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  1. Health Psychology
    1. 2016
    2. 2017

Health Psychology / Psychology and Health

MSc |
Promoting the scientific study of health, illness and healthcare to improve health outcomes for patients and the public.

Key Information

Start date

September 2016


Full-time: one year
Part-time: two years


Full-time: £9,000

Part-time: £4,500 per year


Full-time: £14,000

Part-time: £7,000 per year

Application period

Until 24th August 2016

Who is it for?

The course is for highly motivated students who have intellectual curiosity to learn about complex problems of health and healthcare and the ambition to    conduct research that may lead to a solution to these problems. The programme is especially suited to students who want to go on to do doctoral studies – either a DPsych Health Psychology (for practitioner training) or a PhD (for research training).

The Health Psychology MSc course is also for those who have an undergraduate degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society. If you are an international student and would like to undertake a Masters degree in this subject but do not have the BPS accreditation, we offer the MSc Psychology and Health as an alternative programme with identical modules.


Health psychology explores the psychological and behavioural processes that influence the development of illness, the promotion of health, and the delivery of healthcare through rigorous research that feeds into evidence-based practice.

Teaching at City promotes the scientist-practitioner model in which research influences how we practice, while allowing our experiences in practice to shape the research questions we ask.

We recognise that great research will not make a difference to people’s lives unless the insights feed into evidence-based practice. You will therefore learn how to make research evidence accessible to help maximise its impact.

Taught by a team of leading research-active academics, who are members of the Centre for Health Services Research (CHSR), the MSc Health Psychology programme is designed to give you the foundations that will propel you to an exciting career in the discipline.

Here are some examples of the kinds of questions the course poses:

  • How can we help people cope with a diagnosis?
  • What are the main challenges facing individuals living with long-term conditions?
  • What is psychological theory and how can this be used to understand health and illness behaviours?
  • How can we make complex interventions more effective by using theory and empirical evidence?

“For a health psychologist, practice should always reflect the best available empirical evidence and the highest ethical standards. We promote these values throughout the programme and our students have the opportunity to demonstrate these guiding principles in a substantial research project that forms the basis of their dissertation.”

Dr Martin Cartwright


The British Psychological Society Accredited logo

The MSc in Health Psychology has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) since 1999 and at present meets the Stage 1 requirements towards becoming a Chartered Health Psychologist.

The MSc in Psychology and Health which is not accredited by the BPS was set up in 1999 for applicants who do not have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS, but who have an interest in psychological issues related to health.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

When we review your application we would like to know why you would like to study health psychology, why you want to study at City University London, how your academic and professional experiences meet the requirements of the course and how you would like to use the qualification in your future career.

MSc Health Psychology

A minimum of an upper second (2.1) Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A lower second-class (2.2) or equivalent degrees may be accepted if evidence of further study or relevant work experience is provided.

Applicants must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

MSc Psychology and Health

A minimum of an upper second (2.1) Bachelor’s degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of English proficiency.

We only accept the following English language qualifications:

  • GCSE - grade C or above
  • CSE - grade C or above
  • SEB - grade C or above
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English - Pass
  • IELTS – Overall score of 7 or above and at least 6.5 in each subject.

INTO English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

Please note that due to changes in the UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) list of Secure English Language Teaching System Tests (SELT) we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS), as of April 2014.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

September 2016 applications are now closed.

the MSc in Health Psychology has been running for 28 years
City is ranked 1st in London in the UK for health professions in the Guardian University Guide 2017


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

More about funding

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.


  • UK/EU students who apply for this course will be eligible to apply for a School of Health Sciences Dean’s Scholarship of £1,000 in the form of tuition fee waiver. Awards will be based on prior academic performance and/or relevant work experience, please follow the link for information about how to apply.


Graduate Loyalty Discount: The School of Health Sciences offer a 10% discount on tuition fees for all City University graduates.

Dr Paula Corcoran

Dr Paula Corcoran talks about City's Health Psychology and Psychology and Health MSc

Find out more about the MSc Health Psychology and Psychology and Health programmes in this film.

Academic facilities

City University has recently opened the TECS Lab, a dedicated ‘smart home’, to showcase some of the exciting technologies that are being implemented around the UK to support patients with long-term conditions and complex health and social care needs.

This is a one-of-a-kind resource that is already being used for teaching and research purposes. You will visit the TECS Lab in the spring term and the resource will be available to conduct your own dissertation research on a related topic. As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

The course uses a range of teaching methods including class room teaching, seminars and workshops.


Assessment is through a combination of coursework, examination and a significant piece of empirical research.

The assessment for the Doctorate includes:

  • A reflective report (3,000 words) detailing how supervised practice has enabled you to fulfil the generic professional competence.
  • A report (1,000 words) summarising the involvement of service users and/or carers in your training.
  • Log of experiences that enabled you to gain competence in each component of all core units over the equivalent of two years’ full-time supervised practice (this should include a record of your attendance at core CPD workshops)
  • A case study (3,000 words excluding appendices) with supporting evidence in appendices.
  • A contract and working agreement conditions document (3,000 words, excluding appendices) with supporting evidence in appendices.
  • Two teaching and training case studies (1 x 1,000 & 1 x 2,000 words, excluding appendices) with supporting evidence in appendices. One of the populations must be health care professionals and an observer’s report (500 words)
  • A case study describing the process of conducting a psychological intervention that has been implemented through face-to-face work with an individual client (3000 words, excluding appendices) with supporting evidence in appendices.
  • A case study (2,000 words, excluding appendices) describing the process of conducting a psychological intervention that has been delivered through a medium other than face-to-face with an individual client with a reflective report on delivering this intervention included in the appendices.
  • A research thesis (approximately 15,000 words, excluding appendices) to be written to a standard acceptable for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.
  • A systematic review (6,000 words excluding appendices) to be written to a standard acceptable for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.

You will also be able to learn from our on-site TECS lab. This is a dedicated smart home equipped with tele-health and tele-care applications and an adjacent monitoring system.

The purpose of the TECS lab is to enable researchers to monitor long-term conditions, and use technology to track an individual’s health in real time. For example seat and bed occupancy sensors enable health psychologists to monitor physical movement and intervene when routine behaviours are disrupted.

Academic staff

The School of Health Sciences employs one of the largest number of Chartered Health Psychologists, health psychology researchers and health psychology PhD students in the UK, many of whom are involved in the teaching, assessment and supervision of students on the programme.


The programme consists of eight compulsory modules and all the teaching takes place in the first two terms. In term one you will be introduced to behavioural medicine, lifestyle, gender and culture, theoretical foundations of health psychology and research design and statistics. In the second term you study understanding and managing long term conditions, developing complex interventions, professional practice and contextual issues in health psychology and advanced research design and statistics. The third term is dedicated to the dissertation.

You may have the opportunity to interact directly with patients or healthcare professionals at the dissertation stage of this Masters degree. You will be conducting your own independent research and this may, for example, involve interviewing patients or professionals about a particular subject, or delivering behaviour change interventions.

To become a qualified researcher and practitioner, you will need to be able to understand and critique published research and to understand practitioner issues, so you can conduct your own research from scratch. At City we will encourage you to conduct research on the front line working on projects that require ethical approval, where you are engaging with real people so you can have a direct impact on their lives.

Core modules

  • Theoretical foundations of health psychology (15 credits)
  • Behavioural medicine (15 credits)
  • Understanding and managing long-term conditions (15 credits)
  • Lifespan, gender & culture (15 credits)
  • Developing complex interventions (15 credits)
  • Professional and contextual Issues in health psychology (15 credits)
  • Introduction to research design & statistics (15 credits)
  • Advanced research design & statistics (15 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Career prospects

If you want to practise as a Health Psychologist in the UK, you will need to complete Stage 1 (MSc in Health Psychology) and Stage 2 training (doctoral level qualification in health psychology). You will then be able to apply for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS), Full membership of the Division of Health Psychology and you will also be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Chartered Health Psychologist. Only by registering with the HCPC, the statutory regulator, are you able to use the protected title Health Psychologist.

City University’s MSc in Health Psychology constitutes the first stage in becoming a Health Psychologist. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates are eligible to apply for Stage two training in health psychology. This can be completed either by a Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at an approved university or Qualification in Health Psychology via the BPS, the latter of which is normally combined with a PhD in Health Psychology.

Graduate destinations

Graduates of the MSc in Health Psychology and MSc in Psychology & Health take a variety of career paths including:

  • Further education, such as a PhD or Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology
  • Research Assistants in higher education, NHS or the private sector
  • Assistant Psychologists in an applied setting
  • NHS or third sector healthcare professionals, such as smoking cessation officers, public health and health promotion practitioners

Helpful Resources

For more information about careers in health psychology, you might find these pages useful:

81.8% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15

Application Deadline

24th August 2016

September 2016 applications are now closed.

Contact details

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.