Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK fee

£9,450 (2024/25)

International fee

£9,450 (2024/25)

Course level




Start dates

September, January



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.

The highlights

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)

The British Psychological Society Accredited Health Psychology logo

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:

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

Conference presentations

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.

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What you will study

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.

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Online Discovering Online Learning webinar: June 2024

Thursday, 6 June 2024 12.00 - 13.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through how online learning works and what you can expect as an online student with the University of Derby.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

How you will learn

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:

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.

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 Personal Academic Tutors to support your academic and professional development, and a team of online learning advisors who will help you with any non-academic queries.

Study skills

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 terms, known as trimesters. Each trimester comprises 10-weeks of teaching where you will engage with your weekly study materials and attend live online webinars. This is followed by a dedicated assessment preparation week where you will have time to finalise your assessments before you submit your work.

Each 20-credit module is based on a notional 200-learning hours, these hours include the time you spend engaging with the formal study materials, completing directed reading, and undertaking activities in preparation for attending the live weekly webinars. You should allocate at least 5-hours a week for these formal activities (approximately 50-hours).

The remaining hours are for more detailed directed and independent reading around the topics you will be introduced to, thinking time, and time spent working on your assessments. The proportion of time you spend on these different elements will vary as the module progresses with more time spent on assessment preparation, as a proportion of your time, towards the end of the module.

Students undertaking the 3-year part-time programme will study one 20-credit module per trimester in year 1 (PG Cert.) and year 2 (PG Dip.), followed by the 60-credit empirical research project module in year 3 (Masters) which starts in September and runs through until July.

If you are considering accelerated study, there are two options:

If you are considering accelerated study, you will need to ensure you have sufficient time to complete the associated workload.

If you are considering the accelerated study route for the January intake, please contact the Programme Leader, Brenda Cauldwell-Phillips via email for further advice.

Assessment method

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, developing health promotion resources, 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 as part of Personal Academic Tutoring (PAT) sessions. This focus on PDP culminates in the Clinical and Professional Skills for Practitioner Psychologists module which incorporates a range of PDP activities and dedicated PDP related assessments.

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.

Who will teach you

Dr Brenda Caldwell Phillips
Programme leader

Brenda is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology in the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care. She is also a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a member of the International Psycho-Oncology Society and British Psychosocial Oncology Society.

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Get a taste of the course content

Our Health Psychology MSc course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster

Entry requirements

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:

Find out more about our English language requirements

Fees and funding

2024/25 for new entrants

Starting between September 2024 and August 2025.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,050 7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module) £9,450

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course based on the fee 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.

If you are required to undertake any associate study or additional study as a condition of your offer for the programme, please be aware that the cost for this will be in addition to the programme cost stated above.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from two payment plan options:

*Please note: the discount for paying your fees up front will only be available to students enrolling for eligible online studies between August 2023 and July 2024 and will not be available for the September 2024 intake onwards.

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.

If you are considering applying for a student loan, please also see our additional guidance on Loans for Online Students.

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.

Apply directly to the University.

Apply now

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:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

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.

Application deadlines

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.

Utilise our Careers and Employment Service​

Whilst you are a student at the University of Derby, and for 3 years after you graduate, our Careers and Employment Service can assist you with job search advice, CV creation, workshops and events, as well as one-to-one appointments with employment advisers to help with career planning and interview preparation.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

† Additional information about your studies

Accelerated pace of study option available from September 2023 (2 years)

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