Professional Doctorate Health Psychology

    Course Description

    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.



    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.

    Research Project

    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.

    Study time

    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.


    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.

    Visit the Professional Doctorate Health Psychology page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    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.

    Course Fees

    More information can be found on the Graduate School fees and funding pages.

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