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5 reasons to study a Health Psychology Masters

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Smiling man sat on sofa with clipboard - Why Study Health Psychology at Ulster

This article is for anyone asking themselves the question ‘Why study Health Psychology?‘, as well as those looking for more information on BPS-accreditation, postgraduate options and careers prospects in the field.

So, why study Health Psychology?

Health Psychology is a burgeoning field that explores the relationship between mental and physical health. As science and psychology push the bounds of their research, the line drawn between mental and physical health blurs and new developments in healthcare can be made through simple interventions such as cognitive therapy.

If you’re interested in researching how psychological factors impact on biological health, such as the connection between health and addiction, then studying health psychology could lead you to a satisfying career as a Health Psychologist.

Those who choose to study Health Psychology at Ulster University are at the forefront of this exciting new field, with graduates going on to influence public health policy, clinical practice and ongoing academic research.

1. Ulster University’s BPS accredited Masters ensure industry standard training

The BPS-accredited Health Psychology Masters online with Ulster provides stage 1 professional training to become a Registered Health Psychologist. 

One of few online BPS-accredited courses in health psychology, the Ulster University distance learning Health Psychology MSc is a leading choice for career professionals seeking to upskill and/or gain an advanced certification while balancing existing responsibilities such as family and work. Read our blog on the importance of BPS accreditation to learn more.

2. Graduates can make a societal difference in a range of careers

Health Psychology has wide-ranging applications in healthcare, public health and research science, helping society to better understand the inextricable connection between biology and psychology. 

Within the healthcare system, trained health psychologists may deal with problems identified by healthcare agencies (such as NHS Trusts and health authorities) or by patients themselves. They work closely alongside other medical professionals, including GPs, nurses, dieticians, surgeons and rehabilitation therapists. 

According to the BPS, health psychologists in university roles may take up lecturing, supervision and active research across departments including Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Health Services Research. 

Consultancy is another option for health psychologists to provide expertise in training, research and intervention across varied industries. Additional paths to success continue to open up as research developments are made.

3. Students can draw on Ulster’s rich research heritage

Ulster University is in the top 25% of UK universities for world-leading research power (Research Excellence Framework, 2014) and the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences is held up by approximately 250 academic staff. 

Ulster’s School of Psychology has a strong reputation for Health Psychology research, actively involved with the Division of Health Psychology (DHP) at regional, national and international levels.  

Health Psychology students will spend one year preparing for their research dissertation and are encouraged to find a dissertation supervisor who aligns with their research interests. In pairing with an expert, students can benefit from authoritative advice regarding assessment measures, research methods and statistical analysis. 

4. Our course academics are research-led experts in the field

Our Health Psychology Masters programme is run by a dedicated and research-active group of professional psychologists and research academics. Within the team, our psychologists have links to reputed national organisations such as the Public Health Agency and Health Trusts.  

Drawing from the research expertise and teaching excellence of our faculty, we have put together six core modules to cover an extensive range of disciplines: 

  • Bio-Behavioural Mechanisms Underlying Health  
  • Individual Perspectives in Health Psychology  
  • Methods and Issues in Research and Practice (MIRP)  
  • Social, Cultural and Family Perspectives in Health Psychology  
  • Context and Perspectives in Health Psychology  
  • Models and Applications in Health Psychology (MAHP)  

5. Ulster’s distance learning curriculum is adaptable and interactive

Ulster University online programmes are well established (running for over 20 years) and the university is among a select number of institutions offering Health Psychology Masters degree programmes taught entirely online. 

On Ulster’s online Health Psychology Masters programme, students can access all learning and supporting materials, discussion boards and readings via Ulster’s 24/7 online learning portal. Dedicated student success advisors provide support throughout your student journey from registration to graduation, with career advice, research opportunities and academic support.  

Ulster online programmes actively encourage collaboration between academics and student peers from around the world. Distance learning students benefit from varied teaching methods, including online lectures, seminars, interactive sessions and practical exercises (e.g. development of a health promotion campaign or mini systematic review). 

The solid academic and peer support from Ulster ensures students feel positive and confident in leading their own learning off-campus. Similarly, cross-discipline modules led by research-active academics enable graduates to leave with the expertise needed to pursue professional success.

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