Health Psychology  DPsych


Health psychologists work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, charities, government policy-making departments, community-based projects, primary care trusts and universities. They apply psychological research and methods to areas such as:

  • the prevention and management of disease;
  • the promotion and maintenance of health;
  • the identification of psychological factors in contributing to physical illness;
  • the improvement of the healthcare system;
  • the formulation of health policy.

Questions addressed by health psychologists include:

  • how do people adapt to chronic illness?
  • what does it mean to be a patient?
  • how can healthcare systems be improved?
  • why do patients not take their medication as prescribed?
  • what factors influence condom use?
  • what impact do dominant healthcare discourses have on practice?
  • how can we improve the experience of caring for someone with an illness?
  • what does it mean to be healthy?
  • how can the experience of those caring for someone with a chronic illness be improved?

City University London's Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology Training Programme is the stage 2 component of health psychology training to be completed by aspiring health psychologists with the view of pursuing a career in health psychology, offering services to the public.

The Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology provides the trainee with all of the competencies of the health psychologist as well as a development of individual skills and experience.

The ultimate aim of the programme is for the trainees to be able to both competently and confidently practice in health psychology and produce an original piece of research that contributes to the knowledge of applied health psychology.

The programme aims to provide professional and academic training that will enable trainees to work as health psychologists in a broad range of settings, including the NHS, charities, industry, government, private practice and academic and research settings, among others.

We recognise that each trainee has different needs at different times of the programme. Supervision is needs-led and can be arranged both in and out of office hours. The training programme focuses on skills development and is committed to continuous improvement. It aims to provide training incorporating the latest knowledge in health psychology practice. The training programme includes both core workshops and optional workshops.

The Programme has been accredited by British Psychological Society (BPS). The academic requirements for Doctorate in Health Psychology at City University have been set to ensure that students are taught professional and research skills that meet the requirements of doctoral level.

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

  • School of Arts and Social Sciences,
  • Department of Psychology
  • Start Date:

    Admissions take place in late September each year. The application deadline for the September 2015 entry is 1 July 2015.

    Entry Requirements

    • BSc in Psychology, (minimum 2:1), giving Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
    • MSc in Health Psychology accredited by the BPS (minimum 60 or higher on dissertation component).
    • English language: Students whose first language is not English require a minimum of IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in the writing element).
    • 12 months professional experience in research or a health psychology related area is desirable.
    • An arrangement to practice as a health psychologist trainee. This can be either paid or voluntary.
    • A workplace contact who is ideally a chartered psychologist.
    • A police check (Criminal Records Bureau).

    English Language Requirements

    • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
    • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA.
    • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
    • Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above.
    • An overall score of 6.5 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.0 for each subtest.
    • Satisfactory standard in the verbal section of the Princeton Test (GMAT).
    • US SAT with 500 in verbal performance.
    • Warwick English Language Test (WELT) with pass grades of BBC minimum.
    • Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the Board of Studies concerned.

    Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a 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 6 months
    • Students on courses of less than 6 months
    • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

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

    For more information see our main Visa page.

    Start Dates / Duration of Studies

    Start Date

    Admissions take place in late September each year. The application deadline for the September 2015 entry is 1 July 2015.

    Duration of Studies

    The minimum period of registration is two years for full-time students and four years for part-time students. The maximum period of registration is four years for full-time students and seven years for part-time students.

    Trainees can apply for chartered status once they have completed the equivalent of a minimum of 2 years supervised practice and prepared a portfolio of evidence. This will be examined by internal and external examiners approved by the School of Social Sciences' Board of Studies. The portfolio of competence must include:

    • a supervision log
    • a supplementary report summarising the practice and supervision log (3,000 words)
    • a research thesis (30,000 words) and publishable paper(s) (10,000 words)
    • a systematic review (6,000 words)
    • four case studies (approximately 3,000 words each) with relevant appendices.

    The candidate has to have been the primary participant in the case studies. Emphasis is placed on the skills and knowledge required to be a reflexive scientist-practitioner. Video, audio or other concrete evidence of examples of practice are required as part of the appendices to the case studies.


    • Full-time EU: £6,500 per year
    • Part-time EU: £3,700 per year

    Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.

    Please note that the fees for year 3 and onwards are:

    • Full time Home/EU: £5,500 per year
    • Part-time Home/EU: £3,200 per year

    Preliminary Enquiries

    For further information, please contact the Programme Administrator, Richard Thornbury.

    Phone: (+44) 020 7040 4841


    How to Apply

    We accept applications on an ongoing basis for entry in September. The application deadline for the September 2015 entry is 1 July 2015.

    To apply, you should submit the following documents:

    • A covering letter mentioning that you are applying for the DPsych - Pre-Chartered Health Psychology Programme. Please describe in the covering letter where you intend to carry out the 2 years of supervised practice.
    • Two references (one must be an academic reference).
    • A certified copy or transcript of your Bachelors degree and Masters results.
    • A separate 3 - 4 page research proposal including an introduction, methodology and proposed methods of analysis. Please attach a copy to both of the application forms.

    Apply online

    Writing Your Research Proposal

    Your research proposal should be 3 - 4 pages in length and include an introduction, methodology and proposed methods of analysis.


    We recognise that each trainee has different needs at different times of the programme. Thus, supervision is needs-led and can be arranged both in and out of office hours.

    Training Provision

    Training Programme

    The training programme comprises innovative CPD courses in Consultancy Skills, Conducting Systematic Reviews, and Implementing Health Psychology Interventions, such as CBT, and Facilitation Skills and Supervising Others that provides support and guidance to trainees working in the field of health psychology.

    Educational Aims

    It develops the trainee's practical skills and ability to integrate theory into practice. The training aims to develop trainees into independent and self-critical learners. The trainee will learn to become capable of supporting the learning of others, leading and working effectively in groups, using a wide range of learning resources, undertaking innovative research tasks, communicating complex or contentious information clearly and effectively to specialists and non-specialists and acting as an effective consultant.

    At the end of the training, the trainee will be able to work independently and ethically in all of the registered health psychologist core competencies and continue with their own professional development.

    Learning Outcomes

    Trainees are required to demonstrate evidence of competency in five units: Generic Professional Skills; Research; Consultancy; Teaching and Training, Delivering Behaviour Change Interventions. Trainees are expected to read the BPS stage 2 health psychology competencies before starting the training. The programme places an emphasis on quality of competence in the units to ensure that trainees are ready to work to a high professional standard in a competitive health-related job market.

    Health Psychology Practice

    A key component of the training programme is a period of two years full-time supervised practice in health psychology working with a minimum of 2 client groups such as patients/clients, healthcare professionals, healthcare managers, health policy makers, adults or children. It is the trainee's responsibility to make a suitable arrangement to work as a health psychologist for 2 years full-time (5 day working week for 46 weeks a year). This includes time dedicated to continuous professional development and study days.  The health psychology practice may be paid employment, voluntary work or a placement in which the trainee negotiates with an organisation or individual an opportunity to practice their skills (paid or voluntary).

    Research Environment

    The health psychology team at City University London has strong links with the NHS and expertise in behaviour change interventions, supervision and delivering health psychology consultancy to healthcare providers and policy-makers.