Health Psychology MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The Health Psychology MSc, accredited by the British Psychological Society, will enable you to apply the scientific and theoretical principles and ideas of health psychology using a scholarly and critical approach and develop the practical skills and knowledge required for employment or research in the field.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£11,800
£5,900
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in psychology from a UK university, or overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent may be accepted with evidence of further study or relevant work experience.

Applicants are encouraged to have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) if they want to pursue a career as a Chartered Health Psychologist in the UK.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree



The programme provides a thorough grounding in theories, concepts and empirical findings central to current health psychology. You'll be encouraged to develop your own area of specialisation and be given formal training in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Journal Club

Full-time students and first-year part-time students are required to attend weekly journal clubs. This forum is designed to help students develop critical appraisal and presentation skills as well as analytical techniques in preparation for assessed course work. In the presence of a member of staff associated with the programme, two students will present a paper selected on the basis of its relevance to the content of one of the lectures delivered in that week. Students are asked to consider the merits and limitations of this paper and to involve the whole cohort in a group discussion. Students will be provided with the paper one week in advance of each journal club. The journal club runs throughout the first two terms and papers will be selected which relate to topics from each of the eight modules.

Clinical Visits

A visit to a hospital outpatient’s clinic is arranged for each student to follow alongside the doctor-patient communication lecture provided in the IEHC0023 module. This visit is linked with appropriate readings and a short task as part of the follow-up seminar.

Research Project

Students are required to undertake an empirical research project, which contributes 34% to the final mark on the MSc. The research project will be written up in the form of a mock submission to The British Journal of Health Psychology. In preparation for the final write up, students will be asked to write a brief summary of their project and to write a peer review about the summary of another student’s project in the third term. Students are assigned a supervisor early on in the programme. The supervisor is usually a staff member associated with the programme. The supervisor is expected to provide advice on design, analysis and write-up of the project as appropriate and has regular meetings at every stage of the project with the student. We strongly recommend negotiating the frequency of meetings and level of supervisor involvement at the earliest opportunity.

Who this course is for

This programme is suitable for students seeking a thorough grounding in health psychology as preparation for a subsequent research degree or employment in a related field.

What this course will give you

The programme is the longest-running Health Psychology MSc in the UK and is delivered by leading experts in their field. It offers graduates a research-based BPS-accredited Stage 1 qualification.

  • UCL is rated No. 1 for research power and impact in medicine, health and life sciences (REF 2021)
  • UCL is ranked 7th in the world for Public Health (ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022)
  • UCL is ranked 8th in the world as a university (QS World University Rankings 2022)

UCL's Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health, based within the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, helps to coordinate the Health Psychology MSc. The department is one of the largest health psychology research groups in the UK and aims to advance understanding of behaviours that have a major impact on health and contribute to the development of interventions to promote healthy lifestyles. Within the department, the Psychobiology Group is a multidisciplinary group concerned with the pathways through which sociodemographic and psychosocial factors influence physical disease processes.

This environment provides students with opportunities to be taught by specialists in their field and to complete relevant placements in clinical, academic or policy-related settings. In addition, students are encouraged to integrate themselves into the research groups and networks closely associated with the programme as these can provide invaluable real-world research experience and potential collaborations with national and international leaders in health psychology and related disciplines.

The foundation of your career

Given the academic nature of the programme, our students acquire important research experience and skills. This is very helpful when applying for advanced degrees, and each year a significant number of students successfully go on to secure PhD studentships and clinical doctorates. As the focus of the MSc is on improving healthcare and delivery, students also take up positions within the public or private healthcare sector.

Employability

Many graduates of the programme continue to PhD-level study or find work as researchers or in roles allied to psychology, healthcare services and delivery.

Accreditation

The MSc is stage 1 accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). BPS accreditation criteria stipulate a minimum 50% pass mark, with no condoned modules, and so students with final marks falling below 50% cannot graduate with the accredited MSc Health Psychology award. These students will instead graduate with an MSc Psychology & Health, if they have fulfilled UCL award requirements but not BPS award requirements.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of blended learning approaches, lectures, seminars, class exercises, project work, training workshops, journal clubs and hands-on computer-based teaching on statistical analysis techniques. Assessment is through coursework (including a critical review and an essay), two unseen examinations and the research project.

Each 15 credit module equates to around 150 learning hours. This is spread out over the whole period of the module which typically runs over 9 weeks. This includes the time you spend in taught sessions, independent study, group work and assessment.

Modules

You'll be required to complete eight compulsory modules and a dissertation within the general area of Health Psychology. The dissertation will present empirical findings of the student’s research project and take the form of a research paper presented as a mock submission to the British Journal of Health Psychology, in accordance with the journal’s guidelines.

You'll be required to complete four compulsory modules in the first year and four compulsory modules in the second year as well as a dissertation within the general area of Health Psychology.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Health Psychology or Psychology & Health (see above BPS-specific requirements).

Placement

During the third term, students will be provided with the opportunity to gain experience in a setting relevant to health psychology. The placement aims to provide students with work experience and insights into the working life of health psychologists. Students will be given a choice of placements within an academic unit, a clinical setting or a non-governmental organisation such as a funding body. More details of placements will become available during the second term. Please note that due to the process of selection by providers and competition for popular placements, we cannot guarantee students that they will receive their first choice of placement, and we, therefore, ask students to choose at least four options from the list of placements that become available.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: MSc Health Psychology

Join our Virtual Graduate Information Session to find out more about our MSc Health Psychology. This session will be led by Dr Christian Von Wagner, MSc Health Psychology Course Convenor. There will be an opportunity to ask your questions in the live Q&A and find out if this MSc programme is right for you.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £11,800 £5,900
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The department is offering the Jane Wardle studentship for students undertaking the Health Psychology MSc. The studentship will consist of £3,750 towards tuition fees and is awarded to one student each year based on their academic records and personal statement. There is no need to apply separately for this studentship; all applicants are considered. This scholarship has been endowed in memory of Professor Jane Wardle (1950-2015), professor of clinical psychology and co-director of the Health Psychology MSc. Find out more.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

The MSc Dental Public Health Aubrey Sheiham Scholarship

Deadline: 30 June 2023
Value: £2,500 (home students); £5,000 (overseas students) (1 yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Health Psychology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Health Psychology at UCL
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.