The inside track on Clinical and Health Psychology at Manchester

Are you interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree in psychology? If so, then perhaps a master’s in Clinical and Health Psychology could be for you. Ciara O’Neill is a recent graduate from the course and below, she provides a first hand perspective on the core and optional modules available to students and discusses what she has gone on to do since graduating…

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Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2018, I decided to go straight into studying a master’s. I was immediately drawn to the Clinical and Health Psychology Masters at the University of Manchester as I was fascinated by the course overview. This course would provide an opportunity to develop core grounding in addition to the specific skill set required for a future career within Clinical Psychology.

The University of Manchester is renowned for its quality of research and outstanding teaching standards. Being a Russell Group University, I was promised an excellent quality of teaching. The University had also been highly recommended by friends and family who were alumni.

This master’s comprised of four mandatory modules:

  • Research Methods 1;
  • Research Methods 2;
  • Facilitating Change 1;
  • Dissertation.

Students are provided the choice in selection of additional modules. After careful consideration, I selected:

  • Facilitating change 2;
  • Mind and Body;
  • Health and Society;
  • Personality Disorder;
  • Professional Issues.


Both clinical and health modules are offered within this master’s which proved beneficial in exploring the two disciplines within psychology. Personally, the Facilitating change 1 and 2 modules were most interesting in developing key intervention knowledge, designed to facilitate change in both clinical and health psychology. Furthermore, I developed an awareness and understanding of assessment and formulations which are the cornerstone of my future studies in becoming a Clinical Psychologist.

The highlight of my overall master’s experience was undoubtedly the teaching staff. Not only were they passionate about their teaching, but they were also exceptional at engaging us to learn. Faculty members took time to build a rapport with each student; showing compassion alongside offering support and advice when necessary.

There was a considerable range of dissertation topics on offer for students to select from. Some supervisors were open to discussing students own research ideas. My dissertation was based on self-harm. I thoroughly enjoyed undertaking this research as this is an area I am extremely interested in. I also had an incredible personal tutor, Dr Peter Taylor, who was extremely supportive, patient and knowledgeable.

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Following the completion of this master’s, I was offered an opportunity to become an external voluntary researcher with the University of Manchester. I was extremely honoured and jumped at this opportunity in supporting a ClinPsyD student to conduct a systematic review on Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). This was excellent experience in conducting further psychological research whilst continuing to work alongside and maintain links with the University of Manchester.

Overall, I have treasured my time at the University of Manchester. This master’s exceeded my expectations! I have graduated feeling confident and proficient in psychological therapies, research methodology and analysis techniques. I believe this master’s has enabled me to stand out amongst the crowd in successfully securing a job as an Assistant Psychologist. I am eager to utilise the knowledge I have acquired and put it into practice within real-life scenarios. I will forever cherish the friends and memories I had made whilst studying at this remarkable university and living in the beautiful city!

Alongside the confidence and knowledge I have acquired throughout this course, I have also been reassured in my selection of psychology as the right profession for me. If you are contemplating this master’s, there is nothing more I can say than take a leap of faith and just go for it!

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