The core philosophy of the proposed programme relates to its practitioner focus and its emphasis on the role of health psychology as an applied rather than a purely academic discipline. The clearest way in which this philosophy manifests itself is with the inclusion of supervised placements in an applied health setting (see section 5 below). However, a range of health-related and transferable skills will also be taught including smoking cessation, motivational interviewing and relaxation training. Furthermore, the range and types of assessment are also designed to reflect the kinds of competencies that health psychologists need to be able to demonstrate. Assessment is by 100% coursework and includes systematic reviews, critical reviews, consultancy reports, epidemiological essays, presentations and reflective practitioner reports based on placement work.
The overriding aim of this programme is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to progress to further training in Health Psychology by satisfying the accreditation criteria specified by the British Psychological Society.
The course includes the following areas:
-Biopsychosocial factors in Health Psychology I & II
-Community, Diversity and Epidemiology I & II
-Research Methods I & II
-Policy and Practice in Health Psychology I & II (including a placement in a health setting)
Students will also complete a 6,000 to 8,000 word research project in which they will identify a research question and develop a research protocol to address that question.
Consistent with the practitioner focus of the course, and a rationale of enabling students to begin developing professional competencies, assessment will be 100% coursework. There are 13 assessments in total and a wide variety of assessment methods will be used including individual assignments (including systematic and critical reviews, essays and dissertations), student presentations, demonstration of professional and consultancy skills, and a research project. It is felt that the variety of assessments will allow students to demonstrate a broad range of knowledge and understanding they have gained throughout the programme as well as assessing a diverse set of transferable skills.
A variety of approaches to learning and teaching will be used including a combination of traditional lectures, practical sessions, seminars, group work (including class discussion and “journal clubs”), student presentations, workshops and invited speaker sessions. The emphasis will be on understanding the theoretical underpinnings of psychological processes in health and their relevance to practice. Work placement
Placements will form an integral part of the learning experience of students on this programme and will take the form of a supervised placement in a health-related setting. The setting may be NHS, private, charitable or even educational depending on the interests and skills of the student and the availability of placement hosts. The placement will run as part of the MPSY0096 Policy & Practice in Health Psychology II module.
It is expected that the placement will consist of approximately 100 hours of supervised practice and will normally take place during Semester B (there is some flexibility to complete the placement later than the end of Semester B if, for reasons outside the student’s control, the placement cannot be completed in time). The activity in which students engage on placement is likely to be varied but can include evaluating some aspect of an existing service, identifying needs or implementing new procedures. The activity undertaken will be limited to that which is within the student’s competence and will always be carried out under supervision.
The modules Policy & Practice in Health Psychology I and II will support the work placement in terms of preparing them for starting the placement as well as developing skills they may need on placement. Careers
MSc Health Psychology is a requirement for those going on to become Chartered Health Psychologists but it also a recognised route into Public Health (which Clinical Psychology and Counselling Psychology are not). Graduates may also work in a range of other health settings including research, academic, NHS, industry and the charitable sector.