About the Course
This MSc programme teaches an understanding of the psychological aspects of health, illness beliefs, and behaviours, and provides knowledge and research skills to undertake health research.
The topics covered aim to give an understanding of what influences living with and adjusting to a chronic illness, why some people engage in risky behaviours, such as smoking and risky sexual behaviour, and what factors encourage adherence at, for example, screening programmes. Those who work with people with chronic illness and/or wish to research behaviour change will benefit from this MSc.
This course is aimed at a variety of graduates:
- those working in the health sector who wish to further their understanding of the psychological aspects of health and illness
- health professionals (e.g. medical doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses)
- 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
- graduates in related disciplines such as sociology and anthropology.
Understanding how beliefs and attitudes influence behaviour is essential to understanding and predicting behaviour, and designing interventions for behaviour change. There is a dramatic increase in people diagnosed with chronic illnesses and those experiencing health problems, and the causes usually include behavioural factors.
This means that if we change the behaviour we are in a position of being able to reduce the chances of illness, improve health and quality of life, and reduce the burden on the NHS.
Issues that are analysed through the programme include:
- How can we change risky health behaviours, such as smoking and alcoholism?
- 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?
The MSc teaches an understanding the psychological aspects of health, illness beliefs, and behaviours, and provides knowledge and research skills to undertake health research.
Unique modules: Our MSc offers some unique modules and allows a broad understanding of health and how to undertake health research. There is also usually the opportunity to shadow a therapist at work and participate in courses run at a local smoking cessation centre.
Academic credibility: Teaching staff at Brunel 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.
Our graduates go on to further study at PhD level: this MSc is a valuable precursor to any future research degree or clinical doctorate.
Graduates working within the NHS find this MSc useful for their career progression.Skills learnt on this course will also benefit those working within health and illness or health promotion who wish to further their careers.
Please note our MSc Psychology, Health & Behaviour course is not a pathway to becoming a Health Psychologist in the UK.
- A UK first or 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a social sciences or medical related subject, the health professions or applicants who hold a medical degree. Applicants with a 2.1 or above degrees not in these areas but with relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.
- Applicants with a 2:2 Psychology degree and with relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis – as will applicants with other 2.2 degrees that have a maths background, and substantial relevant work experience.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated June 9, 2016