Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    Our Professional Doctorate offers a unique opportunity to experience and develop your professional skills in Health Psychology, under the guidance of highly qualified and committed staff.

    Health psychology is the study of psychological processes and their application to health, illness and healthcare. Through this course, you’ll develop competence in professional skills, as well as research, psychological interventions, teaching, and consultancy.

    The qualification will provide a guarantee for employers that you’re competent in core aspects of health psychology and professional practice.

    This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. When you’re awarded the degree you’ll gain Stage 2 accreditation towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist and be eligible to apply to register as a Health Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

    Staffordshire University has a thriving Health Psychology research culture, focused in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, with an excellent national and international reputation.

    The Health Psychology Programmes at Staffordshire University have nine commendations from the BPS (2018).

    Please note the closing date for the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology is 29 June 2018.

    Please note that this course requires full time students to be on placement for a minimum of four years and to pay the fees detailed per year of study. Students need to allow for an additional period of time for writing up during which there is a writing up fee to be paid each year until completion.

    On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: Professional Doctorate Health Psychology


    This course is built around you gaining practical experience as you work towards your competencies.

    • You’ll be working in a health psychology-related field through the placement you organise prior to commencing your Stage 2 studies. As such, you gain valuable experience in all elements of health psychology work, and you evidence this experience in a portfolio.
    • In addition, we involve the Careers Service in our programme (you can arrange with them to have further input on CV development and interview skills).
    • You’ll also have opportunities to see other health psychologists present their work (including our own graduates), either as guest lecturers or as part of the speaker programme organised by the school.
    • If you choose to take advantage of the extra events that we organise (such as journal club and psychology in the pub), you’ll have the opportunity to hone your critical skills and expand your network.
    • Finally, we host a conference in July each year, which students organise at which you’re expected to present your work. We also invite workplace supervisors to attend, along with ex-students (many of whom are themselves employers) some of whom also give talks. Speaking at the conference is an opportunity to showcase your work and to advertise your skills.

    All of these opportunities, combined with the placement-based learning enhance your employability.

    Once you’ve completed the course you can apply to the Health and Care Professions Council to become an accredited practitioner, and for full membership, including Chartered Status, of the British Psychological Society.

    Teaching and assessment


    The Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology has been designed around placement learning, where students acquire professional skills through a health-related placement. This placement learning is supported by a series of workshops which are provided the Health Psychology team.

    You'll be taught through small-group teaching using a variety of methods, chosen to allow you the opportunity to attain the learning outcomes for each module. These include interactive seminar sessions, team working, role plays, peer teaching and guest speakers who are registered Health Psychologists.


    We require trainees to submit a minimum of one unit of assessment per year. What you choose to submit will depend on which of the competences you are working towards – remember, the professional doctorate is designed to allow you to take advantage of opportunities as and when they arise.

    Learning support

    Throughout the Professional Doctorate programme, you'll be supported by individual supervision from your Staffordshire University supervisor(s). Face-to-face meetings with your supervisor(s) will tend to be every two weeks in the first year, and then every four weeks in the second year, followed by a minimum of six face-to-face meetings per year in following years.

    Additional support

    If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


    Formative methods of assessment will be used to provide feedback on progress and to assist in preparation for summative assessments (below). Module leaders will provide formative feedback on a plan for each piece of assessed work through e-mail, face-to-face meetings, and/or telephone conversations*. Supervisors will then provide you with formative feedback on final drafts, and the portfolio overall.

    *Apart from the Advanced Research Methods module where the module leader will also comment on a full draft of your work.

    Visit the Health Psychology Professional Doctorate page on the Staffordshire University website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    An honours degree recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as offering Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
    To have completed BPS Stage 1 training in Health Psychology. That is either a BPS-accredited MSc in Health Psychology with a grade of merit (or 60% average) or above, or the BPS Stage 1 qualification in Health Psychology with a grade of 60% or more
    To have an approved placement
    A DBS check

    Course Fees

    Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on the website

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