MSc in Health Psychology

Accredited by the British Psychological Society as Stage 1 Professional Training in Health Psychology

Why choose this course?

  • This MSc is accredited by the British Psychological Society as Stage 1 Professional Training in Health Psychology
  • Purpose built psychology labs for use by students; including a focus group room and driving simulator
  • Programme staff are research active with links in the NHS and other health related organisations
  • Opportunity to meet with practising Health Psychologists and support from Aston Careers Centre.
  • The course was commended by the British Psychological Society for its support for students and the reflective approach of the programme team. 


 Entry Requirements:

  • Applicants with an Honours Degree, normally 2.1 or above, (makes student eligible for Graduate Basis Recognition of the British Psychological Society (BPS)) will be considered. Applicants may be called for interview.
  • Students who are applying from outside the UK, or who do not have a BPS accredited Bachelor’s degree in Psychology must check with the BPS to see if they qualify for Graduate Basis Registration (GBR).

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements    

English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country.

Course Information

Duration of programme: Full-time: 12 months

Start date: International & EU: 13th September 2017

                    Home: 18th September 2017

Application deadline:

1st August for International students

31st August for UK/EU students

If you are applying close to the deadline, please ensure you have all supporting documentation ready for the application. If the deadline has passed, we may still be able to consider you, so please contact us.

Distance learning available: No, please see the MSc Health Psychology online page 

Intake: Maximum 20 per year


Fees for 2017 entry:

UK/EU students: £6,900                   
International students: £14,100

International scholarships - We have scholarships for African & South American students

Aston Alumni discount - 20% discount 

Course Outline

 Our MSc Health Psychology programme is fully accredited by the BPS and confers Stage 1 Training to become a Health Psychologist.

During the course we will provide you with an in depth understanding of the theory underpinning health psychology; develop your understanding of advanced research methodology and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to carry out independent work of publishable standard; develop awareness of the contribution and application of health psychology within multicultural and multidisciplinary settings; and develop professional and transferable skills in preparation for becoming a health psychologist.


Further details of how to become a Chartered Health Psychologist are available from the Division of Health Psychology.


Our MSc Health Psychology programme follows the BPS curriculum for professional training in health psychology. There are six compulsory taught modules and you would be expected to take one to two modules per term depending on your pace of study. There is also the Research Project module.

Qualitative Research Methodology: Qualitative research design, interviewing, focus groups, appraising qualitative research, reflexivity, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis, grounded theory.

Quantitative Methods and Advanced Statistics:   Experimental design, questionnaire design, systematic review methodology, univariate statistics; measures of association, measures of difference, GLM, multiple regression, logistic regression, meta-analysis, factor analysis, structural equation modelling.

Health Behaviours:  Fixed health factors, personality, risk perceptions, physical activity, smoking, screening, binge-drinking, health behaviour change and theory-based health interventions.    

Health Inequalities Across the Lifespan:The social context of health and illness. Psychosocial aspects of both health and illness which contribute to morbidity and mortality in the population: inequalities in health related to socio-economic status, gender and ethnicity. Changes in health and health behaviour over the lifespan.

Illness Processes and Behaviour: 

How biopsychosocial systems integrate. Stress and coping.

Relationship between stress, personality and illness such as coronary heart disease. Diagnosis of illness, models of illness behaviour and the impact of illness. Self-management of chronic disease and management of pain

Professional Issues and Applications:   Career planning; health psychology professional training; professional conduct; intervention development and implementation; consultancy; working in practice; motivational interviewing; cognitive behavioural therapy


Research Project: You will also carry out a research project under supervision in a specific area of health psychology.  

Teaching and learning methods include:
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Group work
  • Independent study

All students will receive additional support through a tutorial system.

Teaching on campus takes place on two full days in the week (usually Mondays and Wednesdays). All additional work, independent study, coursework etc. needs to be organised to fit your own circumstances. We understand that some students need to work but emphasise that this is a full-time course and so if working in the daytime you will need to work on your studies in the evenings. 

There is a range of assessment methods including essays, reports, reviews and presentations. There is only one exam in statistics.

This MSc is accredited by the British Psychological Society as Stage 1 Professional Training in Health Psychology

In the recent reaccreditation by the BPS the course received 5 commendations including the reflective practice incorporated into the course and the positive feedback from students.

Our Masters in Health Psychology will prepare you for membership of the BPS Division of Health Psychology and towards further training and employment in health psychology.

Our graduates have gone on to work in the NHS where they have run interventions to improve health of patients and management of their illness or been involved in evaluations and re-design of existing health services. Graduates have gone on to study for a PhD and many have successfully completed their stage 2 training.

Alternatively you can follow the progress of one of our graduates:
Students will access to fully equipped observational suite (two-way mirror, audio-visual recording) appropriate for focus groups, observation studies, interviews, and a range of laboratory cubicles equipped for cognitive, behavioural and physiological testing.

Course Director: 

Dr Rachel Shaw, CPsychol, HCPC Health Psychologist  

I have been running the MSc Health Psychology for 5 years and been a practitioner Health Psychologist and on the BPS Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors for 8 years.  

My research is in applied health settings with patients and healthcare professionals. I have a wealth of experience in research which is fed straight into my teaching. All the material in the MSc Health Psychology is informed by own and others’ research. 
Find out more about our Psychology teaching staff. 

All of our teaching team are research active and the profile of health psychology related research at Aston and our links with practice in the NHS makes us particularly distinctive. Our research expertise includes health promotion and health behaviours, chronic illness management, parental health behaviour, healthy ageing, and evidence synthesis
For further information please contact:

LHS Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel:  +44 (0) 121 204 3000       

Email: lhspgt@aston.ac.uk

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the british psychological society accredited
Student Profile
Elaine Fernandes
Having studied at Aston University for my undergraduate degree, it was the natural choice when looking to study a Masters. I chose to do Health Psychology because the course is accredited by the BPS and provides stage 1 training towards chartered health psychology status.



"Understanding the psychology of physical symptoms": an Inaugural Lecture by Prof Helen Pattison



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