MSc (Health Psychology)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The MSc (Health Psychology) is a one-year full-time programme of academic study in the discipline of 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.


This programme is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI).  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 through a series of visiting specialist seminars. 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 psyhology and other areas of psychology. 

Key facts

Entry requirements

This programme is intended for graduates with at least an upper second class honours (or equivalent international qualification) primary degree in psychology. The degree should be accredited by the PSI, or should be an equivalent international qualification.

Duration: 1 year, full-time

Next start date: September 2014

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 15

Closing date: You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the round offer dates.

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

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

Modules included on the programme are: 

  • Models of Health-Related Behaviour and Cognition
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Foundations of Health Psychology
  • Psychosomatic Influences on Health
  • Health Psychology in Applied Settings
  • Current Issues in Health Psychology
  • Research Seminar
  • 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 psychobiological consequences. Students also take classes in research methods in health psychology and carry out an empirical research project in a health-related area. In addition, they have the opportunity to attend research seminars given by international experts in the field of health psychology.

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

  • Dr. AnnMarie Groarke, BA, MA, HDipEd, PhD, AFPsSI 
  • Professor Jack James BSc (Hons), MPsych, PhD 
  • Professor Ruth Curtis BA, MA, HDipEd, PhD, AFPsSI, AFBPsS, Cpsychol 
  • Dr. Brian M. Hughes, BA (Psych), PhD, AFPsSI, Reg Psychol (PsSI) 
  • Dr. Caroline Heary BA, MPsychSc, PhD 
  • Ms. Anne Marie Keane, BA 
  • Dr. Padraig MacNeela BA, PhD 
  • Dr. Jane Walsh, BA, HDipHRMgt, PhD, AFPsSI, Reg Psychol (PsSI)

Other members of staff also provide occasional contributions. 

Requirements and assessment

Semester One exams: December. Semester Two exams: April/May. A minor dissertation is submitted at the end of the summer semester. A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, projects, reports, presentations and written examination.

Find out more

Dr Caroline Heary l Dr Jane Walsh
T : +353 91 495 059 l +353 91 493 102
E : caroline.heary@nuigalway.ie  l  jane.walsh@nuigalway.ie 

PAC code

GYA70

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2014/15 (inclusive of Levy)
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2014/15
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2014/15
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2014/15

Graduate profile

Graduate profile

Student details/course

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