Health Psychology (Practitioner Programme) - PgC 

Course Overview

The Postgraduate Certificate in Practitioner Health Psychology has been developed to meet the competencies required by the Health Professions Council (HPC) in order to apply for Registered status. This means that upon completion of the programme, graduates can apply to the HPC to be registered as a Health Psychologist. This programme does not confer chartered psychologist status with the British Psychological Society. This course is essentially for students who wish to progress on to clinical work more widely with service users.

Please note: This programme will not be running for 2013/14.

Course Content

The programme is placement based and provides supervised support towards developing the competencies required to be an autonomous practitioner. Students are expected to have an appropriate work placement/s that will enable them to demonstrate all the required competencies for the programme. All students will be invited for interview and expected to bring a detailed description of their work (or voluntary) placement/s to interview. Part of the application interview will be to map the programme learning outcomes to the work placement to ensure that it can deliver the required competencies. There are 8 workshops across the 1 to 3 year period which students MUST attend in Cardiff. Student reviews are held quarterly and these can be located either in the work place or at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The course requires that students demonstrate a minimum of 1000 hours of practice experience, which is equivalent to 4 days a week for 45 weeks a year if a student chooses to study full-time. Some student may prefer to enrol part-time and accrue their hours over a longer period of up to three years.

This programme of study towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Practitioner Health Psychology aims to equip graduates with the knowledge, skills and professional experience required to be competent practitioners in Health Psychology. Together with the British Psychological Society accredited MSc in Health Psychology achieving this award demonstrates that students have both the required academic knowledge-base and practical competencies to meet the standards of proficiency as laid out by the Health Professions Council.

The overarching aim of the programme of study that leads to the Postgraduate Certificate in Practitioner Health Psychology can be delineated into a series of subsidiary aims that are to:

  • Develop advanced reflective practitioners of health psychology with the well being of service users as a priority
  • Develop the students’ professional autonomy and accountability
  • Enhance the students’ skills and abilities in developing and maintaining a range of professional relationships including the support and supervision of professionals
  • Extend and enhance the students’ ability to identify and assess health psychology issues and apply this extensively in practice
  • Develop and enhance the students’ ability to formulate and deliver plans and strategies towards meeting a variety of needs
  • Build on the students’ ability to critically evaluate the impact of, or response to, their professional actions.
  • Extend on the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired from the BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology
  • Empower the students’ to apply their theoretical expertise, acquired during the BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology and during their current study, to their professional practice.
  • Develop the students’ understanding of, and ability to ensure, a safe practice environment.

The following assessments will be compiled by students over their 1 to 3 year study period:

Practice Portfolio (40 credits)
Which will contain exemplars of reflective practice based on at least one case studies detailing how the student has applied psychological techniques in practice, including assessments, interventions, evaluation and recommendations. The portfolio will also contain; reflective evaluations of workshops 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 a practice log of professional practice detailing a minimum of 1000 hours of professional practice, a successfully completed supervision log maintained throughout the practice period and a practice placement checklist.

Reflective Reports (2 x 10 credits)
These reports will detail the student’s learning and applied practice to two specific areas of practice across the study period.

Career Potential

Completing this programme of study means that graduates are eligible to apply to the Health Professions Council (HPC) to register as a Health Psychologist, to work and practice independently in the UK.

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) in Psychology, from a BPS (British Psychological Society) accredited undergraduate course and a successfully completed (BPS) accredited MSc or BPS Stage 1 equivalent.

Applicants will be invited for interview as part of the selection process.

Key Facts

Approved by: Health Professions Council

Campus: Llandaff

School: Cardiff School of Health Sciences

Course Length: One year full-time or up to three years part-time

The Practitioner Programme involves monitoring competency development in practice placement(s), completing reflective reports and submitting exemplars of practice. There are no examinations.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Selection Procedure:
Selection is based on a completed application form and interview .

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Student Recruitment Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Programme Leader, Kathryn J Thirlaway:
Tel: 029 2041 6872

Or contact the Psychology Office:
Tel: 029 2041 7210

See Also:
Cardiff School of Health Sciences Website