Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


MSc Health Psychology

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    What is Health Psychology?

    Health psychology is a rapidly expanding discipline that can be defined as the practice and application of psychological methods to the study of behaviour relevant to health, illness and health care.  Health psychologists use psychological principles to promote changes in people's behaviour and their associated beliefs about health and illness.

    The Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health (BSH) helps to coordinate the UCL MSc Health Psychology programme, which offers graduates a research-based BPS-accredited Stage 1 qualification. The programme is the longest-running MSc Health Psychology in the UK, providing unrivalled teaching that is delivered by leading experts in their field. 

    BSH undertakes research aimed at advancing our understanding of behaviours that have a major impact on health and to contribute to the development of interventions to promote healthy lifestyles. The Centre is part of the Department of Behavioural Science & Health, UCL.

    Meet the team

    Professor Andrew Steptoe, Psychologist, Programme Director

    Dr Lion Shahab, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology, Programme Lead

    Dr Abigail Fisher, Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health

    Dr Clare Llewellyn, Lecturer in Health Psychology

    Dr Christian Von Wagner, Senior Lecturer, Health Psychology

    BPS Accreditation

    The MSc programme is stage 1 accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) who highlighted four areas of particular strength:

    1. Students are exposed to a rich and diverse research environment and research-led teaching.

    2. A diverse range of placement opportunities are available to students which is a valuable aspect of the programme for students. 

    3. There is an impressive range of empirical research project titles available to students and also support for those wishing to pursue their own research interests. 

    4. The opportunities for students to engage in a variety of extra-curricular activities are examples of good practice.

    Key benefits of studying Health Psychology at UCL

    • The QS World Rankings' show that UCL is consistently in the top ranking universities in UK for research in health sciences.
    • UCL has been leading the field in Health Psychology research since 1987 and employs the largest number of health psychology researchers in the country.
    • The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) which ensures not only the quality of the course but also that the widest range of training, development and employment opportunities are open to students.
    • The course is delivered by the leading experts in their field, for example Professor Andrew Steptoe (lecture on cardiovascular disease), Professor Robert West (lecture on smoking cessation), Professor Sir Michael Marmot (lecture on health inequalities).

    Internationally renowned research team

    Students' professional development

    • Students can expect a high proportion of one-to-one contact and support, attending academic tutorials each term and access to personal and departmental graduate tutors and dedicated supervisors
    • Professional development of students is actively encouraged through teaching (e.g. effective job applications and interview techniques), careers lectures, placements and work opportunities within various research groups.
    • The course aims to provide students with applied practitioner skills (see Placements) as well as advanced researcher skills (see Projects and Publications; in 2014-15, one of our students received the DHP Outstanding Thesis Award).
    • Internationally renowned course attracting students from all over the world.

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