PSYC6128 – Apprenticeship in Health Psychology

Module Profile

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Guidance for Students


In this module you will learn through a period of supervised practice as a Health Psychology Apprentice. You are expected to work as an apprentice for one day per week (or equivalent) throughout Semester 2.

Finding a Supervisor

You are responsible for finding your own supervisor.  Your supervisor must be a health psychologist or a psychologist working in a health field and they should be a member of the University of Southampton.  You are welcome to approach members of the Centre for Applications of Health Psychology directly to discuss possibilities for the apprenticeship.  The Dissertation Supervisors session held as part of the Skills Training Programme will give you valuable insight into the nature of the research work that members of the department are involved in.  You are also welcome to contact the module leader (Dr Felicity Bishop) for further guidance and support.

Agreeing a Plan for the Apprenticeship

You should meet with your proposed supervisor towards the end of Semester 1 in order to agree a plan for what you will work on during the Apprenticeship.  Your plan should outline the time commitment and the planned activities to be undertaken and should be agreed by the student and the supervisor.  Please see the form here PSYC6128 Apprenticeship Plan that must be completed and submitted to the module co-ordinator by the deadline shown below, for formative assessment only.  It is very important to develop your plan before the end of Semester 1 (ideally before Christmas) as you may need a DBS (criminal records) check in order to fully participate in your planned activities and these can take many weeks (or even months!) to come through.

Apprenticeship Activities

Your apprenticeship should address generic professional skills and skills that fall within one (or more) of the core health psychology domains of research, teaching, consultancy, and interventions.  For example, you might assist with intervention development and testing, collaborate on research projects, and/or act as a trainee teaching assistant. Your apprenticeship may also involve you working with other members of your supervisor’s group; in this way you can gain experience of team working and working with other groups of professionals. For the purposes of this module, the domains are defined as follows.

Generic Professional Skills: The implementation of codes of legal and ethical conduct, the management of interaction with clients and colleagues, and continuing development as an autonomous professional psychologist.

Interventions: The design, evaluation and implementation of health psychology interventions to change behaviour and/or health outcomes.

Research: Primary and secondary research including systematic reviews, data collection and data analysis, and being able to employ appropriate research designs, methods and analysis in psychological research.

Consultancy: The planning, management, conduct, monitoring and evaluation of consultancy work in health psychology.

Teaching: The design, planning, delivery, assessment and evaluation of teaching activities and/or training programmes.

Keeping a Log Book

When working as an apprentice you should keep a log book detailing the work you are doing and reflecting on the skills you are developing.  This will help you to prepare your coursework and should be submitted as an Appendix.  Please see here for a template: Health Psychology Apprenticeship Log Book.

Assessment Details

You will receive formative feedback on your practical work during the apprenticeship from your supervisor.

Your work on this module is evaluated in two equally-weighted summative assessments:

  1. A 3000-word reflexive report plus logbook appendix (worth 70%)
  2. Your supervisor’s rating of your practical work (worth 30%)

Reflexive Report

You should write a 3000 word (maximum) report, reflecting on the work you have done as an apprentice, describing the skills you have developed, and considering how you can continue this development and use these skills in the future.  You should link your skills to relevant health psychology competencies.  You should also draw on relevant literature to inform your writing.  The nature of such relevant literature will vary widely according to the content of your apprenticeship, but might include health psychology theory as well as literature on skills development, research methods, teaching methods, and consultancy models.  To help you develop a reflexive writing style in this report, you might like to consider the following questions:

• What skill(s) will you focus on?
• What issue(s) will you reflect on?
• How did you feel about an activity/event/skill?
• How did your feelings relate to your behaviours?
• What was good and bad about your experience?
• What sense can you make from your experience?
• Are the behaviours/views of other people relevant – and in what way?
• What were your reasons for your actions/reactions?
• If you ‘step back’ from this, how does it look now?
• Are there ethical / moral / wider social issues that you want to explore?
• What can be concluded, in a general sense, from these experiences and the analyses you have undertaken?
• What can be concluded about your own specific, personal situation or ways of working?
• How can you apply and develop these skills further in the future?

You can view the marking criteria for this coursework on Blackboard.

Supervisor’s Rating

Your supervisor will rate your performance as an apprentice.  You can view the criteria for this rating on Blackboard.

Any Problems

We hope that students and supervisors will find this module an exciting and rewarding experience.  If you do encounter any problems that cannot be resolved between you then please contact the module co-ordinator in the first instance.

Timetable, Milestones and Deadlines

There are 3 sessions timetabled for this module, one in semester 1, and two in semester 2.  These sessions will provide an introduction to the apprenticeship (including guidance on finding a supervisor); an assignment briefing and opportunity to discuss your initial apprenticeship work; and a final tutorial on the assignment.  For dates and locations of these sessions, please refer to your official university timetable.


  • October/November: Consider options for supervisors
  • December: Work with your supervisor to complete an apprenticeship plan.  Submit apprenticeship plan on e-assignments (Deadline: 5 December 2019)
  • Semester 2:  Supervised practice as an apprentice, completing your log book and writing your coursework
  • May: Submit coursework on e-assignments (Deadline: 22 May 2020)

Useful Resources

MPhil/PhD Health Psychology Research & Professional Practice, University of Southampton.  Programme Handbook – Appendix 1

Competence framework for psychological interventions for people with persistent physical health conditions

Guidance for Supervisors

What you can expect

Your apprentice is an MSc student who may or may not have previous work experience.  They are expected to work as an apprentice for one day per week (or equivalent) throughout Semester 2, and the precise details of this are up to you to negotiate.  Please bear in mind that your apprentice will be attending core taught modules on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Your role and responsibilities

Your role is to offer support, guidance, and formative feedback to your apprentice while providing them with opportunities to develop their practice skills in health psychology.  Please meet with them frequently and integrate them into your work and the work of your team.  You should treat your apprentice in the same way as any other member of your team, with respect to issues such as induction and health and safety.  You will be asked to complete a form on e-assignments to evaluate your apprentice’s practical skills at the end of the module; this should be completed by 5th June 2020.  Criteria are available on Blackboard and e-assignments.

Suitable work

You should offer your apprentice opportunities for skills development that are embedded in your ongoing programme of work and encourage them to become immersed in the day to day activities of a health psychologist.  In particular, the apprentice should have opportunities to develop generic professional skills, along with skills specific to one or more core health psychology domains of research, teaching, consultancy, and interventions.  For example, they might assist with intervention development and testing, collaborate on research projects, and/or act as a trainee teaching assistant.  We also encourage apprentices to work with other members of your group where possible; in this way they can gain experience of team working and working with other groups of professionals.