Psychology - Health Psychology

Health Psychology is concerned with the application of psychological theory, research, and practice to the promotion and maintenance of health; the identification and amelioration of psychological factors contributing to physical illness and the improvement of the health care system and formulation of health policy.

The overall aims of the Programme are:
To equip graduates with a comprehensive knowledge base in health psychology, at postgraduate level
To train students to conduct high quality research in the area of health psychology
To train students in a wide range of transferrable skills, including communication skills, group work, evidence synthesis, critical review, and professional and ethical conduct.
To prepare students to undertake future professional training in health psychology and other areas of psychology, such as clinical psychology
Programme staff are active in developing and promoting health psychology in Ireland and internationally. A number of internationally recognised health psychologists contribute to the programme throughout the year. It is intended for psychology graduates seeking to develop their knowledge and expertise in Health Psychology. The MSc will enable students to conduct high quality research and will prepare them to undertake further professional training in health psychology and other areas of psychology.

Our graduates enter a wide range of jobs and future training opportunities. Some decide to pursue a career in research and progress to either a research post or a PhD. Others are more interested in applied options and may progress to further training, such as the Structured PhD in Health Psychology Practice, Clinical Psychology or Counselling Psychology. Some go directly into applied work settings, such as the Department of Health or private industry.

Subjects taught

The course is concerned with the application of psychological theory, methods and research to health, illness and healthcare.

Modules included on the programme are:

Health Promotion and Behaviour Change
Research Methods in Psychology
Perspectives in Health Psychology
Biobehavioural Processes in Health and Illness
Psychological Processes in Health and Illness
Research & Professional Skills
Minor Dissertation
The modules cover a wide variety of topics, including adjustment to chronic illness, doctor-patient communication, management of chronic pain and the nature of stress and its psycho-biological consequences.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
The programme is intended for psychology graduates (at National Framework of Qualifications Level 8) with at least a Second Class Honours primary degree in Psychology (or equivalent). The selection of candidates is based on academic merit. In recent years, candidates who have been offered a place on the programme have at least an upper Second Class Honours primary degree in Psychology. The degree (or equivalent) should be accredited by the PSI, or should be an equivalent international qualification that includes a major final year research project.

Application dates

Closing Date
Please view the offer rounds website at

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


1 year, full-time;
2 years, part-time.

Enrolment dates

Next start date September 2024
Closing Date Offers are made on a rolling basis.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Given the strong academic and research basis of this programme, this qualification has relevance for working in a diverse range of settings. Previous graduates have gained employment in research posts and health service evaluation. Other opportunities include working with health authorities or voluntary organisations, that provide support, education and training to those with health-related difficulties. Graduates may also find employment in the area of health promotion or health education.

In addition to helping to prepare for employment in which a background in psychology is an advantage, the MSc (Health Psychology) also provides an excellent foundation for further postgraduate study. Some previous students have progressed to PhD studies, and have gained employment in Universities and other higher education settings (eg. teaching psychology to health professionals or those in training, as well as psychology students and/or conducting research). Others have pursued studies in Clinical Psychology, with Clinical-Health Psychology a potential route in which to specialise.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider