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The MSc in Health Psychology covers the application of psychological theories, research and methodologies to the study of health and disease processes.

Using a blend of research led teaching and practical experiences, this course will explore:

  • the theoretical models of health psychology and how they are applied in practice
  • how individual differences influence health through the lifespan
  • the management of health from individual to societal levels
  • how psychological factors get inside the body and lead to illness

This postgraduate course is delivered by an expert team with a variety of health-related backgrounds and excellent research records, who through their experience and networks ensure that you are at the cutting edge of Health Psychology.

The programme is a BPS-accredited Stage 1 training to students with undergraduate degrees that confer the Graduate Basis for Chartership. The course is also offered on a part-time basis over two years.


Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
12 months full-time
1 other options available


City Campus, Northumbria University


September 2019

Book an Open Day / Experience Health Psychology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Health Psychology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The MSc in Health Psychology is a careful blend of research-led teaching and practical experience, covering the core areas of Health Psychology, as identified by the British Psychological Society.

While our teaching methods include traditional lectures, seminars and discussion groups, we place a strong emphasis on non-traditional methods including interactive and practical learning sessions. This approach has been developed around the techniques you will need in the workplace after graduation.

In addition to exam and essay-based assessment, we use a variety of innovative assessment methods to develop the skills you will need to progress in the health psychology field. These include funding applications, health campaigns, reviews, reports for non-academic audiences, reflection and personal development.

Learn More / Department and Programme Introductions

Book an Open Day / Experience Health Psychology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Health Psychology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The course is delivered by an expert team of researchers and practitioners whose backgrounds range from sleep science to stress analysis.

As all members of the teaching team are actively involved in research and practice – including many staff who also provide consultancy on a commercial basis – you can be sure all modules are highly relevant to current developments in the sector.

Several teaching sessions are delivered by visiting practitioners, providing you with first-hand accounts of health psychology in practice, whilst broadening your network of professional contacts.

Staff Profiles / Health Psychology

Book an Open Day / Experience Health Psychology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Health Psychology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Our specialist teaching laboratories are designed to maximise practical and theoretical learning. You will improve your analytical and interpretative skills using a combination of advanced statistical software packages, online survey platforms and psychophysiological measurement techniques.

You will gain first-hand practical experience of a range of measurement and intervention techniques that are not available on other courses of this kind, and be supported to develop your own areas of expertise in work-based and research settings.

All postgraduate Psychology students have access to the PG hub for group and individual work. It also offers the opportunity for non-assessed group work, such as journal clubs.

Part-time students particularly benefit from online IT facilities which include electronic reading lists, lecture capture and feedback tools to support learning. Northumbria’s eLearning Portal includes discussion boards and a dedicated psychology area which provides a convenient communication forum when you’re off campus.

Facilities / Department of Psychology

Book an Open Day / Experience Health Psychology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Health Psychology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

The course is delivered by expert practitioners and leading researchers in the field of health psychology who draw from their own experiences and wider contemporary research studies to ensure that you benefit from developments at the cutting edge of the discipline.

You will have first-hand experience of research techniques through case studies, workshops and published evidence. This approach strengthens your analytical skills and allows you to develop your own research interests and areas of expertise.

The thesis is an opportunity to conceptualise, plan and execute research, and to analyse and interpret data with real-world application. To extend the research focus of the course, your thesis will be written as a journal submission, which means you may be able to publish your paper.

World Leading Research / Psychology Department

Book an Open Day / Experience Health Psychology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Health Psychology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Northumbria University's accredited Stage 1 British Psychological Society (BPS) Health Psychology Masters ensures graduates complete the course with a real understanding of research and practice in the world of health psychology. You will gain a thorough knowledge of cutting-edge issues in the sector and develop a range of transferable skills.

Our career-focused course prepares you for roles in the areas of health promotion, healthcare delivery, illness management and rehabilitation. Previous graduates have gone on to work across the spectrum of health-related psychology disciplines locally, nationally and globally. Some work as assistant psychologists in the NHS, charitable organisations and the private sector, some have moved on to research posts, and others are undertaking PhDs. The broad skills-base means that health psychologists are also attractive to consultancy companies looking for expertise in training, research or intervention.

This course, when accompanied by the BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBS) is an excellent start to professional development as a practitioner on the completion of Stage 2 training. 

Health Psychology Students / Profiles

Book an Open Day / Experience Health Psychology

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Health Psychology at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in Psychology (or MSc equivalent), or a minimum of a 2:1 in another subject including relevant work experience.

Applicants must produce a personal statement detailing their reasons for applying to the Health Psychology course at Northumbria University. In some cases, applicants will be required to answer additional questions related to research methods and background knowledge into Health Psychology.

International qualifications
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit 
English Language requirements
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,995

Full EU Fee: £7,995

Full International Fee: £15,000


There are no Additional Costs


Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.



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How to Apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:


Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM)

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.


Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

Fairness and Transparency
The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Tuition Fee Assessment
Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process 

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening
Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, they may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background
To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled 'Criminal Convictions'. You must disclose any criminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet 'How to Apply'. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.


Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051


International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information
The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Modules Overview 2019/20


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PY0770 -

Health Psychology in Theory and Practice (20 Credits)

In this module you will learn that the impact of behaviour on health is one of the key areas of health policy concern in the 21st Century, and that health psychology is at the heart of how the state is trying to get us to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Understanding the theory and practice of health psychology will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and design behaviour change interventions. You will learn that a range of factors contribute to how we behave, and you will look in detail at how health psychology theories have attempted to systematically develop and apply this understanding. Having developed a sound theoretical understanding of health psychology in semester 1, in semester 2 you will hear from health researchers how they apply it in the real world. You will learn about the practicalities of conducting
health research through looking at a number of recent and on-going intervention studies in a variety of health complaints, including head and neck cancer survivorship, fear of falling, obesity and medically unexplained symptoms. By the end of the module you will have learned how to use health psychology, in theory and in practice, to improve people’s lives.

Some specific topics covered include:

Economic, cultural, social and psychological determinants of behaviour
Key health psychology theories such as the theory of planned behaviour
Theoretical frameworks for developing, describing and evaluating psychosocial interventions
Individual lectures from researchers describing their intervention development work.

More information

PY0771 -

Lifespan, Individual and Cultural Perspectives on Health Psychology (20 Credits)

You will gain an insight into the inter-individual (e.g. personality, intelligence, illness perceptions) and cultural influences on physical health and wellbeing from a lifespan perspective. Topics will be introduced and discussed in context of psychological and physiological disorders that manifest at different stages of the lifespan (e.g. obesity, dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sexually transmitted infection etc.).
Theories such as ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’, which implicate early life psychosocial factors as predictors of later life health and wellbeing, will be critically discussed. You will also learn that the pathways from individual and cultural factors to health and illness are complex, and involve a number of mediating and moderating factors.

More information

PY0772 -

Psychosomatic Pathways to Health and Illness (20 Credits)

You will learn about the psychobiological mechanisms that act as pathways between psychological and behavioural factors and physical and psychological health outcomes. Starting with key biological systems, and using examples including stress, sleep and pain, you will explore how these systems interact, and how they can be measured to provide indices for research and clinical indicators of health and disease.
Topics will include:

Biological mechanisms (e.g., nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular and immune) and their interaction
Biopsychosocial models of health and disease
Biological and clinical indicators of health and disease (practical measurement and analytical techniques)
Individual differences in biological activation and disease vulnerability
Interventions and opportunities for modifying mechanisms

This module meets criteria set by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the core areas of physiological and psychosomatic disease processes and measurement issues. The assessment for this module requires the application of knowledge into real-world practice and will developing your professional skills with regard to communicating with a range of audiences, and thus enhance your graduate attributes for further qualifications and employability.

More information

PY0773 -

Systems Approaches to Understanding Health and Disease (20 Credits)

You will learn how a full systems approach (i.e. from macro influencers such as governments and organisations such as the World Health Organisation through to micro influencers such as individuals’ attitudes and beliefs about their health) can help us understand, and evaluate why differences exist in healthcare practice and policy. You will explore how the concepts of health, illness, sickness and disease are constructed, measured and managed across a range of real world contexts and how decisions made at differing system levels can shape the health and wellbeing of the individual. Topics include:

How diseases, disorders and conditions are defined and prioritised
The descriptive and statistical analysis of health behaviours and disease trends
How health promotion campaigns are created, managed and evaluated under the framework of public health
The impact of family and peers on health behaviours and disease management
The role of individual differences in healthcare encounters and the impact of those encounters on health outcomes

More information

PY0774 -

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (20 Credits)

The module is designed to give you a theoretical and practical knowledge of common and more advanced quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting and analysing data in psychology. A range of methods will be studied and relevant hardware and software will be used in exercises. The communication of findings according to the most recent conventions and with due regard to the audience will be addressed. The approach is to provide a theoretical background for each technique, so that you are not simply capable of carrying out and reporting analyses, but also capable of reflecting critically on their appropriateness in psychological research and practice.

More information

PY0775 -

Professional Skills (20 Credits)

This module is designed to provide you with a range of professional skills important for your academic and professional development in Health, Sport & Exercise and Occupational & Organisational Psychology. It will assist with preparation for your thesis as you learn about advanced bibliographic skills, project proposals, and research management, ethical and legal issues. You will learn employment-related skills, media skills, and personal and career development skills such as presentation and communication as well as C.V. enhancement. You will also make practical applications of skills using online resources and employ self-reflective approaches to recording and enhancing awareness of your professional development in Health, Sport & Exercise and Occupational & Organisational Psychology.

More information

PY0776 -

MSc Thesis (Core,60 Credits)

On this module you will have the opportunity to independently conceptualise, plan and undertake a novel piece of research that contributes to psychological knowledge and understanding. You will critically evaluate current theories and evidence in order to generate your own research question. You will engage with the relevant ethical guidelines to design a feasible project plan. You will develop your independent research skills during this module as well as identifying points of collaboration with supervisors, research staff and other potential stakeholders. You will use a variety of relevant skills, techniques and research methods in order to implement your study and finally you will have the opportunity to disseminate your findings in written form.

More information

No module Data

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions -
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Admissions Policy -
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