What training is necessary to become a health psychologist?
As with all psychology careers, the first step of training to be a health psychologist is a good undergraduate degree in Psychology that is accredited by the British Psychological Society. Typically a 2:2 level or above should be achieved.
The first stage of professional training in health psychology involves the undertaking of and passing an MSc in Health Psychology that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Normally, MSc Health Psychology programmes require students to have achieved a 2:1 or higher at undergraduate level.
The second stage of training involves undertaking one of three routes. The first route is the taught professional doctorate in health psychology based at a BPS accredited university. The second route is to undertake a Ph.D in a health psychology topic area also based at a university. The final route is the Qualification in Health Psychology (QHP) (Stage 2) which is the alternative route to completion of Stage 2 training for those who choose not to or are unable to attend a Society-accredited Stage 2 training programme in health psychology based at a university. All routes require the supervision of a stage 2 supervisor, complete a substantial accompanying portfolio of evidence to submit to the BPS that demonstrates a capability in the core competences of the profession that is stipulated by the BPS.
After training, it is necessary to apply for accreditation with the HCPC to practice and use the title ‘Health Psychologist’. The title ‘Health Psychologist’ is a protected title by law, and anyone who has not been fully trained or obtained accreditation cannot use the title.