PSYCHOL 7134 - Health Psychology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This course examines the relationships of social, biological, behavioural and cognitive variables to health. It covers those aspects of the social environment that influence health and illness outcomes including the interactions amongst family members and between healthcare consumers and healthcare providers. Risk factors for health-compromising behaviours are also discussed including strategies for their modification

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 7134
    Course Health Psychology
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites PSYCHOL 7130, PSYCHOL 7131, PSYCHOL 7132, PSYCHOL 7133
    Restrictions Available to M Psych (Clin) and PhD/MPsych(Clin) students only or by permission of Head of School
    Course Description This course examines the relationships of social, biological, behavioural and cognitive variables to health. It covers those aspects of the social environment that influence health and illness outcomes including the interactions amongst family members and between healthcare consumers and healthcare providers. Risk factors for health-compromising behaviours are also discussed including strategies for their modification
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Melissa Oxlad

    School of Psychology Office:; ph +61 8313 5693
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the biological, behavioural, cognitive and social determinants of health, and risk factors for health-
        compromising behaviours and strategies for their modification, across the lifespan.
    2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of individual, group and community-based approaches to the prevention and management of major
        identifiable health conditions (both acute and chronic).
    3. Demonstrate the capacity to critically evaluate research in health psychology and use this knowledge to explain mind-body interactions
        to health-care consumers and professionals.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of inter-professional learning and practice.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecturers will provide reading material which will be made available on MyUni, prior to or at each session.
    Recommended Resources
    Lecturers will provide reading material which will be made available on MyUni, prior to or at each session.
    Online Learning
    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:
    - Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    - Submission of assessment
    - Access to resources such as forms, templates and additional readings
    - Self-directed learning activities

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lecturers will support group discussion related to the lecture content. Time will be spent familiarising students with models of health psychology, and concepts in health promotion and clinical health psychology. Seminars will also include, where possible, health psychology case scenarios to guide the development of psychological assessment and intervention knowledge and skills.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Seminars: 3 hours each week for 12 weeks = 36 hours
    Assignment 1: 34 hours
    Assignment 2: 3 hours (not including preparation time)
    Assignment 3: 5 hours
    Private or group study and reading = 40 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Major theories and models of health psychology interventions Models of health psychology and the roles of health psychologists, including in chronic illness & disabilities
    Week 2 Health psychology in early life Reproduction, infants and children
    Week 3 Health psychology in young populations Pain, somatising and conversion disorders in child and adoelscent populations
    Week 4 Mind body applications Student presentations related to headaches, obesity, sleep, chronic fatigue syndrome
    Week 5 Chronic pain Models and interventions, injury rehabilitation and compensation
    Week 6 Acute pain Models and interventions, preparation for surgery, interprofessional collaboration
    Week 7 Substance use Addiction, alcohol and other drug use preventions, treatment and relapse prevention
    Week 8 Motivational interviewing Motivational interviewing in a health context
    Week 9 Sleep disorders Assessment and intervention in sleep disorders
    Week 10 Health psychology in late life Health psychology and ageing
    Week 11 Cancer Assessment and intervention in cancer
    Week 12 Grief/Loss and Bereavement Understanding grief and loss and bereavement in a range of contexts
    Disclaimer: This program is provisional and subject to change.

    Specific Course Requirements
    On the initial enrolment into this Master’s program, all students (unless already a Registered Psychologist) MUST apply for and obtain provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. All students are required to provide a copy of their registration details to the Program Administrator on their first day in the Program: this will be required for the Summer School courses Interviewing & Intervention and Evidence-Based Practice. The application form and details of fees payable are available from the PBA website:

    Candidates are required to consent to a police check as part of their application to the Psychology Board of Australia for Provisional Registration, a requirement of enrolment in the program. A satisfactory current police check is a mandatory requirement for acceptance to and continuation within the program.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Small group presentation on a health problem and suitable interventions Summative NGP 1, 3, 4
    Motivational interviewing Objective Structured Clinical Interview (OSCI) Summative NGP 1, 3
    Written self-assessment of interprofessional practice capabilities Summative NGP 2, 4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance is required for 80% of classes, with attendance lists maintained. Failure to meet this attendance requirement (i.e., absence from three or more classes in the course) may lead to exclusion from the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment 1: Students work in a group to prepare and give a presentation about mind-body interactions as they apply to a specific health condition or health psychology intervention.

    Assignment 2: This assignment involves an OSCI assessing motivational interviewing.

    Assignment 3: Students complete an assessment relating to interprofessional learning and practice capabilities.

    Further details of assignments will be provided in class.
    Assignments are to be submitted via MyUni.

    Extension of time for an assignment may be granted at the discretion of the Course Coordinator, to whom students should apply in writing (or email) before the due date and time. No requests for extensions will be considered if made after the due date and time.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    RP Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.