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PSY8038 : Psychology and Health

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mei Yee Tang
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module introduces students to the components and determinants of health and covers a range of approaches to understanding and improving health using psychological principles. It covers theoretical and applied aspects of the relationships between clinical psychology and health.

Students will develop a good understanding of the wider role of clinical psychologists in promoting health and become familiar with the approaches taken by professionals in these roles; this will include the interface between the professional disciplines of health and clinical psychology.

Students will also develop an in-depth awareness of contextual influences on health and health behaviour, including stress, social support, socioeconomic status and sociodemographic characteristics. This will include a particular focus on health inequalities and the role of psychology in addressing these.

Outline Of Syllabus

These topics are covered. They are integrated and will not necessarily be taught in the order set out here.

•       What is health? An introduction to the relationship between psychology and health
•       Mortality and physical morbidity differentials in people with mental health problems
•       Conceptual models of health-related disorders and their application
•       Health inequalities
• Health and clinical psychology & chronic physical health problems, including pain (acute and chronic)
• Addiction
• Key theories of behaviour change
• Development and evaluation of interventions to change health related behaviour
• Critical issues in psychology & health

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion681:0068:00Preparation for the summative assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person delivery of teaching materials and activities to support student learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00Present in person discussions & group activities in fortnightly workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Present-in-person lectures will be the main way to impart factual knowledge and to stimulate interest in the topic areas. To attain the intended knowledge outcomes and skills in full, it will be essential that students engage in private study before and after the taught sessions. Students will be directed to carry out their own research into the subject area. This will foster their critical thinking and independence which will in turn feed into their assessment preparation. The cohort will take part in present-in-person (PIP) workshop sessions to engage students in discussion, debate and collaborative tasks with the session facilitator and with each other.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M25Research poster to be submitted online (students choose area of health / health behaviour)
Essay1M75Students choose one of six possible essay titles and write a 2500 word essay on the topic, submitting it online.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In order to encourage research-led thinking and practice the application of psychological principles to health problems, students will prepare a research poster focusing on a specific area of health and/or behaviour change in that domain. They will submit this poster online. This will also help prepare them for the poster component of their dissertation module. An essay, also to be submitted online, will provide students with the opportunity to showcase their command of the research literature and their evaluative and synthetic skills in relation to key questions and central issues of clinical health psychology. The essay questions are sufficiently broad to allow a certain amount of discursive freedom whilst at the same time requiring concision to fit within the word limit.

Reading Lists