This module introduces you to the scope of health psychology as an academic and applied branch of psychology. We explore patterns and causes of health and ill-health and examine a selection of major theoretical models. Key questions that we examine include: What is health psychology and why is it important? What is health and how can we measure it? How do psychological factors such as behaviour, personality, and social support influence health?
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Describe the scope, context, and epistemological underpinnings of health psychology
- Develop and reflect on your basic skills for health psychology work including for example professional development and critical appraisal.
- Discuss major developmental transitions in the elderly.
- Critically discuss the impact of personality, social support, and social and cultural contexts on health and disease; evaluate measurements of these constructs; and outline the potential pathways through which such factors can influence health-related outcomes.
- Discuss the concepts, major causes, and measurement of health status, morbidity, mortality, and quality of life. Critically evaluate existing measures of these constructs
- Define key terms including health, illness, disease, health behaviour
- Compare and contrast major models of health behaviour, taking into account relevant evidence.
- List the main organ systems of the human body and outline major elements and functions of selected systems
Indicative topics covered include:
- Scope of Health Psychology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Basic Epidemiology: Global Morbidity and Mortality
- Health Cognitions and Health Behaviour
- Behaviour Change Theories
- Quality of Life
- Sexual Health
- Personality and Health
- Social Support and Health
- Psychosocial Aspects of Later Life
- Social and Cultural Contexts
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
There are 12 lectures in this module, delivered by the module co-ordinator and a selection of invited lecturers with special expertise in a particular topic. Typically, lectures will emphasize active learning and you are expected to participate, for example in class discussions, debates, and other activities. To facilitate such involvement, you might be asked to do some preparatory work in advance of some sessions. To successfully complete the module, you will need to engage in your own personal study; to get you started we will provide a reading list for each topic. In addition to the 12 lectures, you will also attend 5 skills workshops associated with this module.
Opportunities for formative assessment and feedback are built into the module in the form of in-class teaching and learning activities and blended learning resources. These include, for example: small group work and presentations; small-group and whole class discussions; observed exercises; spontaneous and/or planned questions and answers; individual activity sheets, online learning guides and recorded educational materials. Staff provide verbal feedback during these activities to help you gauge and develop your knowledge and understanding. Test-yourself multiple choice questions (with automated feedback/answers) are available on Blackboard so that you can evaluate your own knowledge and understanding.
|Total study time||200|
Resources & Reading list
Marks, D.F., Murray, M., & Estacio E.V. (2018). Health psychology. Theory, research and practice. London: Sage.
Ogden (2019). Health Psychology. McGraw Hill.
Ayers, S., Baum, A., McManus, C., Newman, S., Wallston, K., Weinman, J., et al. (Eds.). (2007). Cambridge handbook of psychology, health and medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ogden, J. (2012). Health psychology: a textbook. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Taylor, S. E. (2015). Health psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Morrison, V., & Bennett, P. (2012). An introduction to health psychology. Harlow: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Sarafino, E. P. & Smith, T. W. (2017). Health psychology: biopsychosocial interactions. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons..
French, D., Vedhara, K., Kaptein, A.A., & Weinman J. (Eds.). (2010). Health psychology. Chichester: BPS Blackwell.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal