Health Psychology - MSc *

Full Time, Part Time
September 2017
£7,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

With the shifting emphasis in governance and health-related policy papers, health psychology continues to grow in popularity.

Communities are dynamic and always changing, so our understanding and support of health, wellbeing and behavioural changes needs to be considerate of all diverse groups. On our new MSc Health Psychology course, you will study a range of techniques and methods, ensuring you graduate with the skills you need to be a competent, knowledgeable health psychology practitioner.

What's covered in the course?

We will provide you with a detailed understanding of the key theoretical and applied issues in health psychology. These include the key psychological theories and applications which support behaviour change, addressing disease prevention and enhancing health and wellbeing, managing health, health promotion and health interventions, and self-reflection on your own learning and development.

Contemporary health issues will be put into context at local, national and international levels, exposing you to issues which cover the globe as well as local areas.

You’ll be taught how to submit a research ethics proposal, which will address a health issue with the use of psychology. You will also learn how to complete a mini systematic review, which will provide a rationale for your health psychology project, and how to evaluate and conduct analysis. You will also enhance your skills in communication, presentation and group work. 

Why Choose Us?

  • We have academics who are active in contemporary cutting-edge applied health psychology research, which will be showcased on this programme and will inspire your research interests.
  • Our academics are experts in their chosen field, and have first-hand experience of working in practice, which will underpin the syllabus where the application of health psychology to practice will also be showcased.
  • The option to study either full-time or part-time means you can fit your studies in alongside your personal and work commitments.
  • This programme will provide you with assessment choices from selected options on each module, as well as a flexible blended learning approach which has been put into place to suit various preferences and learning patterns. 
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3 and 8pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

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New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Subject to approval

The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.

Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.

Find out more...

Entry Requirements

UK students

This programme will require standard entrants to have a minimum of a Second Class Honours degree in psychology, recognised by the British Psychological Society as conferring GBC (or an oversees equivalent).

Applications will also be considered for interview from graduates that have a minimum of a 2:2 with honours and have covered psychology with a cognate discipline (or an overseas equivalent).

Applicants will have been expected to have covered the following which will be assessed at interview:

  • Research methods;
  • Empirical project at a high standard;
  • Covered psychology while studying a cognate discipline. 
International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2017 FT 1 Year £7,900 per year
MSc Sep 2017 PT 2 Years £3,950 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2017 FT 1 Year £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

While there are no additional costs associated with purchasing text books, there may be other costs to you. If you are joining the course which has a professional body accreditation you may be required to pay membership or examination costs. For details of these costs, please click on the link below.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans


Health Psychology over the Lifespan
20 credits

This module will consider how health needs and health behaviours change over the lifespan. Evidenced based research will be used to consider how health initiatives and health promotion target health needs at various stages across the life of an individual. Health initiative will be put into local, national and international contexts.

A key focus on this module will be the consideration of chronic, long-term, acute illnesses and health behaviours across the lifespan. This module will allow you to appraise the change or management of a health condition which may be individualistic and community based as well as appreciating national and international contexts.  

Application of Health Psychology Models
20 credits

This module will examine key health psychology models in their explanation and prediction of health and risky health behaviour change, as well as preventative strategies. You will focus on those health behaviours which are key priorities for public health policy and health promotion initiatives, and will consider them within the framework of health psychology models when appraising their application to facilitating health behaviour change. 

Applied Research Methods in Health Psychology 1
20 credits

This module will equip you with the necessary research methods in quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques necessary for stage 1 training. More importantly, the module will provide you with the theoretical, practical and applied research methods background for further training and work in health psychology and allied health professions.

Applied Research Methods in Health Psychology 2
20 credits

This module will equip you with a conceptual and applied understanding of the role of quantitative and qualitative research methods in health psychology. You will be presented with a range of advanced techniques for analysing quantitative and qualitative data, and with support during these sessions and independent learning, you will begin to develop skills in quantitative and qualitative data analysis. This module will also cover advanced research topics including a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-synthesis of qualitative research.

Contemporary Applied Health Psychology
20 credits

This module aims to identify local, national and global contemporary health issues where psychological insights and perspectives can deepen and broaden our understanding of the experience of health and illness. It will enable you to learn more about the relationship between psychological health and physical health in order to achieve a more holistic and eclectic understanding of contemporary issues in health and well-being. 

Psychological Interventions and Behaviour Change
20 credits

This module will help you to further build on your understanding of health psychology theoretical models, by appraising assessment, formulation, and intervention, as well as health and well-being outcomes. Evidenced based research which derives from both health psychology, allied disciplines and work with service users will be used to consider interventions which are employed to address lifestyle behaviour change and co-morbid states of anxiety/depression associated with acute and chronic conditions. 

Professional Development in Health Psychology
20 credits

This module will support you to reflect on the core skills and knowledge which have been attained on this programme which will begin to prepare you for how on-going professional development is recorded. A necessary part of this journey will be to put into context the profession of health and allied health psychology, as well as critically reflect on the variations which can exist when considering national and international contexts and political, social and economic changes over time which have shaped the profession of health psychology. 

Health Psychology Research Project
40 credits

The aim of this module is to allow you to apply your theoretical understanding of Applied Research Methods in Health Psychology 1 and 2 by developing an independent health psychology research project which includes conducting a mini-systematic review.  You will:

  • Design a research project in the area of health psychology
  • Collect and analyse data using methods appropriate for their research question
  • Scientifically report research findings.

You will demonstrate a critical awareness of existing empirical research and will demonstrate this understanding by conducting a systematic review. Building on previous research methods modules, this module will further develop your practical understanding of ethical research principles. You are expected to communicate your research clearly in a written format.

The modules will be assessed as follows:

Health over the Lifespan (20 credits) – Two-hour lecture/workshop / two hours VLE. Assessment: Essay

Application of Health Psychology Models (20 credits) – Two-hour lecture/workshop / two hours 2 hours VLE. Assessment: Essay

Applied Research Methods in Health Psychology (1) (20 credits) – Two-hour lecture/workshop / two  hours VLE. Assessment: Mini systematic review and critical quantitative report

Applied Methods in Health Psychology (2) (20 credits) – Two-hour lecture/workshop / two hours VLE: Assessment: Mock grant proposal

Contemporary Applied Health Psychology (20 credits) – Two-hour lecture/workshop / two hours VLE. Assessment: Essay

Psychological Interventions and Behaviour Change (20 credits) – Two-hour lecture/workshop / two hours VLE. Assessment: Psychological Intervention Report 

Further Study

This programme can be used as a bridging programme for Doctoral levels of study into Counselling Psychology or Clinical Psychology. It can also be used by those who are interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical and/or applied Health Psychology areas of research.

You will be taught the skills and theory you need to be successful in the health psychology industry.

We will provide workshops that’ll enable you to work as a researcher in health psychology or as an assistant psychologist working in the health sector.

We encourage you to gain voluntary work experience within the charity and health-related sectors. 


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Professor Craig Jackson

Head of Department - Psychology

As Professor of Occupational Health Psychology, Craig Jackson is interested in the effect of workplaces and working on people’s health and psychological wellbeing. Specific interests include unusual and rare occupations, technology change, pesticide exposures, working hours, stress, research techniques, neurobehavioural methods and psychological assessments.

Devinder Rana

Associate Professor and Programme Director of MSc Health Psychology

Devinder has over 18 years of experience within the psychology sector. She has taught health professionals, worked with service users and worked as a consultant with private and public health-based companies. Her work within health extends to the publication of a health psychology textbook for nurses and allied health professionals.

Dr Michael Mantzios

Lecturer in Health Psychology

Dr Michael Mantzios is a Lecturer in Health Psychology at Birmingham City University and is working on research projects that relate to obesity, eating behaviours, mindfulness, self-compassion and self-kindness. Michael worked at a Military Psychiatric Unit as an on-site counsellor.

Dr Atiya Kamal

Lecturer in Health Psychology

Atiya Kamal studied for a Masters and PhD at the University of Derby and obtained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Leicester. Before joining Birmingham City University as a Lecturer in Health Psychology in May 2016, Atiya was a part-time lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby

Dr Panagiotis (Panos) Rentzelas

Lecturer in Social Psychology

Dr Panagiotis Rentzelas’ teaching experience of health psychology stems from his long-term interest in applying quantitative social psychology research into health-related policy making. He is especially interested in investigating the role of culture on the efficiency of a psychological intervention.

Dr Elle Boag

Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology

After completing her BSc in psychology in 2006 at the University of Southampton, Elle Boag was awarded both the school of psychology prize and the BPS prize for best dissertation in the Wessex region. Subsequently, she continued onto an MSc in research methods in psychology which she completed in 2007.

Dr Helen Egan

Lecturer in Health Psychology

Dr Helen Egan was part of a team working with NIMHE (National Institute for Mental Health) involved in developing and evaluating the Primary Care Mental Health Worker role in the West Midlands. She has worked in the NHS developing patient engagement strategies and evaluating the quality of services.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295