MSc Health Psychology Watch

EtherealBeauty
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Hi everyone,
I would really appreciate some advice with regards to a dilemma over where to study for my MSc Health Psychology course. I would love to go to UCL but the problem is that this course used to be run jointly by King's and UCL. However, they have recently decided to separate the course and run their own individual ones (even though King's is not accepting 2011 entry). Due to this split, the course at UCL is still pending accreditation from the BPS and it seems unclear as to when this accrediation could be obtained. With regards to this, it seems a bit risky embarking on a course which has not yet obtained accreditation status - particularly since the Masters is only one year long so if they can't get it accredited within the year, the qualification won't be professionally recognised by the BPS at the end? I'm hoping to go into academic research in the future but I have noticed that some posts require your stage 1 to have been BPS accredited.

On the other hand, the course at Bath is BPS recognised and there is a compulsary four months summer placement. Although my long term aim is to go into academic research (i.e. do a PhD in the future), I would like to gain employment as a research assistant after my MSc first...so how important would this work placement be? Is it likely to boost my employment prospects (and for going into academia in the future)? Or is the prestige/reputation of the University likely to play a bigger role?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Thanks.
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*Elizabeth*
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I'm seriously considering stage 2 in health psychology in order to become a chartered health psychologist from September.

If you're thinking about health psychology as a career option- it's essential you gain an accredited MSc. I would go for a course where there's certainty of accredition!

For professional training in health psychology you just need a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with at least 60% average- doesn't matter which uni!

I loved my time at UCL. Highly recommended I worked as a health psychology researcher at UCL last year.... (on the basis of my MSc in health psychology at Westminster) and they have a VERY strong health psychology department.

Also, MScs with a placement option are a great way to gain that all important experience I received my PhD studentship as a result of my work experience and MScs. If I could go back, I would opt for an MSc with a work placement. Experience will definitely help you stand out from the extremely competitive pool of psychology graduates.

Also, have you thought about MSc in Health Psychology accredited by the BPS AND the ESRC? You could apply for stage 2 in health psychology AND you could also apply for +3 ESRC PhD studentships- which will mean you won't have to complete an additional ESRC accredited MSc in Research Methods (if considering a PhD). Completing an ESRC accredited MSc basically means you will receive strong research methods training as prep for PhD study. Kent uni used to offer an MSc in Health Psychology accredited by the BPS and ESRC. A few unis listed below seem to offer bps and esrc accredation. Bath seems to be a very good course- ie offers placements, bps AND esrc accrediation!

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/pg/201...2/23931#tabs-2
http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate...lthpsychology/
http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/progr...c-in-heal-psyc

Hope this helps x
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wonderingwot2do
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Thanks for the added info on Bath. I've accepted a place at UofBath for an MSc Health Psychology as the placement was a very attractive proposition. I did not realise the added benefits of the ESRC accreditation.
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EtherealBeauty
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Hello!

Sorry about my terribly late reply! I didn't get a notification that someone had reply - sorry about that!

Thank you very much for your advice *Elizabeth* - it's extremely useful!

Thanks once again!
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by EtherealBeauty)
Hello!

Sorry about my terribly late reply! I didn't get a notification that someone had reply - sorry about that!

Thank you very much for your advice *Elizabeth* - it's extremely useful!

Thanks once again!

You're welcome Best of luck!!
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Whatsaboutit
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
You're welcome Best of luck!!
Hi,

How competitive was it to get on this course? Do you need much experience?

Thanks
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by Whatsaboutit)
Hi,

How competitive was it to get on this course? Do you need much experience?

Thanks
For the MSc in Health Psychology at Westminster? Not competitive at all!! I graduated in June 2003 and was offered a place for September 2003. The only experience I had was firsts and high 2.1s in Health Psychology undergraduate modules and a health psychology dissertation. Things may have changed since then though!

But the course director did say he did not accept everyone interested in the MSc course- ie he did not accept people with thirds, people with poor application forms and people with no experience.

Best of luck Feel free to ask any questions
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wonderingwot2do
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you won't get onto a BPS accredited MSc without having a 2:1 as a minimum. Some universities require a little experience, but not too much. As long as you can prove you know the subject and are competent enough, you should be able to get onto a course.
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by wonderingwot2do)
you won't get onto a BPS accredited MSc without having a 2:1 as a minimum. Some universities require a little experience, but not too much. As long as you can prove you know the subject and are competent enough, you should be able to get onto a course.
Well I got onto a BPS accredited MSc (and a BPS doctorate) with a 2.2 so it probably depends on the university, amount of experience, evidence of academic excellence, good references and a good application form.

At postgraduate level, some universities look at other factors, not just whether applicants have a 2.1 or not.
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wonderingwot2do
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
Well I got onto a BPS accredited MSc (and a BPS doctorate) with a 2.2 so it probably depends on the university, amount of experience, evidence of academic excellence, good references and a good application form.

At postgraduate level, some universities look at other factors, not just whether applicants have a 2.1 or not.
Oh, thank you for that - I was going by what the admissions tutors told me when I was applying, looking into courses during the past year.
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by wonderingwot2do)
Oh, thank you for that - I was going by what the admissions tutors told me when I was applying, looking into courses during the past year.
Hey- you're welcome

I'm generalising here, but I think SOME admission tutors tend to be really judgemental about people with 2.2s and/or make sweeping statements about people with 2.2s not getting onto MSc courses- but it is possible

Best of luck with your application
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DeepStar
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
Hey- you're welcome

I'm generalising here, but I think SOME admission tutors tend to be really judgemental about people with 2.2s and/or make sweeping statements about people with 2.2s not getting onto MSc courses- but it is possible

Best of luck with your application

What do you think about the Foundations of Clinical Psychology and Mental Health MSc offered by Sussex university?
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LydiaM123
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I know the Psychology department at Sussex is supposed to be a very good department, but if your looking to get onto a DClin Psych course upon graduation, I'd advise you to either take up this course part time whilst getting some relevant work experience, or just work full time to gain some work experience and do the course in a couple of years. Clinical Psychology is very tough to get into, and I believe having relevant work experience is more useful than having a MSc.
Hope that helps!
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by DeepStar)
What do you think about the Foundations of Clinical Psychology and Mental Health MSc offered by Sussex university?
Good things
1.

Recognised by the ESRC which means you could apply for ESRC PhD scholarships. Also means the department and course has a strong research element to it so expect strong research methods training.

2.


These are really good points............ (copied from the website)

******************************** ****************

Psychology at Sussex is also ranked in the top 10 in the UK in The Times Good University Guide 2012,The Complete University Guide 2011-12 and The Sunday Times University Guide 2012, and 14th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2012, and we were rated among the top universities in Europe for psychology in the Centre for Higher Education Development’s CHE Excellence Ranking (2009).

We were rated 12th (of 76 universities) in the UK for research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). 95 per cent of our research was rated as recognised internationally or higher, and 60 per cent rated as internationally excellent or higher.

We are one of the largest psychology units in the UK with almost 40 teaching faculty, as well as a large community of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students. This provides an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment for postgraduate research and study.

We have excellent facilities with newly refurbished office and laboratory space at the centre of the Sussex campus.

We are able to offer supervision across a broad range of areas encompassed by our four research groups: Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental and Clinical Psychology, and Social and Applied Psychology.

We have strong collaborative links with the Schools of Life Sciences and Department of Informatics as well as with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

******************************** ******************
3.


- In most cases, core teaching is delivered on two days each week.


This is good- allows for part time work or concentrating on MSc work for the rest of the week! So important to gain relevant experience, it looks as if this course is accomodating or aware that students need time to gain relevante experience alongside MSc study.


Question mark?


1. Fees are not out yet. This could mean a massive hike in fees?!!

2. Where's the course outline? Would be useful to see an outline to see what the course covers (unless I've missed it)

This programme provides a thorough grounding in research training relevant to clinical psychology and a broad understanding of mental health service provision.

This is really vague!!

Missing aspects

1. There's no opportunities for placements. Other MSc in Clinical Psychology programmes offer placements which would be a valuable asset to an MSc. (need as much experience as possible and something to stand out from the many many other applicants).

http://courses.bournemouth.ac.uk/cou...logy/none/640/

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/ps...grad/clinical/

http://www.uel.ac.uk/psychology/prog...alcommpsyc.htm

****************

Best of luck with your application

I completed the postgraduate certificate (PGCert) course below and really enjoyed it (I got onto the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at City uni so left with a PGCert).

http://www.newman.ac.uk/courses/higher_degree/?pg=647
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by LydiaM123)
I know the Psychology department at Sussex is supposed to be a very good department, but if your looking to get onto a DClin Psych course upon graduation, I'd advise you to either take up this course part time whilst getting some relevant work experience, or just work full time to gain some work experience and do the course in a couple of years. Clinical Psychology is very tough to get into, and I believe having relevant work experience is more useful than having a MSc.
Hope that helps!
I agree with this completely
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DeepStar
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
Good things
1.

Recognised by the ESRC which means you could apply for ESRC PhD scholarships. Also means the department and course has a strong research element to it so expect strong research methods training.

2.


These are really good points............ (copied from the website)

******************************** ****************

Psychology at Sussex is also ranked in the top 10 in the UK in The Times Good University Guide 2012,The Complete University Guide 2011-12 and The Sunday Times University Guide 2012, and 14th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2012, and we were rated among the top universities in Europe for psychology in the Centre for Higher Education Development’s CHE Excellence Ranking (2009).

We were rated 12th (of 76 universities) in the UK for research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). 95 per cent of our research was rated as recognised internationally or higher, and 60 per cent rated as internationally excellent or higher.

We are one of the largest psychology units in the UK with almost 40 teaching faculty, as well as a large community of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students. This provides an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment for postgraduate research and study.

We have excellent facilities with newly refurbished office and laboratory space at the centre of the Sussex campus.

We are able to offer supervision across a broad range of areas encompassed by our four research groups: Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental and Clinical Psychology, and Social and Applied Psychology.

We have strong collaborative links with the Schools of Life Sciences and Department of Informatics as well as with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

******************************** ******************
3.


- In most cases, core teaching is delivered on two days each week.


This is good- allows for part time work or concentrating on MSc work for the rest of the week! So important to gain relevant experience, it looks as if this course is accomodating or aware that students need time to gain relevante experience alongside MSc study.


Question mark?


1. Fees are not out yet. This could mean a massive hike in fees?!!

2. Where's the course outline? Would be useful to see an outline to see what the course covers (unless I've missed it)

This programme provides a thorough grounding in research training relevant to clinical psychology and a broad understanding of mental health service provision.

This is really vague!!

Missing aspects

1. There's no opportunities for placements. Other MSc in Clinical Psychology programmes offer placements which would be a valuable asset to an MSc. (need as much experience as possible and something to stand out from the many many other applicants).

http://courses.bournemouth.ac.uk/cou...logy/none/640/

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/ps...grad/clinical/

http://www.uel.ac.uk/psychology/prog...alcommpsyc.htm

****************

Best of luck with your application

I completed the postgraduate certificate (PGCert) course below and really enjoyed it (I got onto the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at City uni so left with a PGCert).

http://www.newman.ac.uk/courses/higher_degree/?pg=647
Thank for you the amazing reply!

I think I'll need an MSc to just polish my research skills for when I apply for a Clinical Psychology Phd. I'm also looking at the Clinical and Health Psychology MSc offered by Manchester so just weighing up my options at the moment.
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wonderingwot2do
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(Original post by DeepStar)
Thank for you the amazing reply!

I think I'll need an MSc to just polish my research skills for when I apply for a Clinical Psychology Phd. I'm also looking at the Clinical and Health Psychology MSc offered by Manchester so just weighing up my options at the moment.
You wouldn't do a PhD in clinical psychology in order to become a clinical psychologist, would you? I think you have to do the doctorate training through the schemes offered through the clearing house - all of which are salaried positions :-)
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DeepStar
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(Original post by wonderingwot2do)
You wouldn't do a PhD in clinical psychology in order to become a clinical psychologist, would you? I think you have to do the doctorate training through the schemes offered through the clearing house - all of which are salaried positions :-)
Sorry for the confusion - I meant the doctorate through the clearing house which offers training through employment with the NHS alongside the study work. All PhDs are doctorates but not all doctorates are PhDs
My interest in an MSc beforehand is to just to increase my chances of getting on a doctorate from the competitive field.
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by wonderingwot2do)
You wouldn't do a PhD in clinical psychology in order to become a clinical psychologist, would you? I think you have to do the doctorate training through the schemes offered through the clearing house - all of which are salaried positions :-)
You can compelete a PhD in Clinical Psychology (two of my colleagues from my PhD university completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology), but you will need to complete a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (applications through the clearing house) in order to practice as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist.

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/Courses.html
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by DeepStar)
Thank for you the amazing reply!

I think I'll need an MSc to just polish my research skills for when I apply for a Clinical Psychology Phd. I'm also looking at the Clinical and Health Psychology MSc offered by Manchester so just weighing up my options at the moment.
Hey,

Be careful though- the MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology is not accredited by the BPS.

Although the Manchester website states
' This programme is designed for students considering a career in clinical or health psychology'

If you're potentially interested in a career as a health psychologist (or thinking about health psychology as a plan b option), you will need to complete a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology.

http://www.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/ac?f...COMMITTEE=DHPT

Looks like a good MSc though if considering clinical psychology as a career option
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