Health Psychology MSc (online)

MSc

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

Location: online course

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

18 months - 3 years (normally completed in 2 years)

Start date

Course overview

Health psychology investigates how the way we behave influences health, and 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

From health inequalities and public health to psychobiology of illness and long-term conditions, the online Health Psychology MSc will provide an in-depth understanding of the theory underpinning health psychology. This course has been designed to give you an ideal base for a rewarding career in health psychology and related fields.

Psychology BSc student Magda

"The staff are very supportive and are always happy to help. We were taught a range of transferrable skills for roles in the academic field as well as clinical. The lectures were engaging and incorporated real-life examples that we were able to understand how skills and theory are used in practice."

Magda Skubera
Health Psychology MSc
Supply Teacher of Psychology at King Edward VI College

Why Health Psychology at Aston University?

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Internationally recognised research
100% of the Health and Life Science research environment has been ranked as being at least internationally excellent, with 50% being world-leading
Student satisfaction
Research-active academics
Study alongside active research staff from a broad range of specialist psychology topics
Professional accreditation
Gain a degree accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Course description

Health Psychology MSc

Our Health Psychology MSc at Aston will equip you with the skills, insights, and confidence required to understand health behaviours and to develop psychological interventions to support behaviour change.

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What we will provide 
First-class teaching delivered by a diverse array of staff with years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. Our teaching aims to inspire and excite you and bring your course to life.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself.  You must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
As a Health Psychology student, you will learn the skills to work as a competent health psychologist with an understanding of the theory underpinning health psychology. You’ll build your knowledge of advanced research methodology, and the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to carry out independent work and conduct your final research project in a relevant specialist topic of your choosing.

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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). 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.

How you will learn

Distance learning

This course is delivered fully online via distance learning, and has been designed to allow you to fit your work and life commitments around your studies, wherever in the world you may be. You’ll have between 18 months and three years to complete the programme, depending on your chosen speed of study.

All teaching and learning materials are available online via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. You’ll have access to teaching staff and tutors throughout and in addition, the Aston library provides a wide range of online services.

What you will learn

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. 

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.

Facilities

Students have access to a range of specialist facilities that reflect the hands-on learning within the field. In these settings, you gain practical experience alongside like-minded students, with workshops and lectures guided by industry professionals.

Cutting-edge facilities and equipment

  • Psychology laboratories
  • Feeding laboratory
  • Observation suite (with covert audio-visual recording)
  • Experiment and testing rooms
  • Larger labs for focus groups and audience-based experiments
  • Neurophysiological equipment (e.g. electroencephalography)
  • Eye-tracking, and face and emotion recognition equipment
  • Electrodermal recording.
  • We are also closely linked with the Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment and their on-campus facilities and clinics.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with the opportunities to realise your academic potential through a range of learning experiences.
  2. Encourages you, through a practical approach, to have a passion for Psychology and an enthusiasm for learning.
  3. To deliver a programme of a standard which satisfies the accreditation requirements of the British Psychological Society.
  4. To provide you with an intellectually rigorous and contemporary education in and understanding of the theory, practice, and methods of psychology, which will help you to identify and achieve your personal, academic, and professional goals and aspirations in the field of psychology.
  5. To develop students’ understanding of an advanced research methodology and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to enable them to carry out independent
    work of publishable standard.
  6. To produce graduates with skills and abilities in research and enquiry, information literacy, personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding in order to tackle effectively the contemporary issues facing people, organisations, and society.
  7. Produce graduates who will be able to contribute to a broad spectrum of career opportunities spanning academic, commercial, clinical practice, healthcare, and more.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your taught stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Advanced Research Methods in Health Psychology (ARM)30
Health Behaviours & Behaviour Change Interventions (HBBCI)30
Health Inequalities & Public Heath (HIPH)30
Psychobiology of Illness & Long-term Conditions (PBLTC)30
Total120

Year 2 modules

In your dissertation stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Research Project60
Total60

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.

Entry requirements

A UK upper second-class honours (2:1) or above Psychology degree (or recognised international equivalent) that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This ensures that students are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered (GBC) membership of the 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.

See international student information below for international equivalent information.

International students

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

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway 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.

Masters 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.

 

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Speak to our Admissions Team

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

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£10,650

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700

More information on fees

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 UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

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.

Assessment

Assessment on this course is 100% coursework.

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
Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

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 this course delivered?

Our course is delivered 100% online, meaning you can study from anywhere in the world at a pace that suits you (up to a maximum of 3 years), making this course a great option for those who have a desire to study but need to fit it in around their other work and life commitments.


Your lecture material will be provided using a variety of methods such as audio PowerPoint presentations. Seminar activities will be facilitated by online discussion boards and ‘live’ sessions where you can interact with staff and other students on the course.  You will also get support from staff and have tutorials using online methods such as Skype, ensuring you feel like part of an active student community.


While you don’t need to come on campus, as a valued member of our student community, you are always welcome to attend events or to make use of our facilities.

For those who are interested in studying on campus, we also offer this course as a full-time campus based route. Find out more here.

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.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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