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 Masters 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.

This degree will undergo a periodic review in 2023/4 to ensure the course content is and remains current. Should any changes to course content be made as a result of the review, all applicants will be informed once changes are confirmed.

​Course Content​​

Students will complete the following six taught modules along with a dissertation, which consists of an independent piece of research. Partnership- style dissertations are offered in external settings so that students, who choose to, can build experience in the type of settings in which they might later find employment.

  • Research Methods and Design:
    Equips the student with the qualitative and quantitative research skills necessary to undertake masters level research.
  • Biopsychosocial Issues in Health:
    Explores the impact of biopsychosocial factors in health
  • Health Psychology and the Health Psychologist:
    Provides a critical account of the application of health psychology in the community and workplace and builds employability skills.
  • Changing Health Behaviour: 
    Critically evaluates psychological theories of behavioural change
  • Understanding Long Term Health Conditions 
    Critically evaluates theories and models of chronic disease, stress, pain and their management.
  • Applied Psychology in Practice
    Develops the students' understanding of psychological skills and evaluates their role in discipline specific areas.

Learning & Teaching​

The MSc Health Psychology programme includes some formal lectures, but the majority of the programme is taught interactively, with students actively involved in each session. Group work, seminars, presentations and practical workshops all help to engage students and ensure they are developing the knowledge and skills required for stage 1 training in health psychology and also develop the confidence to use what they learn to the benefit of themselves and others.

The MSc Health Psychology programme is taught on two days each week (Thursday and Friday), for full time students, and on one day each week for part time students (Thursdays year 1 and Fridays year 2). Much of the teaching takes place in the Psychology Postgraduate and Research Centre (PARC) which provides computers that students can use for private study and also a social space and kitchen area for students to make use of. PARC also includes a number of cubicles with software and other technology for use in research.

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 at Cardiff Met has a partner programme at City Unity College in Athens. It may be possible for students to engage in a visit to our partner programme, to share workshops alongside their Greek counterparts. For two years the university funded 80% of the cost of the trip for 6 - 8 students from the MSc Health Psychology programme, and we are hoping that this funding will be available again for the coming year.
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.


The MSc is assessed by a range of different coursework assignments including literature reviews, research reports, essays, presentations and posters. No exams are used in the assessment for this programme. 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.

From September 2019, all students will need to achieve a minimum of a 50% pass mark for each module.

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.

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 masters 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:
Tel: 029 2041 5991

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:
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Teaching Days:
Thursdays & 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