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Postgraduate taught

Health Psychology MSc

What is Health Psychology MSc?

Health Psychologists apply psychological knowledge and skills in clinical and community settings. They contribute to the prevention of illness and the promotion of health and wellbeing. They design and implement interventions to improve the experience and outcomes for those who are ill or disabled and for their carers – as well as helping to shape the policies and systems which affect healthcare.

Our BPS accredited Health Psychology MSc adopts a critical and holistic perspective on the experience of health and wellbeing, recognising the importance of social, cultural and economic factors. The significance of these factors has been highlighted during the COVID-19 crisis, where we have witnessed the importance of social support networks and economic assets to the physical and mental wellbeing of different demographic groups. The pandemic has also shown the impact of national policy and community focus on the health of frontline workers themselves.

In this course, we equip students with the skills and expertise to work within the broad and growing field of Health Psychology. Our design adopts a perspective that health occurs within multiple nested contexts, and that whatever the issue, multiple actions are necessary at multiple levels. Modules address the experience of ill health, individual factors in health, and community factors in health. This situates understanding from the perspective of the client, rather than the bystanding expert.

Supported by numerous partnerships with community and voluntary sector organisations, in addition to NHS health psychology services, our ethos includes an underpinning commitment to social justice, and a recognition of the potential of health psychology to contribute to transformative action.

Study style

You will be taught by an enthusiastic team of clinicians and academics with diverse research and practice interests, including vaccine hesitancy, living well with long-term health conditions, nature and health, social network analysis, adherence and behaviour change, and many more. You will be assigned a personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor to support you in your studies. The course is taught via a mixture of interactive lectures and workshops.

You will explore a range of theory and knowledge to underpin your understanding of the role of psychology in health and healthcare, and also develop the personal skills you need for professional work in the sector.

The course takes evidence-based practice as a framework for advancing your research skills – assessing issues, designing interventions and evaluating outcomes. You will analyse public health issues using large data sets, and using narrative and other qualitative methods in health psychology research.

Assessment has been designed to develop the knowledge and skills required of critically reflective and ethical scientist-practitioners, and where possible they reflect the type of real-world activities and problems faced by professional health psychologists. Tasks for assessment include preparation of reflective portfolios, systematic reviews, case studies, public health reports and presentations, and intervention and evaluation design.

We have a strong emphasis on community, with weekly TeamTime sessions and student-led discussions. We also strive to nurture individual interests and career ambitions.

To find out what our current staff and students are up to, feel free to follow us on Twitter: @HealthPsychUoG

Get Health Psychology MSc course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • The entry requirement is normally a minimum 2:2 on a BPS accredited Psychology undergraduate degree, or a pass with an average of at least 50% on a BPS accredited conversion award.

      Students may also be accepted if they have a minimum 2:2 in a psychology degree which is not BPS accredited, or relevant medical/ healthcare degree (e.g. Nursing, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy etc.) on a case-by-case basis.

      Please note, students without Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) from the BPS will not be automatically eligible to progress to Stage 2 Health Psychology training upon successful completion of this course. Find out more about GBC at the British Psychological Society website.

      Find out more about gaining GBC via University of Gloucestershire’s BPS accredited Psychology MSc course.

    • In most cases, students applying for this course will be eligible for Graduate Basis Chartered membership of BPS. If you do not yet have eligibility, it can be obtained by completing the conversion course MSc Psychology.

    • An interview may be required for entry to this course.

    • You must possess a strong academic reference

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in writing and in any other band) or equivalent.

Course modules


Fees and costs

Start date Location Course code Total Fee (UK) Total Fee (international)
Sep 2023 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham £8,500 £15,900
Sep 2024 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

Possible careers

Graduates from this course can go on to work in:

  • Stage 2 training (leading to registration as a Health Psychologist)
  • Public health
  • Social prescribing
  • Behaviour change intervention
  • Wellbeing services
  • PhD candidacy
  • Health and Wellbeing related research
  • Numerous settings within the NHS, voluntary and private sectors, as well as within academia

Industry links

Gloucestershire is a national leader in arts commissioning to improve mental health, and the self-management of chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity and cancer. You will benefit from our extensive partnerships with external organisations promoting these and other initiatives, including Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Artlift, the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and many more.

Recognise the potential of health psychology

You’ll examine the role of the inclusive, collaborative and reflective practitioner – recognising the potential of health psychology to contribute to the reduction of health inequalities. This includes interventions to support populations facing intersecting forms of structural discrimination.

Explore contemporary developments

You’ll switch your focus from the direct relationship between patient and professional towards community-level interventions such as social prescribing and the importance of the ‘healthy community’ of family, carers and wider networks in sustaining wellbeing – as well as the value of non-mainstream approaches including indigenous perspectives.

Endless possibilities with a master’s degree

Increase your pay potential, specialise in the subject you love, or pursue your passion and switch careers.

UoG students can benefit from an alumni discount. Receive 20% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees as a 2022 graduate.

Discover your next step.

"My research focuses on the public attitudes towards vaccination and climate change"

“My main research interests involve examining why and how we: trust experts, judge risks, and seek information on contempary scientific issues. Much of my previous research has focused on vaccine hesitancy around the antenatal pertussis vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccination programme. In recent research, I examine the global differences in risk-perception, response-efficacy and fatalistic (i.e. doom) beliefs related to climate change. I also have a passion for meta-science (the study of how science is conducted) and how changing the way we as academics conduct research can aid public understanding of our work.”

Dr Richard Clarke, Quantitative Research Psychologist, Lecturer in Psychology

Twitter: @RichClarkePsy


We collaborate with organisations across the county that provide health and wellbeing interventions. These connections can support your dissertation projects, placements and enhanced learning opportunities. Collaborations like these give you the opportunity to witness and explore real-world applications of health psychology theory and practice. We do not have a formal, standardised placement requirement but instead work individually with students to support them in gaining experience relevant to their particular areas of interest.

"My research considers victim trajectories and risk assessment"

“I have a particular interest in the health outcomes surrounding sexual violence, domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation. My research has considered societal constructions of female rape victims, the collateral health impact of child sexual exploitation, and victim trajectories and risk assessment. My recent work focuses on the development of evidence-based practice for interventions that target men in substance use treatment who perpetrate intimate partner abuse.”

Dr Danielle Stephens-Lewis, Critical Health Psychologist, Senior Lecturer in Psychology

"I specialise in physical exercise and health psychology"

“I have a particular focus on understanding adoption and adherence behaviours. His research uses social network analysis to examine the role that social relationships play in supporting individuals to maintain healthy activities. Matthew is also interested in the significance of nature and green space to enhancing psychological wellbeing, and how psychology can contribute to the changes in behaviour required to tackle climate change.”

Dr Matthew Stitch, Lecturer in Psychology

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