Psychology, Health and Behaviour MSc
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
- How can we change risky health behaviours (such as smoking, drinking)?
- Why don’t people take medicines as directed, even when the medicines are prescribed for serious illnesses?
- What psychological and social factors influence physical health?
This course is aimed at a variety of graduates; people working in the health who wish to further their understanding of the psychological aspects of health and illness; health professionals (medical doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, to mention a few); international students; psychology graduates who wish to gain skills to help them obtain a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate or study further at PhD level; and graduates in related disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.
The MSc teaches an understanding the psychological aspects of health, illness beliefs, and behaviours, and provides knowledge and research skills to undertake health research.
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Course directors: Professor Lynn Myers and Dr Bridget Dibb
The course consists of four taught modules (30 credits each) and a final dissertation (60 credits) totalling 180 credits. Modules are subject to variation but at the time of printing, planned modules are as follows:
The Psychology of Managing Illness
This module introduces various factors associated with chronic illness. For example, the impact of illness on quality of life, adjustment to chronic illness, adherence to treatment/rehabilitation, factors important in predicting change in various illnesses.
This module introduces various theoretical models and their relationship to health behaviours. These are related to health and risk behaviours which include smoking, dieting and eating; sexual behaviour; alcohol and substance use; exercise and health promotion.
Multidisciplinary Approaches to Health
This module introduces themes and disciplines that are related to health psychology and looks at the approach to health taken by these different disciplines. This includes medical sociology, medical anthropology, cross-cultural psychology and medical ethics.
Health Research and Research Methods
This module trains students to write literature reviews and discusses the practicalities of research. Students will be trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods and equips the student with the skills to undertake health research.
Students will undertake a research project in a topic of their interest, chosen after discussion with their supervisor.
Our Msc offers some unique modules and allows a broad understanding of health and how to undertake health research.
Academics have published high-impact journal articles and books on a broad range of subjects and have received research funding from a variety of bodies, including the EU, the Commission for Racial Equality, the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Home Office, the Department of Health, The Wellcome Trust, The Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The programme is run jointly by Professor Lynn Myers and Dr Bridget Dibb:
Professor Lynn Myers is a Chartered Psychologist and a registered Health Psychologist. She was course director for an MSc in health psychology at UCL for 10 years until 2006. Her special research interests include: adherence/compliance to treatment, inhibition of emotion and disease, risk perception, stress and health professionals, sexual risk behaviour and social cognition models and health-related behaviours.
Dr Bridget Dibb is also a Chartered Psychologist and a registered Health Psychologist who has previously taught and supervised health psychology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests include: quality of life, adjustment, posttraumatic growth, social comparison, sexual health, illness cognitions, and health and illness behaviours.
Assessment is by coursework (including term papers and oral presentations), and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.
This MSc is a valuable precursor to any future research degree or clinical doctorate. Skills learnt on this course will also benefit those working within health and illness who wish to further their careers.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
UK/EU students: £6,250 full-time; £3,125 part-time
International students: £14,250 full-time; £7,125 part-time
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry RequirementsA first class or upper second class honours degree from a UK institution (or its equivalent) and a satisfactory interview. The degree should normally be in either behavioral medicine areas (eg nurses; physiotherapists; pharmacists; occupational therapists; doctors) or in the social sciences (eg psychology; anthropology; or sociology). Candidates with a lower second class honours degree or non-standard qualifications will be considered in a case-by-case manner.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4.5)
- TOEFL Internet test: 92 (R20, L20, S20, W20)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.