Doctor of Health Psychology
This course is open for applications
Page last updated 30 November 2023
This part-time programme provides BPS-accredited Stage 2 training, a doctoral-level education and a professional Health Care Professions Council qualification. Taught by a highly experienced team, it gives you the research, training and supervision to take your career to the next level.
For individuals working in a health setting, this course provides the knowledge and skills to develop careers and become a Chartered Psychologist. You will come to UWE Bristol for around 12 Doctorate Training Days and supervision meetings each year over three years, while working in your existing role as you carry out your research. You receive strong course support in person and online, so wherever you are in the country you can be sure of the best support.
Outstanding professional support
You will learn from our outstanding team of HCPC-registered Health Psychologists, benefiting from their expertise in research, behaviour change, consultancy and teaching and training and their extensive professional network and strong links in the region. Each year ends with a review day, where you can speak to tutors face to face about your progress.
You will prepare for accreditation as a Chartered Psychologist through training and supervision in five areas of competency. These five areas are specified by the British Psychological Society's Board of Examiners in Health Psychology. On completing this course you'll be eligible to apply for the Register of Health Psychologists held by the Health and Care Professions Council.
The BPS accreditation team commends this course based on:
- the high level of student satisfaction and the resources and facilities that support their training
- the high level of support the academic team provides, and their accessibility and approachability
- the strong research experience and wide-ranging expertise of the programme team, and its commitment and enthusiasm to the course
- the forward-looking nature of the course, including the commitment to its continual development
- the programme team's responsiveness to feedback from students, employers and professional bodies
- the diversity of the assessment methods and our commitment to developing new ones.
- the emphasis on integrating theory and practice at every stage.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The course covers the five areas of competency laid out by the British Psychological Society's Board of Examiners in Health Psychology. These are covered in the following modules:
- Systematic Review - Here, you learn all you need to know about designing, executing and reporting a Systematic Review.
- Teaching and Training in Health Psychology - This module helps you to get the most from all appropriate Health Psychology teaching and training packages.
- Consultancy Skills in Health Psychology - Here, you will develop all the skills necessary to successfully negotiate, undertake, evaluate and report consultancy work.
- Health Behaviour Change Interventions - In this module, you will learn how to design, assess and formulate health behaviour change interventions. You will also consider how to provide and evaluate them successfully.
- Professional Skills in Health Psychology - This is designed to help develop your professional Health Psychology skills and you will learn all relevant codes of professional practice, along with how to apply them to your own work.
You will explore an area of Health Psychology and produce a doctoral level thesis based on a major piece of empirical research.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
The course is mostly distance-based, with normally around 12 days per year on campus. This approach is highly popular for employers and employees, and is supported by a range of clinical experts alongside the UWE academic team. It's designed to give you the knowledge and skills needed to practice in a safe and competent manner, and the education and research base to evaluate and inform current and future practice.
There are opportunities for professional collaboration and shared learning in practical settings.
For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
You will continue working in your existing role, but attend campus for normally 12 workshop days per year. During this time, you will undertake empirical research.
We assess your work through modular assignments looking for evidence you've acquired the professional teaching and training, consultancy and behaviour-change interventions skills you need. And your thesis, which includes your systematic review and report on a major piece of empirical research, plus an oral exam.
For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.
This Professional Doctorate is accredited by the British Psychological Society, and provides Stage 2 training to become eligible for Chartered Psychologist status. It is also approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, so you are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
UWE Bristol's Allied Health Professions Department, based at the Glenside campus, provides an extensive range of teaching and learning resources, and the Glenside library is one of the best healthcare libraries in England. It contains a huge selection of books, e-books, journals, and audio-visual materials - including access to specialist health and social care software packages. You can access much of this material online.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Take a Virtual Tour of the Psychology, Sociology and Criminology facilities and see what's on offer here for you.
Careers / Further study
Once you have completed the course you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council to become an accredited practitioner, and for full membership of the British Psychological Society.
Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
You should have:
- UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent international qualification)
- Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society
- MSc Health Psychology to a minimum of merit grade (or equivalent) accredited by the British Psychological Society as providing Stage 1 of the Practitioner Health Psychologist qualification
- A health-related job role (paid or voluntary) on applying, in which you can fulfil the majority of the Stage 2 competencies in Health Psychology.
Please note all applicants will have to indicate on a prior accredited learning form whether the material covered in the MSc Health Psychology maps onto specified standards of proficiency listed by the Health and Care Professions Council. If you do not meet all the required standards of proficiency (SOPs) of accredited prior learning on entry to the course, you will be required to undertake directed study under a learning agreement that is non-credit bearing, as specified by the Admissions Scrutiny Panel. The learning agreement may include the recommendation of study of full modules (as appropriate) taken from the MSc Health Psychology (Stage 1) course run by the University.
Disclosure of Criminal Background - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. Applicants who are offered a place must undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.
All short listed candidates will be required to attend interview.
How to apply
Our final date for applications is 11 April 2024, but we may close earlier due to high demand. If you are selected for interview, these will be held in May. Decisions will be made by the end of June. Interviews will be virtual. If you apply after the deadline we cannot guarantee that we can consider your application.
We do not accept deferred entry applications for this course.