University of Portsmouth: Health Psychology

InstitutionUniversity of Portsmouth View institution profile
Department Faculty of Science and Health
Telephone 023 9284 5566
Study type Taught


If you're ready to develop your existing skills in the field of psychology – and you'd like to help patients to better manage their long-term illness or recovery – then our MSc Health Psychology course is for you.

On this course, you'll get a thorough grounding in the practice, theory and research of health psychology. You'll learn how mental, emotional and social factors can affect a person's physical well-being, and how a patient's mental and emotional state is affected by an illness, or the recovery from it.

And if you'd rather dive straight into your career once you graduate, you'll also be ready for work in areas such as commercial research, smoking cessation, health promotion and chronic illness management.

What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:

Learn in small groups, allowing you to get the most out of your time on the course
Be taught by research active psychologists and professionals, with expert knowledge of the theory, practice and research of health psychology
Make use of our research laboratories, interview rooms, and social interaction and observation suites
Have access to advanced facilities, including our newly built bio-markers and olfaction laboratory and our mobile simulation vehicle
Use specialist equipment, such as digital analysis, video editing equipment and eye tracking equipment
Receive expert guidance on the application of over 300 psychometrics tests, including those designed for adults, children, education and post-traumatic stress, as well as over 50 specific to the Health Psychology field
Get hands-on with specialist survey development and data collection programmes
Attend regular research seminars, expanding your knowledge of the subject
Through our existing networks, students will forge many useful links with the local community whilst they are studying. For example, the University of Portsmouth is in Partnership with local NHS Trusts which allows us to work collaboratively with local healthcare providers. We also have active networks linking the University with the local community and wider, for example, the University of Portsmouth Ageing Network (UPAN).

Careers and opportunities
After the course, you could go on to Stage 2 training to become a Chartered Health Psychologist. You could also:

work in the NHS or other healthcare-related services – for example, smoking cessation, health promotion, mental health and chronic illness management
undertake research or take a teaching position in Higher Education
do a PhD in a related area
join a clinical research organisation and get involved in setting up and carrying out research projects
get a place on a clinical training course or other related training such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Treatment)
Our Careers and Employability service can also help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry, when you finish the course.

Other graduates have set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Previous placement providers include:
Macmillan Cancer Support
Portsmouth Hospitals Trust
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
Southern Health NHS Trust
Sussex NHS Trust
St Wilfred’s Hospice
Talking Change
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

September to December – teaching block 1
January – assessment period 1
January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.


University of Portsmouth

We are the University of Portsmouth: a new breed of university, dedicated to your personal growth and development. Our horizons are broad. Our instinct is to explore. Our promise is to inspire.

Taught qualification or independent research? On-campus teaching or online part-time study? At Portsmouth, you can choose from a wide range of subjects and modes of study.




Why Portsmouth?

  • No.21 university in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2020)
  • Outstanding Gold-rated teaching for our students (TEF)
  • Dedicated Graduate School supporting all research students
  • 82% satisfaction with research degree experience (PRES POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCE SURVEY 2019)
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