MSC Health Psychology UCL

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by

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The Health Psychology MSc from University College London (UCL), accredited by the British Psychological Society, aims to equip students to apply the scientific and theoretical principles and ideas of health psychology using a scholarly and critical approach, and to develop the practical skills and knowledge required for employment or research in the field.

Health Psychology MSc

 London, Bloomsbury

The Health Psychology MSc, accredited by the British Psychological Society, will enable you to apply the scientific and theoretical principles and ideas of health psychology using a scholarly and critical approach and develop the practical skills and knowledge required for employment or research in the field.UK students International students

Study mode


UK tuition fees (2022/23)



1 calendar year

Programme starts

September 2022

Applications accepted

All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications openApply for this courseWe recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in psychology from a UK university, or overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or equivalent may be accepted with evidence of further study or relevant work experience.

Applicants are encouraged to have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) if they want to pursue a career as a Chartered Health Psychologist in the UK.English language requirements

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme provides a thorough grounding in theories, concepts and empirical findings central to current health psychology. You’ll be encouraged to develop your own area of specialisation and be given formal training in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Journal Club

Full-time students and first-year part-time students are required to attend weekly journal clubs. This forum is designed to help students develop critical appraisal and presentation skills as well as analytical techniques in preparation for assessed course work. In the presence of a member of staff associated with the programme, two students will present a paper selected on the basis of its relevance to the content of one of the lectures delivered in that week. Students are asked to consider the merits and limitations of this paper and to involve the whole cohort in a group discussion. Students will be provided with the paper one week in advance of each journal club. The journal club runs throughout the first two terms and papers will be selected which relate to topics from each of the eight modules.

Clinical Visits

A visit to a hospital outpatient’s clinic is arranged for each student to follow alongside the doctor-patient communication lecture provided in the IEHC0023 module. This visit is linked with appropriate readings and a short task as part of the follow-up seminar.

Research Project

Students are required to undertake an empirical research project, which contributes 34% to the final mark on the MSc. The research project will be written up in the form of a mock submission to The British Journal of Health Psychology. In preparation for the final write up, students will be asked to write a brief summary of their project and to write a peer review about the summary of another student’s project in the third term. Students are assigned a supervisor early on in the programme. The supervisor is usually a staff member associated with the programme. The supervisor is expected to provide advice on design, analysis and write-up of the project as appropriate and has regular meetings at every stage of the project with the student. We strongly recommend negotiating the frequency of meetings and level of supervisor involvement at the earliest opportunity.

Who this course is for

This programme is suitable for students seeking a thorough grounding in health psychology as preparation for a subsequent research degree or employment in a related field. Completion of the MSc satisfies Stage 1 of Health Psychology Training. Read about what it takes to study for a Master’s at UCL

What this course will give you

The programme is the longest-running Health Psychology MSc in the UK and is delivered by leading experts in their field. It offers graduates a research-based BPS-accredited Stage 1 qualification.

  • 1st in the UK: top-rated university in the UK for research strength (REF 2014)
  • 5th in the world for public health (ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021)
  • 8th in the world: among the top universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • 10th in the world for life and medical sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021)

UCL’s Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health, based within the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, helps to coordinate the Health Psychology MSc. The department is one of the largest health psychology research groups in the UK and aims to advance understanding of behaviours that have a major impact on health and contribute to the development of interventions to promote healthy lifestyles. Within the department, the Psychobiology Group is a multidisciplinary group concerned with the pathways through which sociodemographic and psychosocial factors influence physical disease processes.

This environment provides students with opportunities to be taught by specialists in their field and to complete relevant placements in clinical, academic or policy-related settings. In addition, students are encouraged to integrate themselves into the research groups and networks closely associated with the programme as these can provide invaluable real-world research experience and potential collaborations with national and international leaders in health psychology and related disciplines.Read about what you’ll get out of a graduate programme

The foundation of your career

Given the academic nature of the programme, our students acquire important research experience and skills. This is very helpful when applying for advanced degrees, and each year a significant number of students successfully go on to secure PhD studentships and clinical doctorates. As the focus of the MSc is on improving healthcare and delivery, students also take up positions within the public or private healthcare sector.


Many graduates of the programme continue to PhD-level study or find work as researchers or in roles allied to psychology, healthcare services and delivery.


The MSc is stage 1 accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). BPS accreditation criteria stipulate a minimum 50% pass mark, with no condoned modules, and so students with final marks falling below 50% cannot graduate with the accredited MSc Health Psychology award. These students will instead graduate with an MSc Psychology & Health, if they have fulfilled UCL award requirements but not BPS award requirements.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of blended learning approaches, lectures, seminars, class exercises, project work, training workshops, journal clubs and hands-on computer-based teaching on statistical analysis techniques. Assessment is through coursework (including critical reviews and essays), one unseen examination and the research project. Students are also offered a short work placement.



Compulsory modules

Chronic Illness from the Health Psychology Perspective
Physical and Mental Health, Stress and Ageing
Individual, Social and Cultural Perspectives in Health Psychology
Health Related Behaviours and Cognitions
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods 1
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods 2
Effective Research Practice
Healthcare and Intervention Delivery
MSc Health Psychology : Project Report

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Health Psychology or Psychology & Health (see above BPS-specific requirements).


During the third term, students will be provided with the opportunity to gain experience in a setting relevant to health psychology. The placement aims to provide students with work experience and insights into the working life of health psychologists. Students will be given a choice of placements within an academic unit, a clinical setting or a non-governmental organisation such as a funding body. More details of placements will become available during the second term. Please note that due to the process of selection by providers and competition for popular placements, we cannot guarantee students that they will receive their first choice of placement, and we, therefore, ask students to choose at least three options from the list of placements that become available.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students

Fee descriptionFull-timePart-time
Tuition fees (2022/23)£10,800£5,400

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master’s fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

The department is offering the Jane Wardle studentship for students undertaking the Health Psychology MSc. The studentship will consist of £3,750 towards tuition fees and is awarded to one student each year based on their performance in the interview. There is no need to apply separately for this studentship; all interviewees are considered. This scholarship has been endowed in memory of Professor Jane Wardle (1950-2015), professor of clinical psychology and co-director of the Health Psychology MSc.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.See all the ways you can fund your studiesScholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Health Psychology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Health Psychology at UCL
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.Apply for this course

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