MSc Applied Social and Health Psychology

MSC Psych web

This unique Master’s programme is designed for those who are passionate about developing strong professional competencies alongside psychological research skills and knowledge. The programme critically explores the application of psychology to understanding and tacking real-world issues such as health promotion, environmental behaviour and prejudice.

Key Facts

Institution Code: S96
Course Length:
One year full-time; Two years part-time

Scholarships and Bursaries

Faculty of Education and Communities
Contact Name:
Dr Ceri Phelps
Contact Email:
Language Choice:

Twitter‌  facebook ‌ You Tube‌‌

  • I expected the course to be interesting, but it was more than that. I enjoyed the variety amongst the modules and how each lecture engaged you, and allowed for exploration into various psychological aspects relevant to today’s society. The skill set this MSc has provided with me is, I believe, more than another MSc course could offer. It didn’t just give me the ability to deepen my general psychological knowledge and skills, but provided me with a professional skill set and the confidence to pursue any career I wish.

    Tilly Jo RobinsonGraduate, MSc with Distinction

  • I chose to study the MSc in Applied Social and Health Psychology following the completion of my undergraduate degree at UWTSD for two reasons; first, my interest in engaging in real life research projects and second because I knew the lecturers would be as brilliant and supportive as they always have been. There was nothing that I did not enjoy about the course; I expected it to be interesting but it was so much more than that. The skill set that I am walking away with as a result of studying on this programme is, in my opinion, much greater than any other MSc course could have offered me. I got to engage in real-life applied research on more than one occasion and I now feel I have an excellent grounding in general psychological knowledge, in-depth research skills, professional competencies and increased confidence for me to progress in my Psychology career! And I will be graduating with an MSc with distinction!

    Tilly Robinson

    Tilly Robinson | Age: 23MSc Applied Social and Health Psychology

This MSc in Applied Social and Health Psychology aims to develop the student into a professional and employable psychological researcher. Through a novel and exciting mix of hands-on workshops (Applied Research, Ethics and Analysis), lecture and seminar debate (Psychology and Health, Applying Social Psychology), exploration of up-to-the minute issues (Society and Psychology) and working with academic staff in a research team (Professional Research Skills) the ability to develop postgraduate-level skills is built into this course.

The research opportunities offered to students by the programme team within this Master’s programme involve a focus on tackling important research areas of relevance to today’s environmental, political and social world, at a local and global level, providing our graduates with the skills and knowledge to go into further study (e.g., PhD) or into employment.

Indicative modules and content include:

  • Society and Psychology: in this module students will develop a critical understanding of current issues relating to the local and global political and social landscape of relevance to social and health psychology.  Topics covered will include: health promotion, sustainability, and conflict reduction.
  • Professional Research Skills: this module will develop students’ practical research skills by working in a team with a member of academic staff, providing opportunity to gain hands on experience in preparing and applying research materials and working with a range of literature and data. It will also develop wider professional skills through developing reflective, presentation and team-working skills.
  • Psychology and Health: this module will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the role of psychological research in improving health behaviours at an individual, organisational and global level and how health psychology underpins intervention development and evaluation in the context of applied health research and evaluation.
  • Applying Social Psychology: this module will provide students with an in-depth critical understanding of the role of social psychological research in individual, organisational and global issues and will enable students to develop a strong understanding of the models, theories, and approaches that underpin evidence-based real-world solutions in the field of social psychology.
  • Applied Research, Ethics & Analysis:  this module will engage students with an in-depth and critical knowledge of applied research design and associated analytical techniques (both qualitative and quantitative) alongside a thorough understanding of research ethics in various applied research domains.
  • Applied Research Dissertation: students will develop and demonstrate advanced research skills by identifying and undertaking a piece of primary research related to applied psychology.

The Masters in Applied Social and Health Psychology will provide graduate students or those with relevant experience the opportunity to develop a range of higher-level research, evaluation, and professional skills which can be applied to a broad range of specialisms within and beyond Psychology. 

Students will pursue specialist modules in the areas of health psychology and social psychology, and have the opportunity to complete a research dissertation in a specialist area of applied psychology.  A particular strength of this course is the opportunity to work closely with academic members of staff on real research projects through the Professional Research Skills module and to receive mentoring in the development of applied research and professional skills. 

The ultimate aim of this programme is to develop a well-rounded and competent psychological researcher who has developed a critical understanding of a wide range of applied research techniques, and who is able to apply this knowledge and associated skills discerningly to appropriate applied psychology questions of relevance to the wider social and health agendas. 

Assessments for this programme have been specifically designed to enable students to demonstrate a broad range of academic, research and professional skills. 

There are no exams for this programme, with students being assessed through a variety of different formats including class-based practical research skills assessments, written essays, a portfolio of professional competencies, research proposals and oral presentations.

For part two of the Master’s programme students will complete their own research dissertation and submit a written thesis alongside a professional presentation of their research.

Entry requirements for this Master’s programme are typically a 2.1 honours degree or above in psychology (or closely-related subject).  However, we may consider applications from those with a 2.2 honours degree in psychology with a minimum 2.1 dissertation mark, or those with equivalent related qualifications and experience (assessed through applicant interview). 

All students will be invited to interview before being potentially offered a place on the course to ensure that they possess the intellectual and interpersonal aptitudes required for successful completion of this Master’s programme, and applicants may be asked to complete practical research exercises before an offer is made. 

The University policy for APEL/RPEL will apply to suitable applicants and we would be pleased to offer the opportunity for further academic study and professional skills development in those currently working in a professional capacity or those with an appropriate undergraduate degree wishing to return to further study at postgraduate level. Students from a non-traditional route will be expected to demonstrate sound IT, numeracy and writing skills before being accepted on to the course. 

Psychology graduates are valued by a range of sectors due to the strong set of transferable and critical thinking skills developed through psychology programmes. As such, the higher level academic and professional skills developed through the addition of a Master’s level qualification will clearly produce a highly attractive graduate to both psychology fields and other sectors.  These will include the ability to: 

  • exercise initiative and personal responsibility in the production and management of workload;
  • engage in teamwork and to reflect upon this process;
  • present work to both academic and lay audiences in an appropriate manner;
  • engage in independent learning required for continuing professional development;
  • present work appropriately through different media to a high standard.

Graduates from this programme will be in a strong position to pursue further academic research pathways in the form of PhD study or academic research assistantship roles.

Additionally, the skill set developed from this Master’s programme will also make them highly attractive candidates for employment and professional career opportunities in non-academic organisations such as government agencies, voluntary sector organisations, the NHS, or in a range of private sector businesses involving project management and evaluation skills.

  • MPhil/PhD by Research 

The School of Psychology offers an exciting mix of expertise in experimental psychology, social psychology, and health psychology, creating a dynamic learning environment where students at all levels can flourish and develop strong academic, research and professional skills.  The School works closely with its students to provide strong levels of academic support and mentoring and has a commitment to high levels of professional and ethical standards.

We have a strong track record of students at undergraduate and postgraduate level presenting their research at national conferences and we offer many opportunities to become involved in the wider research culture of the School.  Additionally, the School has strong links with the British Psychological Society and with the local Community through its community engagement work, as well as with national charities and the NHS, alongside a growing national and international research profile.

"I think we have a fantastic mixture of new and experienced researchers in the School and they all have one thing in common - a passion to teach people about their areas of psychology" - Dr Paul Hutchings, Director of Studies.  

Read more about Dr Hutchings' research and how he got started in the field of Psychology here.