Key Facts

Course Title: Psychology of Health and Wellbeing
Course type: MSc
Mode of Study:Full Time or Part Time
Contact Details:Bev Davies
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Subject Area: Psychology


 ****  Application deadline is 31st May 2018  ****


The MSc in Psychology of Health & Wellbeing is designed to prepare psychology graduates for the next stage of their career relating to health and wellbeing – whether in an academic or applied setting. 

Keele has a vibrant, well-established and ever-expanding community of researchers in the psychology of health and wellbeing. Students will benefit from their expertise across a wide range of areas including health promotion, health literacy, women’s health, ageing,PG Psychology positive psychology and wellbeing. Staff additionally have expertise in community health psychology, including community-based health promotion for marginalized groups and exploring the benefits of the arts for health and wellbeing. As part of this course students will also have the exciting opportunity to undertake some work experience within a health-related organisation in the local community. 

Key features of your MSc programme in psychology will include: 

  • Strong focus on your personal skills development throughout the course to help you pursue your career goals
  • Opportunities to pursue your personal interests with expert support
  • A broad range of research methods training to maximise your employability skills
  • Small group specialist teaching in your chosen field from research-active tutors
  • A large cohort of MSc students sharing the core modules provides a lively and supportive peer community

Aims of the Course

The MSc in Psychology of Health & Wellbeing is designed to prepare psychology graduates for the next stage of their career relating to health and wellbeing – whether in an academic or applied setting. 

The course aims to:

  • Advance your knowledge and understanding of key concepts, research and practice on the psychology of health and wellbeing;
  • Enable you to understand the plurality of research methods underpinning the psychology of health and wellbeing and apply these to different research situations;
  • Develop a critical awareness of current issues and new insights in the psychology of health and wellbeing;
  • Develop an understanding of how academic knowledge can usefully be applied to a health-related organisational setting. 

The overall aims of all our MSc Psychology programmes are as follows:

  • To equip you to formulate and conduct psychological research projects;
  • To develop your knowledge of different theoretical perspectives, philosophical traditions and methodological approaches to psychology;
  • To enable you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different research methods and different forms of data, and to evaluate their appropriateness for different research problems;
  • To enable you to define and formulate research questions and testable hypotheses, and to design appropriate research to answer these questions using relevant methods of data collection, consistent with British Psychological Society principles of ethics and research governance;
  • To provide you with knowledge of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research and data analysis techniques;
  • To provide you with a range of opportunities to engage with advanced research in substantive areas relevant to their own research topic and to the discipline of psychology;
  • To provide you with opportunities to enhance and develop your written and communication skills, independent learning skills, and critical reflection and evaluation skills.

You will develop these skills in the context of your chosen specialism.

Entry Requirements

This course is open to graduates with a first or upper second-class degree in psychology (or a cognate discipline with some psychology study) or equivalent. International students are very welcome, but will require IELTS 7.0 overall with 6.0 in each subtest. 

Course Content

Our MSc Psychology programmes are designed to foster a vibrant and collaborative peer culture amongst our MSc students. Several of our modules are shared by all four of our MSc psychology programmes. We also know it’s vital that you develop the advanced specialised skills you will need to pursue careers in your chosen fields. Throughout your MSc degree you are supported and encouraged to focus your work to help you conduct in-depth explorations of your specialist subjects and personal interests.

You will undertake a double weighted Advanced Study module in The Psychology of Health and Wellbeing (30 credits).

Using a guided independent learning approach, this module aims to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts, theories and research evidence on the psychology of health and wellbeing and to develop their critical awareness of current issues and new insights in this area of psychological research. In addition, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and gain valuable experience by undertaking some work within a health-related organisation in the local community.

All MSc Psychology undertake the following core modules designed to help you engage with the pluralistic nature of psychology and understand the broader field within which your specialised interest sits:

  • Contemporary Research in Psychology (15 credits)
  • Advanced Research Skills and Design (15 credits)
  • Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Research Apprenticeship in Psychology (15 credits)

In addition to the core modules all students can tailor their research methods training to suit their needs and interests by choosing one of the following option modules:

  • Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience Research Methods (15 credits)

Research is a key emphasis in our programmes and you will be supported by a specialist tutor in your chosen field to undertake original research as part of the Research Preparation (15 credits) and Dissertation (60 credits) modules.

For example, previous students have completed research on topics such as: motivations and barriers to participating in happiness-enhancing activities, the impact of arts interventions on the wellbeing of older adults and displays of compliance by clients in counseling sessions. 

Teaching and Assessment

Each module has different prescribed learning activities, including formal lectures and seminars, discussions and consultation with staff. You should expect some lively debates and interesting discussions. Please be aware that you will be expected to contribute to the programme, in the form of advance reading (of which there is a substantial amount), preparing presentations and contributing to discussions in seminars, and bringing your own ideas to bear on the teaching material.

The programme is assessed through a range of formats including:

  • Blog portfolios
  • Personal skills audits
  • Research Critiques
  • Lab Reports
  • Unseen exams and class tests
  • Verbal presentations
  • Independent research written up as a dissertation.

Full time and part time students all study together for the taught/seminar/class discussion elements of the programmes, but in certain modules part-time students have more extended deadlines to enable them to complete work without placing too much burden on them.  Attendance is compulsory at all teaching sessions.

In order to obtain an MSc degree, every student is required to obtain 180 M level credits:

  • Full time students complete the course in 1 year (51 weeks). In order to obtain an MSc degree, students are required to obtain 180 M level credits, including a 60-credit dissertation.
  • Part time students complete the course in 2 years (103 weeks), taking 90 credits in each year.

A Postgraduate Certificate is available for students who have completed 60 credits of their programme and a Postgraduate Diploma is available for students who have completed 120 credits of their programme. There are no restrictions on which modules need to be passed.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for textbooks, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme. Limited support is available for research-related expenses.

For information on fees please see the latest information here for taught postgraduate fees.

There are a number of bursaries on offer to both home and overseas postgraduate students. Please see this page for more information.

MSc Psychology students can bid for funding support to attend conferences or other extra-curricular activities to support their studies or present their research.

Claire Melia MSc Psychology of Health and Wellbeing Career Destinations
Many of our graduates go on to take up positions within a health-related setting. Other students move on to further study by, for example, registering for a Professional Doctorate in health psychology or beginning a PhD in psychology. For example, Claire Melia (pictured left) completed the MSc Health and Wellbeing (2015-16) and is now studying for her PhD in Psychology at Keele, researching discourses of alcohol.

Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour

"The programme was well designed, with an interesting array of research to get our teeth into"

MSc Psychology of Health and Wellbeing