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Postgraduate taught

Health Psychology


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 particular ethos is to adopt a critical and holistic understanding of the experience of health and wellbeing, recognising the importance of social, cultural and economic factors. The significance of our psychosocial world has been highlighted during the COVID-19 crisis – where we’ve 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.

Study style

You’ll explore a range of theory and knowledge to underpin your understanding of the role of psychology in healthcare. You’ll 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’ll 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 reflexive portfolios, systematic reviews, case studies, public health reports and presentations, and intervention and evaluation design.

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

Entry requirements

    • At least a 2.2 honours degree in Psychology

    • 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.


    • Applicants for this course will be invited to attend an interview. Please refer to our interview guide for further information.

    • 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

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Sep 2021 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham £8,100 £14,700

Possible careers

Graduates from this course can go on to work in:

  • Clinical/applied health psychology
  • Public health
  • Social prescribing
  • Behaviour change
  • Intervention
  • Research

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’ll benefit from our partnerships with external organisations promoting these initiatives, ranging from Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to Artlift and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

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.

Students walking on an outdoor trail

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.

Students walking on an outdoor trail


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.

"My latest project tracks the wellbeing of frontline workers"

“My recent research has been evaluating social prescribing programmes in primary care, including ‘arts for health’ and ‘nature on prescription’. I also work with Macmillan Cancer Care and the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to evaluate secondary health care programmes for those living with and beyond cancer. My study of Wild Wellbeing assesses how nature-based activities provide psychological (mood) and biological (hormonal and immune) benefits. And my latest project, in collaboration with University of Limerick, tracks the wellbeing of frontline workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Dr Rachel Sumner, Psychobiologist and Academic Course Leader

Rachel Sumner in a lab coat

"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

Students on the Forensic Psychology course holding up evidence and looking at it

"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

A man feeds a bird that is sat on his hand

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