MSc Health Psychology

Why do people smoke? How can we improve the numbers of young women having cervical screenings? What is the impact of stress on healthcare staff?

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Understand why our healthy new years’ resolutions always fizzle out despite our good intentions. Explore how our brains and bodies process stress and how psychology could help you fight off your next cold. Discover how to assess neuropsychological function.

Health psychology is a rapidly growing discipline, which can make a huge contribution to some of the big health issues currently facing society.

On this course, you’ll ask questions about the key health issues facing our communities, from our ageing population to pressurised health services, global health challenges and health inequalities.

You’ll explore human behaviour, health behaviour change, neuropsychology and research methods. And, you’ll seek ways to improve health, illness and healthcare systems through applying psychological theory and practical methods.

Some of the topics you’ll consider include the factors that make a person vulnerable to developing conditions like coronary heart disease and why where people live matters to their health outcomes.

You might apply psychology to ensuring that children get enough physical activity, in understanding the experience of people living with a stroke, or how we can help people with diabetes to take their medications.

You’ll also study the principles and practice of research and evaluation, applying these skills to a field-based dissertation. You’ll complete a 70-hour work-based learning opportunity to apply your health psychology learning and build your work experience.

Features and Benefits

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements


Eleanor Bull - Senior Lecturer, Health Psychology

Career Prospects

Your understanding of human behaviour, health behaviour change, neuropsychology and research methods gained on this course will enable you to apply for graduate roles in many sectors.

You could find yourself working in an NHS team, or in a commercial, charitable or research organisation. Alternatively, you may want to go on to pursue a PhD or train to become a qualified Health Psychologist.

To practise as a health psychologist in the UK, you’ll need to have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), having completed a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited undergraduate psychology degree or conversion course. Following your MSc Health Psychology at Manchester Met, you will need to complete doctoral-level health psychology training and register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Once you’re registered, you could work in a variety of health, social care and business settings. You might work at an NHS hospital or in a private practice, in marketing for a health-related commercial organisation or for stop smoking services.

Other areas you might develop your career in are local authorities, think tanks, charities or research departments in universities.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

A 2:1 or above in an honours degree course in psychology or a related subject, or an overseas equivalent in a related subject. A BPS-accredited psychology undergraduate degree (or equivalent through a psychology conversion course) conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) is desirable but not essential to study on our MSc Health Psychology. 

However, please note that you would need GBC if, following your MSc, you intended to pursue further doctoral-level training to become a qualified Health Psychologist in the UK.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Health psychology is a rapidly growing discipline, one that can make a huge contribution to some of the big health issues facing society. Issues such as obesity, health inequalities, increasing chronic conditions, and an ageing population.

On our course in Health Psychology, you’ll take a biopsychosocial approach to health, developing core knowledge and critically reflecting on the many interlinking pathways to health and illness.

You’ll learn about key issues in health psychology, such as designing behaviour change interventions, helping people manage long-term conditions, neuropsychological assessment and working in multidisciplinary teams.

Day-to-day, you’ll learn through a mix of taught lectures and seminars, problem-based learning exercises, class discussions, case studies, and group fieldwork. As part of the Health Psychology Practice unit, all students take part in 70 hours of work-based learning in a relevant setting. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to put their health psychology knowledge and skills into action.  

You’ll complete a field-based dissertation of your choice, which involves collecting empirical data. Typically, you’ll identify a research question and prepare an evaluation proposal.

At Manchester Met, our teaching team includes practitioners and academics with experience in the NHS and in private practice in the UK and internationally. Our course specialises in neuropsychology and on health psychology practice. Lecturers’ research interests include designing psychological interventions to promote healthy living and person-centred approaches to healthcare.

Core course teaching takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays, although additional Study Skills teaching and supervisory meetings will take place throughout the week. Therefore, full-time students should ensure they are able to attend all teaching and supervision meetings to maximise their learning experience throughout the course.

Over the duration of this course, you'll cover the following core units:

  • Health Psychology Practice (including 70 hour work-based learning)
  • Illness, Disability and Long-Term Conditions
  • Understanding and Changing Health Behaviour
  • Healthcare and Communities
  • Biological Mechanisms and Neuropsychological Health
  • Research Principles and Methods
  • Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation

For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Research Principles and Methods

This unit will introduce you to the principles and practice of research and evaluation will allow you to develop a critical overview of various methodologies. The content will allow you to make comparisons between different quantitative and qualitative modes of investigation and review the ethical, legal and political issues in the research process. Reflection and reflexivity in the research process will be encouraged.

You'll be introduced to computing and information technology and how to undertake a literature searching strategy, develop a research question and write a research proposal/protocol and review descriptive and inferential statistics and hypothesis testing.

Finally, you'll review methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis and experience interpreting the results of data analysis.

Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation

This unit will develop and apply independent clinically relevant research skills. It is related to applied psychology, social and personal change and to best practice in services.

You'll identify research questions, prepare an evaluation proposal and submit these to the Department of Psychology Postgraduate Ethics Committee for approval along with risk assessment appraisals and letters of authorisation from external bodies, prior to commencing the work. You'll design and carry out their evaluation study under the supervision of a member of staff in collaboration with a suitable service. All projects will involve collection of empirical data. Research may utilise whatever method or methods most suitable to address the identified evaluation aims. Depending upon the design of the project, qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approaches could be used. Collaborations with external agencies are likely to be required. Teaching is mainly via one to one supervision or group supervision (where appropriate). This enables you to develop research skills and use supervision sessions appropriately at the different stages of research.

Illness, Disability and Long-Term Conditions

How can we best understand illness, disabilities and long-term health conditions and use health psychology to promote wellness within illness? In this unit you'll explore the experience and impacts of illness for individuals and those around them, before turning to health psychology’s role in developing and evaluating interventions to help improve people’s experience and management of conditions.

Biological Mechanisms and Neuropsychological Health

How do psychosocial factors get ‘under the skin’ to influence our health? This unit will focus on the associations between physiological and psychological processes, building a critical understanding of the multifaceted, bidirectional relationships and processes involved, with a particular focus on neuropsychology.

Understanding and Changing Health Behaviour

Which psychological factors best predict our health-related decisions and actions and what kind of interventions can change these, for individuals, groups or societies? In this unit you'll critically appraise theories and models of health behaviour and learn key approaches to behaviour change intervention design, testing and evaluation particularly for use in promoting health.

Healthcare and Communities

When it comes to health behaviours and health outcomes, why does where you live, your income or gender matter? In this unit, you'll look at the big picture, including the social determinants of health and health inequalities and health psychology’s historical and current role in the changing face of healthcare in the 21st century.

Health Psychology Practice

Health psychology may be the fastest growing branch of psychology, but what does a health psychologist working in applied research or practice do and what skills are needed? This unit will focus on your reflective development as a trainee health psychology professional and knowledge and skills to help you progress to further training and professional roles in health psychology.

Department of Psychology

Our Department of Psychology is a large, diverse team of accredited psychologists, which includes practicing researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

The department aims to bring a real, relevant and modern perspective to teaching, with a view to using its wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of psychologists.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £15,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2584 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

There are likely to be some costs related to associated training books and materials

Students may wish to join the BPS and/ or attend conferences for CPD purposes

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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