Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Health Psychology Masters - MSc

Health Psychology Masters - MSc/PgD/PgC

Health psychology focuses on the roles of psychology, biology and social or environmental factors on health and health related behaviour. Health psychologists promote healthier lifestyles and seek to improve well-being by understanding the impact that health related thoughts, feelings and behaviour can have on the individual.

Health strategy has been shifting from the treatment of disease to the maintenance of health and prevention of illness. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (2015) aims to improve the nation’s social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being. This is particularly important given that relative to the rest of the UK, Wales has more older people and high burden of chronic illness (Public Health Wales Observatory, 2018).

This Master’s degree in Health Psychology aims to produce high quality graduates that are in a good position to improve health and well-being by using specific psychological knowledge and skills. The programme is specifically designed with future employability in mind and provides a student-centred approach to preparing graduates for future training and/or careers. Some graduates go on to complete further training to become qualified health psychologists, but many others go on to work in health-related career roles including health promotion, education, health and well-being at work, research or develop their own businesses.

Partner Programme:
The MSc Health Psychology is also available as a partner programme, delivered by City Unity College in Cyprus. For further information, please see the City Unity College website.

​Course Content

  • Research Methods and Design
    This module aims to consolidate undergraduate research abilities and equip students with the skills necessary to undertake master’s level research; in doing so students will be equipped with the skills to critically review and evaluate a range of research methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative methodologies (conducting research and implementing methodologies will be done in the Project module).
  • Applied Psychology Practice
    This module aims to introduce and develop skills that are relevant to Psychology in practice. Develop an understanding of the principles and approaches to effective communication. Develop an understanding of interprofessional working and ethical practice. Apply evidence-based knowledge to discipline specific areas of practice.
  • Health Psychology and the Health Psychologist
    The module aims to develop an understanding of the way in which health psychology has developed and is continuing to evolve and explore professional issues in relation to the health psychologist.
  • Health and Society: A Biopsychosocial Approach
    The module aims to explore the impact of biopsychosocial factors on health and health behaviour. Explore the way health and illness are portrayed and perceived in society. Recognise the changing nature of health across the lifespan.
  • Understanding Long-term Health Conditions
    The module aims to critically analyses theories and models in relation to stress and pain and their management, and develop an understanding of the impact chronic conditions have on individuals and their carers and families.
  • Changing Health Behaviour
    This module aims to explore social psychological theories and models in relation to health behaviour change. Examine the issues involved in designing and evaluating the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions.
  • Project and Career Planning
    The aim of this module is to enable students to design and develop an advanced specialist project in their discipline to enhance their own and/or others’ learning, work, or practice. Students will also evaluate their own knowledge, skills, and experiences as researchers and how this informs their developing professional identity as they move towards becoming a trainee health psychologist. They will use this reflective activity to evaluate their current strengths and prioritise areas for improvement relevant to their own career goals and ambitions.
  • Project
    The aim of this module is to enable students to work independently to investigate an area in their discipline relevant to their own learning, work, or practice, and to present and discuss their findings, demonstrating a systematic understanding and critical awareness of their discipline and area of professional practice.

Learning & Teaching​

A well-balanced mix of theory and practice is delivered via a range of teaching methods across the programme, including:

  • Live learning activities on-campus – e.g., lectures, seminars, workshops/practical sessions, facilitated group work, etc.
  • Academic support activities – e.g., academic skills sessions, subject-based tutorials, assessment workshops, research supervision. These may be delivered on-campus or online depending on the requirements of the module and programme.
  • Asynchronous learning activities that students complete in their own time – e.g., pre-recorded video mini-lectures, flipped learning activities, preparation tasks for seminars, etc.

A typical 20-credit taught module will have approximately 40-45 hours of associated scheduled teaching activities, using a combination of the above approaches. Most of these scheduled learning activities will take place on-campus. Alongside these scheduled activities, you’ll undertake your own independent learning – such as reading and research to prepare for seminars or assessments, unsupervised group work with fellow students, engaging with academic skills support, data collection for individual projects, etc.

Our sessions will support you to develop the knowledge and skills required for stage 1 training in health psychology and also develop the confidence to use what you learn to the benefit of yourself and others.

Full-time students will be on campus two days per week and part-time students will be on campus one day per week throughout term time.

All of the course materials for the Programme are made available via the Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, there is also a Facebook page and Twitter site (@cardiffhealthps) for the programme.

All students are allocated a personal tutor during their first week on the programme. Personal tutors will initiate a meeting with the students during the first term and will also invite students to come and see them regarding their PDP (Personal Development Portfolio) during term 2. In addition students are more than welcome to make an appointment to see their personal tutor, module leader or programme director whenever they wish. The programme team all adopt an open door policy and welcome students to come and talk to them about any issues related to the course or their welfare at any time.

The MSc Health Psychology programme is accredited by the BPS and as such constitutes stage 1 training in health psychology. Talks about careers in health psychology, and stage 2 training will be included as part of the programme and graduates from the programme will provide information about their own experiences and career development.


Our programme and modules are designed to offer opportunities for formative tasks and feedback to help build confidence and develop your ability to evaluate your own progress. We use authentic assessment tasks which enable you to apply your knowledge and skills to scenarios, activities and settings commonly encountered in professional practice.

The programme includes a range of assessment methods, including:

  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Essays
  • Literature reviews
  • Reflective reports
  • Academic posters
  • Research proposal and research paper

To reflect the applied nature of your studies, the programme contains no unseen written examinations.

We carefully plan our assessment schedule to avoid excessive bunching of similar types of assessment, and realistic deadlines. Every assessment includes a detailed briefing and clearly defined marking criteria, which have been developed and tested in partnership with students.

Assessments are designed to help students develop the skills they will require during their future careers. There is a lot of choice in terms of the topics that students choose to base their assessments on, allowing them to develop their own areas of interest within the field.

Employability & Careers​

An MSc in Health Psychology is the first step (stage one) towards Chartered Psychology status for students who are eligible to hold the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). The MSc in Health Psychology will provide the knowledge base and research skills, which will underpin stage two of the process towards Chartership with the BPS (two years of supervised practice). Completion of stage two with the BPS also confers eligibility to become a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Health Psychologist. All practitioner psychologists are regulated by the HCPC. Health psychologists work in all areas relevant to health, illness and health care delivery. However, the majority of students do not pursue this route. Graduates from the programme have gone on to work or train in a number of areas including health promotion, research, teaching or private consultancy. Many graduates go on to complete PhDs, some have gone on to complete clinical psychology training and many work or train in a range of roles that promote health and well-being. The MSc in Health Psychology can either be used as a launch pad for further training and development or can provide the knowledge and skills that are valuable in a range of employment roles. Careers options are explored extensively throughout the programme.

Our module assessments directly relate to future employment or work-related tasks, or more generally to the advancement of the subject and profession, and your own aspirations. This will enable you to develop and demonstrate the application of your knowledge and skills to real-world professional situations.

Throughout the programme, you will engage in reflective self-evaluation of your knowledge, skills, and experiences, benchmarking these against relevant disciplinary standards/competency frameworks. We’ll support you to evaluate your current strengths and prioritise areas for improvement relevant to your own career goals and ambitions.

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) in Psychology, usually from a BPS (British Psychological Society) accredited undergraduate course. Those without these qualifications may still be considered, please contact the Programme Director for more advice (

International Applicants:
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Selection Procedure:
Applicants for the MSc Health Psychology programme must complete the application form that is available on the website and submit a personal statement to clarify their reasons for applying for the course. Two references will be sought and each applicant will be interviewed. If applicants do not meet the normal entry criteria then additional information may be taken into account, e.g., work experience and other evidence of ability to study at master’s level.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the University via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Fees Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Part-time fees:
Charges are per module unless specified.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Programme Director, Dr Heidi Seage:

We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

​Place of Study:
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences

Course Length:
Full time: 12 months, with option to complete in 15 months.
Part ​time: 2 years, with option to complete in 3 years.

Teaching Days:
Thursdays and Fridays

Course Disclaimer
We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary.

Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Student Blog
My experience studying MSc Health Psychology at Cardiff Met

“Choosing to study a Masters in Health Psychology might have been one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. Not only has it been a pivotal step that has brought me one step closer to becoming a Health Psychologist, it has also provided me with so many different opportunities along the way.”
Read more