Embracing diversity: embedding reflexivity and understanding equality in healthcare within the MSc Health Psychology curriculum


  • Lisa Newson Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Health
  • Fatima Janab Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Health




"As a South Asian student, it is refreshing to see the department implement an incredibly diverse curriculum; especially one incorporating in-depth study of my own demographic. Within the course, we dissected aspects of South Asian culture and its relationship with healthcare and delivery. I personally know how underrepresented South Asian voices are within healthcare, so generic resources do not address these differences, rendering them insufficient. Therefore, knowing that future healthcare workers from LJMU will be equipped with a sound cultural understanding is promising.”   


The MSc Health Psychology reviews equality in healthcare and encourages students to reflect on the needs of all population and patient groups.  Students consider awkward questions such as ‘Do all people have access to the same healthcare?’; ‘Why do minority ethnic groups have worse clinical outcomes than White patients?’ Students learn about the changing ethnic make-up of the UK population, the prevalence and risk of health conditions across population groups and we discuss issues related to access and (in)equality in healthcare provision.    For example, the research analysis module utilises real-world interview transcripts focusing on healthcare equality and ethnic minority patient needs. We discuss issues such as racism; stereotyping; health professionals' role, skill, ability, amongst other challenging concepts. The students discuss their analytical memos, asking questions such as ‘there is conflict between health professional messages; what implications does this have for healthcare delivery?’  Students are encouraged to think critically about the analysis of their data, whilst also reflecting on the reality of providing healthcare to minority ethnic populations. This process is enhanced further, as students engage in researcher reflexivity, and are challenged to consider their role, position, experience, race, ethnicity, healthcare needs as they analyse this data.  We present how this approach has been integrated into the curriculum and offer insight through a student's lived experience.