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PSY8038 : Applied Health Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kate Swainston
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 2 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 psychology and health.

Students will develop a good understanding of the wider role of practitioner 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.

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.
•       Health psychology research and inclusive approaches
•       Behaviour change theory
•       Formulation and intervention planning
•       Anxiety disorders: Health anxieties
•       Gender, health, and mental health; gender-based violence
•       Pain / Persistent Physical Symptoms / Somatic Conditions
•       Musculoskeletal conditions
•       Gastroenterological psychology
•       Substance use
•       Death, dying and bereavement
•       Organ donation
•       Health psychology interventions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion761:0076:00Preparation for the summative assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops112:0022:00Present in person delivery of teaching materials and activities to support student learning - discussions and group activities.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Preparation for assessment
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
Prof skill assessmnt2M1002,500-word Health Needs Assessment Report.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This is an authentic type of assessment as it reflects the work undertaken by health psychology professionals. Students will pick a topic from the module and align this topic to a selected target population. The assessment will include a description of the specific illness/condition and identify issues salient to the population to include biological, psychological, and social factors. A health behaviour of relevance to the illness/condition will be identified and a behavioural analysis and diagnosis using a health psychology theoretical framework will be undertaken to identify specific factors influencing the target behaviour in the patient group. Recommendations for an intervention to support the management of the acute or long-term condition will be developed taking into account the benefits and limitations of the intervention. This will include suggestions as to how the intervention could be evaluated.
Submission will be via Canvas. Feedback will be provided in the form of a rubric and qualitative comments.
Formative practice and feedback will be obtained through engaging in a variety of in-class problem-based learning tasks and skills-practice in which students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills and obtain feedback from peers and the module leader. No formative assessment submission will take place within the module

Reading Lists