find out the scholarship offered in your region, please make an enquiry now.
  • 10% discount for University of Liverpool alumni
  • 5% discount for up-front full tuition fee payment
We have regular start dates throughout the year with regular application deadlines. Applicants are encouraged to apply in good time, particularly if they have special requirements.

This programme is aimed at psychology graduates who want to specialise in working with people who have illnesses and long-term conditions, as well as those who are physically well but want to improve their health. Health psychologists design and deliver interventions that may include increasing exercise and healthy eating, smoking cessation groups, supporting adjustments in the context of diagnosis, or helping people cope with or manage chronic illness or pain.

Professional training as a health psychologist who wants to work in a practitioner role is completed in two stages. The first stage (known as Stage 1 training) involves completion of a British Psychological Society accredited MSc degree in health psychology. The second stage (known as Stage 2 training) involves completion of a British Psychological Society accredited doctoral level qualification in health psychology either via a doctoral level university programme, or via the BPS directly. Successful completion of Stage 1 and Stage 2 training leads to eligibility to apply for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society, full membership of the Division of Health Psychology and entry to the Health and Care Professions (HCPC) register as a Health Psychologist.

Typically, students will be able to pursue careers in health promotion, public health, policy environments or research, teaching and academia. Many students will go on to further study in an area of psychology, apply for a PhD, or as mentioned go on to complete their Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology.

Students who complete this programme will develop knowledge and skills that enhance applications for posts in a range of chronic health or health promotion fields. You may choose to pursue roles in health charities, pharmaceutical companies or local government. You will also develop a range of transferable skills that will be applicable to many other areas of employment, such as critical enquiry, report writing, statistical and qualitative analysis and reflective practice.

Alongside the subject-specific health psychology knowledge gained, you will also develop your communication skills, critical thinking, research experience and evidence synopsis skills. You will have a wide breadth of understanding on issues within health settings; for example, ethics and associated processes, the policy landscape of health (generally) and psychology (specifically) and skills in decision making in complex and unpredictable environments. These will enhance your CV and improve your career prospects.

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