Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

PSY8038 : Psychology and Health

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module introduces students to the components and determinants of health behaviours and covers a range of approaches to understanding and improving health using psychological principles.

The module will provide a thorough grounding in the design and components of health-related psychological iInterventions and observational health research, and how both approaches are applied to real-world health problems.

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 branches 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, what are health behaviours, and why do they matter? Should we try to change them, and
how? What research methods are used to try to understand and change health?
•       Understanding and intervening in health behaviour: intervention frameworks, active ingredients and
•       Understanding and changing health and health behaviours in their wider context, considering health
inequalities and how psychology can help address them.
•       Behavioural determinants and example interventions (including theoretical models and theories of change)
in action. These will be explored in domains such as eating behaviour, physical activity, body image,
smoking cessation, health literacy, screening & immunization uptake and health behaviours in children.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion591:0059:00Preparation for the summative assessments
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials82:0016:00Non-synchronous online delivery of teaching materials and activities to support student learning
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities82:0016:00Non-syncronous online structured learning tasks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Synchronous online revision and Q& A session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00PIP session - 2 sessions, students will attend 1 session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00Synchronous group online sessions / PIP discussions & group activities Sync Online: 3hrs PIP: 3hrs
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous online structured activities 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 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. Students will undertake two hours of online structured learning tasks (non-synchronous) per week to augment the lecture content, scaffold the process of private study, and broaden their perspective on the issues covered. Present-in-person (PIP) workshop sessions across the module will be delivered to half the cohort every week and will be used to engage students in discussion, debate and collaborative tasks with the session facilitator and with each other. The other half of the cohort will undertake the same activities in the form of a synchronous online learning activity; groups will alternate to ensure equal opportunity to engage in PIP learning.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A7524 hour take-home unseen written examination (answer 2 questions from 6 available). Each essay 1500 words.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M25Research poster (students choose area of health / health behaviour)
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. This will also help prepare them for the poster component of their dissertation module. A 24 hour take-home examination 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 of sufficient length to allow a certain amount of discursive freedom whilst at the same time requiring concision and being manageable within the time allocated.

Reading Lists

Timetable