Why choose this course
- Study a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited curriculum, designed to give you an insider’s perspective on theories, methods and techniques of health psychology, and the relationship these have with health and illness.
- Access our state-of-the-art psychology facilities, including a six-room virtual reality suite and two observation laboratories, and use the latest equipment to conduct experiments.
- Learn from lecturers who are active researchers in eating behaviour, fatigue, stress, obesity and much more.
- Join our Health Psychology Research Group to take part in seminars and workshops, and benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world.
- Get the Stage 1 qualification needed to progress onto Stage 2 training, to become a chartered health psychologist with the BPS.
What you will study
You’ll study the psychological processes involved in maintaining health, the pathological responses to ill health and stress, and the promotion of wellbeing among the physically ill. You’ll learn theories and practical issues relevant to health psychology and you’ll gain an understanding of different approaches to research.
You’ll explore a range of applied topics, such as living with chronic conditions, health issues impacting health psychology, how we can help people to maintain their health across their lifespan, psychological aspects of healthcare, and the use of cognitive behavioural therapy for health psychology. We’ll also give you an insight into qualitative and quantitative research methods, ensuring you have a solid foundation to collect, analyse and interpret different kinds of data.
You’ll complete a research dissertation that will allow you to carry out experiments and projects on important topics in the field. We’ll match your interests with the expertise of our academic staff, ensuring you get the best support. These collaborations have seen previous students’ work being published in top-tier journals.
Our facilities have recently undergone a £5m investment, giving you access to the latest equipment, including a six-room virtual reality suite to simulate real-life scenarios and two observation labs. You’ll also have access to an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests, 20 bookable project rooms, a breakout space, equipment lockers and a computer lab.
You’ll be taught by lecturers who are active researchers, ensuring everything you learn is up-to-date and relevant to employers. These may include:
- Professor Mark Cropley, an expert in stress, health and fatigue.
- Professor Jane Ogden, an expert in eating behaviour and obesity.
You’ll be invited to join our Health Psychology Research Group where we investigate topics, including behaviour change, chronic conditions, governance, policy processes, risk appreciation, and stress and fatigue.
You’ll participate in discussions about research topics, findings and publications, and you’ll benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world. We also have a host of external speakers that visit us and present their work, and a collection of seminars and workshops, allowing you to network with like-minded individuals.
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Group work (e.g. discussion groups)
- Online learning
- Role plays
Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays and reading.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We use a variety of methods to assess you, including coursework, essays, examinations and presentations.
Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
MSc - British Psychological Society (BPS).
Successful completion of this programme fulfils stage one of the requirements towards Chartered Membership of the Society and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
On successful completion of this course, you’ll have the necessary Stage 1 training required to progress onto Stage 2 training. To become a chartered health psychologist, you’ll need to complete Stage 2 training. 99% of our psychology graduates go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2020, HESA). Our alumni take on roles as health advisors, prison therapy assistants, projects officers and public health officers, working for NHS trusts, healthcare organisations and charities.
The broad and transferrable skills that you’ll develop are also highly relevant in other fields, including behavioural analysis and wellbeing. Many of our graduates go on to complete a PhD, investigating an area of personal interest.
Learn more about health psychology careers on the BPS website.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the University has revised its courses to incorporate the ‘Hybrid Learning Experience’ in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information. The University has changed the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes. Further information on the general principles of hybrid learning can be found at: Hybrid learning experience | University of Surrey.
We have updated key module information regarding the pattern of assessment and overall student workload to inform student module choices. We are currently working on bringing remaining published information up to date to reflect current practice in time for the start of the academic year 2022/23 This means that some information within the programme and module catalogue will be subject to change. Current students are invited to contact their Programme Leader or Academic Hive with any questions relating to the information available.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in Psychology, or a recognised international equivalent.
Alternatively, a postgraduate conversion diploma in psychology following completion of another degree subject.
We may be able to take relevant work experience into consideration if you don't meet these requirements. If you have at least one year of relevant experience in a full-time graduate-level role (or a minimum of two years’ experience in a relevant graduate-level part-time role) please provide full details of your role and responsibilities in your personal statement and CV when you submit your application.
This is a regulated course that requires declaration of criminal convictions at the application stage, please visit our criminal convictions webpage for more information.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall with 6.5 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Selection is based upon a candidate’s application and references.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
Start date: October 2022
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 2 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2022-23 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on a two-year or three-year part-time structured masters course, the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the course.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View an example of our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Further, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2022/23. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2022/23. Detailed information on all changes is available at our dedicated course changes webpage. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.