Health Psychology MSc (on-campus)

Study our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Health Psychology MSc at Aston University, Birmingham and discover more about how biology, psychology, behaviour, and social factors influence health and illness.


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Course format


1 Year

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline and modules

Health psychology investigates how our behaviour influences health, illness, and how we care for people living with long-term conditions.  

A Health Psychologist uses their knowledge of psychology to understand health behaviours and to develop psychological interventions to support behaviour change. They perform a vital role in a variety of areas such as:

  • Assisting patients with their emotional and psychological needs.
  • Working alongside healthcare professionals to help them establish clear communication and productive relationships with patients.
  • Working with health and social care organisations to develop protocols to engender good health and wellbeing.
  • Developing evidence-based psychological interventions to change health and illness behaviours.

From health inequalities and public health to psychobiology of illness and long term conditions, our full-time, on-campus Health Psychology MSc will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the theories and methods used in underpinning health psychology. This course has been designed to give you an ideal base for a rewarding career in health psychology and related fields.

Professional accreditation

This course is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers Stage 1 Training to become a Health Psychologist.

In our most recent accreditation by the BPS, both our on campus and online courses received five commendations; including the reflective practice incorporated into the course, the online induction programme and the positive feedback from students.

There are staff on the BPS Register of Approved Practitioner Psychologist Supervisors available at Aston to supervise via the BPS Independent Route for the Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology. For further details, please see the BPS website.

Psychology research at Aston

Aston is home to an expansive and highly regarded research community, and you’ll be taught by passionate academics who are members of multiple cross-disciplinary research groups, centres and institutions including: 

Our research feeds into the teaching on our courses, ensuring that you not only have access to the very latest thinking in this specialist area, but that you also develop a critical appreciation of recent scientific developments and their applications.

International students and post-study work visa

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

As a University, we welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Course outline

By studying Health Psychology MSc at Aston, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the theory underpinning health psychology. You’ll build your knowledge of advanced research methodology, including the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to carry out your own research project in a specialist topic under expert supervision. 

Throughout your time on the course, you’ll develop a wide range of skills and a broad knowledge of the subject area. On successful graduation you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate health psychology theory and its application to multiple settings and different population groups.
  • Use health psychology evidence to develop and critically evaluate health psychology interventions.
  • Manage ethical issues across different areas of health psychology practice.
  • Recognise health inequalities in multicultural contexts and settings and to make recommendations for health psychology research and practice accordingly.

Core modules:

Advanced Research Methods in Health Psychology

Develop your knowledge and skills in designing, conducting, and appraising research in health psychology, including the use of advanced statistical methods, a range of qualitative approaches, and open science practices.

Health Behaviours and Behaviour Change Interventions

Learn about what drives various health behaviours (e.g., smoking, eating, vaccination uptake, treatment adherence) and approaches to developing effective interventions to support behaviour change.

Health Inequalities and Public Heath

Learn about the ways in which individual psychological variables interact with social, cultural, environmental and policy variables to affect health and health inequalities.

Psychobiology of Illness and Long-term Conditions

Learn about the interrelationships between psychological, behavioural and biological processes and their effects on ill health and the diagnosis and management of long-term conditions

Research Project

Undertake a supervised, independent, empirical research project in an area of specific interest to you.

Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation.

All applicants require:

  • Upper second class honours (2:1) or above Psychology degree that is accredited by the BPS. This ensures that students are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered (GBC) membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Students who are applying from outside the UK, or who do not have a BPS accredited Bachelor’s degree in Psychology must check directly with the BPS to see if they qualify for GBC. More information on international degree requirements can be found on our Aston in your country webpage.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • For International Students intending to do a foundation year. Click here to find out more.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

More advice on applying to Aston can be found here.

International foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Learning, teaching and assessment


This course uses a variety of learning and teaching methods including lectures, seminars, workshops, group work and independent study.

Teaching on campus normally takes place on two full days in the week (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays*). 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 or at weekends.

This course is worth 180 credits, with 10 credits equating to 20 hours of contact time, and each credit equivalent to 10 learning hours. The learning hours may include but are not limited to lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab sessions, practicals, online activity, reading or other independent study and reflecting on assignment feedback.

In addition to learning and teaching, as a student at Aston you will also receive additional support through a tutorial system.

*Subject to change.



We utilise a range of assessment methods including essays, reports, reviews and presentations.


All of our teaching team is research active. We have an internationally renowned profile of health psychology research at Aston. Working with practitioners in the NHS and other health and social care organisations means our research has real-world impact.

Our research expertise includes health promotion and health behaviour change, management of long-term conditions, parental health behaviour, healthy ageing, and healthcare professional practice. Our methodological expertise distinguishes Aston as a centre of excellence in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and other qualitative methods, quality of life scale development, mediation analysis in intervention development, open science, and evidence synthesis, both meta-synthesis and meta-analysis.

Course Director: Dr Gemma Heath


In addition to the specialist knowledge that you will acquire, this course has been designed to ensure you develop a wide range of highly desirable transferable skills, such as:

  • Critical enquiry
  • Report writing
  • Active listening
  • Research methods
  • Statistical and qualitative analyses
  • Group work
  • Time management
  • Reflective practice.

As a postgraduate student in health psychology, you will have access to range of facilities and equipment designed to enhance your studies. Including:

  • Fully equipped observational suite (two-way mirror, audio-visual recording) appropriate for focus groups, observation studies, interviews.
  • A range of laboratory cubicles equipped for cognitive, behavioural and physiological testing.
  • The wide range of psychometric scales relevant to health psychologists that are owned by the department.
  • Data analysis software such as SPS.
  • The Blackboard virtual learning environment, which hosts all material for the course and discussion boards.
  • Aston University’s electronic library which holds thousands of up-to-date texts, journals and media publications which can be downloaded onto your computer for your study. 

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2024/25)


EU/International students (2024/25)


The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as Home students.



At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

Ferguson Scholarship

Take advantage of the Ferguson Scholarship supported by the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students who would not otherwise be able to consider studying in the UK. Seven £10,500 scholarships are available to students from Africa and South America. For more information, click here.

Career prospects

Many of our graduates go on to complete further training (Stage 2) to become a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Health Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Stage 2 of the training involves developing and demonstrating competences in research, teaching and training, practice and consultancy.

Recent graduates have entered a variety of roles such as:

  • Assistant Psychologist
  • Neuro-enablement Support Worker
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Behavioural Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Senior Community Support Worker
  • Stop Smoking Advisor
  • Wellbeing Practitioner
  • Wellbeing Trainer


Other graduates have gone on to the Stage 2 Health Psychology Qualification or to PhDs. Following doctoral training, some of our graduates have become HCPC registered Health Psychologists working in consultancy, clinical practice in the NHS, and as academics in universities.

Many have also taken up roles within the NHS to run interventions to improve patients' health and manage their illness or to evaluate and re-design existing health services.

Organisations who have previously employed our students include:

  • NHS trusts
  • Private health clinics
  • Health charities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Consultancy companies
  • Local councils (Public Health)
  • Universities across the UK and internationally


Chat with current students


Frequently asked questions

Why study Health Psychology MSc at Aston University?

This course has been designed for students with an undergraduate degree in psychology who are interested in pursuing a career in health psychology or a related field, or exploring the subject further with a PhD.

Throughout your time at Aston, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand health behaviours, promote general wellness, assist patients with their emotional and psychological needs as well as caring for those who are chronically ill.

With teaching delivered by passionate research active academics, access to a range of specialist facilities and equipment, and professional accreditation by the British Psychological Society, our Health Psychology MSc is the ideal choice for you.

How is the course delivered?

The course is full-time, and delivered through a combination of lectures, group work, workshops and independent study. All lectures happen on campus on two days per week*. Everything else can be organised to fit your personal circumstances.

For those who need more flexibility, we also offer this course as a part-time online route. Find out more here.

*As normal, subject to change.

Is this course accredited?

Yes. This course is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers Stage 1 Training to become a Health Psychologist.

There are staff on the BPS Register of Approved Practitioner Psychologist Supervisors available at Aston to supervise via the BPS Independent Route for the Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology. For further details, please see the BPS website.

What could I explore in my research project?

Past student projects have covered a wide area of research questions and populations including:

  • Understanding couples’ experiences of infertility.
  • Exploring healthcare professionals’ experiences of care and their meanings of humanised practice.
  • Using quality of life scales to understand people’s experience of living with allergy.
  • Behaviour change interventions to increase older people’s physical activity through community walking groups.
  • Experiments testing whether social norms predict people’s food consumption and BMI.
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