Introduction to Health Psychology

Type of instruction


Part of degree program
Typically offered in

Autumn/spring semester

Course description

Aim of the course:
The global aim of the course is to provide students with basic but broad knowledge, skills and a
perspective from health psychology.

Learning outcome, competences:
You will acquire knowledge about:

  • Various topics within the field of health psychology (see overview below).
  • The diverse approaches from health psychology.
  • The complexity of health and diseases including different approaches to health, well being and flourishing.
  • Links between health psychology and other health sciences.


  • Students will acquire a perspective from health-psychology, taking into account the complex interplay between one's physical well being and a variety of biological, psychological, and social factors.


  • Students will discover how psychological methods and principles can be applied to increase health and well being, and to help patients manage and cope with chronic illness.
  • The foundation will be provided that prepares students for advanced training in health psychology.

Content of the course
Topics of the course:

  • Social determinants of health and health inequalities.
  • Health-risk and health-protective behaviours.
  • Reducing risk of disease.
  • Stress, and its relation to health and illness.
  • Stress and illness moderators.
  • Approaches to managing stress.
  • Symptom perception, interpretation and response.
  • Consultation.
  • Illness and quality of life.
  • Improving health and quality of life.

Compulsory reading list
Morrison, V. and Bennett, P. (2012). Introduction to Health Psychology (3rd Ed.). Essex:
Pearson Education Limited.