Online course details
Part-time: 3 years †
£9,495 (2022/23) ‡
Online course description
Please note that due to the popularity of our BPS accredited courses we urge you to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are limited.
- A Stage One qualification in Health Psychology, allowing those who hold GBC to then progress onto Stage Two training in Health Psychology
- Research informed curriculum, keeping the course up to date with current developments in health psychology
- Our teaching team is made up of registered health psychologists and academics with considerable experience of working within the field
- A contemporary online course that covers the theoretical and foundation professional issues in health psychology, providing excellent preparation for roles within the NHS, public, private and charity sectors
If you prefer, you can also study the MSc Health Psychology through traditional, on campus study.
British Psychological Society (BPS) Accreditation
Accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS), our online MSc Health Psychology course provides you with Stage One Health Psychology professional training, a pre-requisite for Stage Two training. With the subsequent completion of Stage Two training, you’ll be equipped for practice as a registered health psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and on your way to achieving status as a Chartered member of the BPS (CPsychol)
Make a difference to people's lives
Health Psychology is a diverse landscape. Working in this field requires you to use psychological theory and practice to promote health, prevent illness and support those with physical health conditions to adjust and cope with the demands of illnesses.
Health psychology and behavioural science play a crucial role in fostering change in health-related behaviour.
This contemporary online MSc Health Psychology will help you to make a real difference to people's lives whether you pursue a career as a Registered Health Psychologist or in health roles within the NHS, public, private and charity sectors such as public health or behavioural science.
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Guest lectures and speakers
You'll be taught by our team of research active psychologists, who have expert knowledge of health psychology theory, practice and research. As well as delving into the theoretical underpinnings of health psychology, you'll also explore the issues faced by today's health psychology professionals. Their comprehensive knowledge and professional experience will really help you learn, and their strong research profile means that you'll be part of a vibrant department at the forefront of developments in health psychology.
Our academic team have recently published in areas such as:
- Weight Bias
- Atrial fibrillation, quality of life and distress
- Haemodyalisis, quality of life and compassion
- Death anxiety in health care professionals
Opportunities will also be available for you to conduct your own research, with support from our staff to have this published as appropriate. Our staff are engaged in a range of research work, which you are welcome to get involved with.
Some of our student publications and conference presentations include:
McInerney, K., & Cross, A. (2021). A Phenomenological Study: Exploring the Meaning of Spirituality in Long-term Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 39(3), 282-300.
Henderson, F. M., Cross, A. J., & Baraniak, A. R. (2019). ‘A new normal with chemobrain’: Experiences of the impact of chemotherapy-related cognitive deficits in long-term breast cancer survivors. Health psychology open, 6(1), 2055102919832234
Keith Watkins: Harm reduction strategies of people testing their illicit drugs at a testing service in the Netherlands. Presented at the Division of Health Psychology (DHP) Annual Conference, 6-8 September 2017, Cardiff, U.K.
Tracey Dorey: A phenomenological inductive thematic analysis of experiences of smoking cessation and stop smoking services in individuals with a common mental health issue. Presented at the Division of Health Psychology (DHP) Annual Conference, September 2018, Newcastle, U.K.
Michael Palumbo: An Intervention Applying Self-Affirmations, Implementation Intentions and Priming To Reduce Smoking. Presented at the Division of Health Psychology (DHP) Annual Conference, September 2018, Newcastle, U.K.
We actively encourage you to take part in a range of research activities if you are interested.
Network with a Health Psychology Community
Our lecturers have excellent professional links throughout the Health Psychology community, including the Health Psychology Training Committee, Division of Health Psychology and other organisations. This opens up a wide-reaching community of Health Psychology practitioners, organisations and groups for you to network with, develop your own contacts and keep up-to-date with developments across Health Psychology.
Students across our On Campus and Online Health Psychology courses are on the Committee for the UK-wide Health Psychology Trainee Network Stage 1 (MSc Health Psychology). Aimed to support early career Health Psychologists, the network organises regular conversation cafes open to any studying or interested in Health Psychology. Hear from speakers from across the Health Psychology arena, discuss careers or network and build links with a peer community.
Discover the HPTN on Twitter
To complete the MSc Health Psychology, you will need to complete all modules to acquire 180 credits. This is made up of six core 20 credit modules and a 60-credit Empirical Research Project.
The order in which you take them will be dependent on whether you join the course in the September or January intake. We will contact you with details of your study pattern before you need to register for enrolment.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
This programme is delivered entirely online, so you can study from anywhere in the world and fit your studies around your existing work or personal commitments. We use a Virtual Learning Environment to deliver this course, which offers you a highly interactive experience.
You will learn through:
- Weekly, live sessions delivered by a module tutor, which are also recorded and available to watch later
- Pre-recorded videos delivered by members of the academic team, which are available to watch at any time
- Discussion boards, which enable you to discuss a particular topic with fellow students and tutors
- Guest lectures delivered by industry specialists or alumni, which will provide you with current insights
- Your own online study and research, which you can choose to do at times that suit you
Each module incorporates core elements of relevant and structured content, a rich variety of activities, and timely and focused feedback to help you to get the most out of your studies.
Digital texts, ebooks, journals, databases and more are available electronically via our library.
Widen your knowledge with guest speakers and lecturers
Guest speakers and sessions are held to help you develop your career and practice covering a range of topics across areas of research, practice, industry and include career talks to support you with in- and post-programme planning. These are organised exclusively with the University of Derby through our industry links.
Support for your learning
You will get plenty of support, so if you are new to online learning or haven’t studied for a while, you don’t need to worry. You will be taught by our expert academics, who bring a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge to enrich your learning. There will also be a team of online learning advisors who will help you with any non-academic queries.
Many of our students have not studied for a long time so we put in place support to enable them to study at postgraduate level. If this applies to you, there are several advanced study skill resources available, covering areas such as research skills, critical evaluation in academic context, literature search, referencing, plagiarism and more.
Pace of Study
The academic year is made up of three, ten-week terms, known as trimesters. It is expected that you engage in around 20 hours of study each week to complete one 20-credit module over a trimester.
If you want to complete the course faster, you can choose to take our accelerated study plan (available from September 2023 intake). For this, you will need to study two modules in one trimester, which would mean about 40 hours of study each week.
This course is assessed through 100% coursework and all assessments are completed individually. Assessments are applied in nature, and include a range of methods such as essays, oral presentations, case studies, intervention reports, and research project report(s). They are designed to ensure you meet the learning outcomes of the course whilst also supporting the development of your professional and employability skills.
Assessments are designed for you to integrate and evaluate the knowledge and skills covered in each module with the additional information and evidence you gain from your own independent research and wider reading.
Personal Development Planning (PDP)
Personal Development Planning (PDP) is incorporated into this course, enabling you to actively reflect upon your own learning, performance and achievement, as well as plan your personal, educational and career development. You will be supported to develop key skills to link PDP with your continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning.
You will undertake a variety of PDP activities throughout the course, either through your modules or timetabled tutorials and will record your reflections and learning in your portfolio. This culminates in, the Professional Skills in Health for Applied Psychology module which incorporates a range of PDP activities.
Student support and guidance
Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:
All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.
Applicants are required normally to have at least a 2:1 Honours Degree in Psychology, which is recognised by the British Psychological Society for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).
Applicants with a 2:2 Honours Degree in Psychology, which is recognised by the British Psychological Society for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC), may be accepted onto the course subject to a satisfactory interview.
We will consider your application if you have a degree in a related discipline (such as mental health, public health, or a joint honours with psychology elements) (min 2:1 with Honours) which does not confer Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the BPS, and you have relevant work experience or can demonstrate the ability to study at Level 7 through the completion of other postgraduate study. The Programme Leader may invite you to interview as part of the Admissions process.
Are you an overseas student?
If you are an international student with a degree that is not accredited by the BPS or is accredited by a different association, you can apply independently to the BPS to see if your degree can be recognised. For further information or guidance, please contact us.
English language qualification
If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.5
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) 580 (paper based) 237 (computer based) or 92 (internet based)
- Pearson Test of Academic English: 51
- Cambridge Advanced Certificate: pass
- London Tests of English: we accept level 5 for postgraduate courses
- International GCE O-level English Language: grade C
- International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: grade C
If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.
‡2022/23 Fees for new entrants
Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module)
2023/24 Fees for new entrants
Starting between September 2023 and August 2024.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module)
About your fees
This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.
However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:
- Pay your full course fees upfront, or
- When enrolling in September, pay for all of your modules to be studied in that academic year upfront
Flexible payment plans available
Choose from three payment plan options:
Pay monthly and only for the modules you are studying
Pay your full course fees upfront, receive 5% discount and avoid annual increases
Pay for all modules studied in the year and receive a 5% discount (September enrolment only)
Masters funding options
Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out more about our Alumni discount
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
Students should apply directly to the University.
For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.
Documents to support your application
In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:
- Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence
- Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*
*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:
- Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The date of the translation
- The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
- The translator’s contact details
A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.
Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.
All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.
Health psychology specialists work in a range of settings across the NHS, industry and local authorities as well as in the voluntary sector and academia. Our graduates have gone on to deliver services in health promotion, public health, mental health and chronic illness management. There are also opportunities to enter other graduate professions such as education and management.
Some of our students have gone on to stage two postgraduate training to practise as registered health psychologists whilst others have secured funded PhDs in health psychology related areas. Others have used the MSc to gain places on clinical psychology training programmes or to access training in areas including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Increasing Access to Psychological Treatment services.
Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:Contact usFrequently asked questions
† Additional information about your studies
Accelerated pace of study option available from September 2023 (2 years)
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