APSB11740U  Elective Course - Health Psychology - Psychosocial Aspects of Health

Volume 2019/2020

After introducing the scope of health psychology and this course will explore the biopsychosocial and lifespan perspectives to the maintenance of health and prevention of disease.  The course will introduce participants to the dominant theories, models and paradigms current in the field.  The influence of some of the broad domains of psychology (developmental, social, individual differences, biological) on health will be explored, and how these shape and inform the practice of public health, health promotion and approaches to addressing the social disparities in health.        

Learning Outcome

The purpose of these modules is to expand knowledge or put the psychological subject area into perspective through theoretical or empirical specialisation within subject areas within or related to psychology.

Upon completion of the elective subject module within the Department of Psychology, students are able to:

  • describe and account for relevant concepts and themes within the elective subject
  • describe and account for relevant methodological approaches in relation to the subject matter for the elective subject
  • explain contexts, analyse and/or conduct procedures relevant to the elective subject under supervision.

Each class will start with an introduction (around 30min) by the lecturer. Then, a group of students is responsible for presenting and discussing some research with regard to the topic of the class (around 45min). Finally, each class will end with a discussion (led by the lecturer) about potential new studies in the field.
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Extent of written assignment: Maximum 14 pages.

Based on the groups’ topic, each student must submit a final exam which not only summarizes the relevant literature, but also sketches a new study idea in more detail (e.g., deriving hypotheses, describing methods on how to conduct a study). Again, the exact details will be presented in the first class.

The exam can only be taken individually.
Exam registration requirements

In order to be able to hand in the final exam, students must fulfill the following:

Each student must attend minimum 75% of the classes (note, however, that the teaching is based on full participation).


Assignment 1: Group Work Report and Poster

Identify a single health enhancing or health risk behaviour. Based on a review of the empirical literature, identify the most appropriate theoretical model to inform an intervention to promote change in the chosen behaviour in a specified population.   Develop the key messages to be used in a campaign to promote the behaviour, and demonstrate their application through the development of poster and booklet.


Assignment 2: Individual Work

Individual will set a health behaviour goal to be achieved for the duration of the course.  Using a reflective daily log on their success or otherwise achieving their goal, individuals will provide a critical appraisal of one theory and its applicability to their experience of attempting to achieve their health behaviour goal and any technological tools used to assist.


All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

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Criteria for exam assesment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 30
  • Total
  • 30