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The application of the science and evidence base of Health Psychology theories and frameworks within mental health settings

School of Psychology and Wellbeing

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Dr F Satti Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a PhD research student on a project assessing the impact of Health Psychology within mental health settings. Health Psychology has provided numerous theories and models to explain, describe and predict health behaviour, and although Health Psychologists are increasingly involved in both the design and delivery of interventions (Michie & Abraham, 2004), relatively few Health Psychologists work directly with patients diagnosed with a severe and enduring mental illness. This may have resulted in inadequate development of therapeutic interventions based upon the science and evidence base of Health Psychology for this demographic. You will work with mental health patients with the main focus being the application of Health Psychology principles. Applicants are not bound to a specific health behaviour and are welcome to come up with their own plan. Think about exploring perceptions, barriers, and facilitators, specific to this population’s engagement in certain behaviours, such as adherence to treatment, tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, social support, alcohol consumption etc. This will provide innovative ways to expand upon the boundaries of its implementation. Expounding the benefits of Health Psychology applications and illustrating the positive role that Health Psychology can play in addressing key public health challenges. A long-term aim of the project is the design and implementation of a support intervention based upon the findings.
Health Psychology explores how psychology, biology, behaviour and social factors are involved in health and illness. It focuses on health promotion and the prevention of disease, as well understanding how people react to, cope with and recover from illness. The University of Buckingham is currently active on research projects covering a wide range of topics within Health Psychology. We collaborate on projects and activities with other universities and organisations, both in the UK and abroad. You would join the Centre for Health and Relationships (CHR) Research Hub (; a thriving research hub focusing upon research in five core areas: Pain, Social Support, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Spinal Cord Injury, and Health in Vulnerable Populations.

Your first supervisor would be Dr Faisal Satti (, an experienced mental health practitioner, whose research focuses on adherence to anti-psychotic medication.
In terms of entry requirements, PhD applicants must have achieved a 2:1 or above in a BPS-accredited Psychology degree, or international equivalent (including at least a 2:1 in the dissertation). Candidates are expected to also hold or be reaching the completion of an MSc degree (or equivalent) although this may be waived in the case of an exceptional applicant. The candidate should be enthusiastic about the research area and have excellent written and oral communication skills along with experience of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Funding Notes

Candidates must be self-funded, but we are happy to work with prospective PhD students to apply for external funding. For suitable students, there may be teaching opportunities after progression is confirmed.


Applicants for this opportunity should upload a single document including a covering letter and brief CV, outlining (a) how their previous experience supports their application to pursue a PhD in Psychology and (b) how their experience/interests suit them for this particular study. The names of two academic referees should be included, but would only be approached in the event that the applicant was shortlisted. Please refer to the code: PHD-HEALTH-PSY-MENTAL-HEALTH in your application

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