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Health Promotion & Disease Prevention


Admission requirements

No required courses, but completion of at least one 100-level and 200-level course from the Biomedical Sciences track is recommended.


Health promotion and health behavior theories are invaluable in public health to the development of interventions that have maximum reach and maximum potential to improve health and well-being. Prevention strategies in global public health refer to actions to prevent the occurrence of a disease (Primary Prevention) or actions to arrest the progress and reduce the consequences of a disease once established (Secondary Prevention). Theories will be critically examined for strengths and limitations at various levels of implementation: individual, interpersonal, community, organization and ecosystem.

Lifestyle factors as smoking, dietary habits, unsafe sex and physical activity but also social factors as poverty, social support and health care facilities are important determinants of health and disease. Hence, promoting healthy lifestyles combined with improving living and working conditions and health care facilities play an important role in public health interventions. During this course, attention will be given to the development of theory-based and evidence-based interventions applied to health promotion, prevention of both communicable and non-communicable diseases and tackling socioeconomic inequalities in health.

This course will also provide accurate, current, and reliable information for a range of wellness topics, giving students a solid base of knowledge from which to make informed lifestyle choices. Students are encouraged to relate course material to their own lives and to examine their health-related behaviors.

Course Objectives


  • Know the intersections between behavioral theories and determinants of health

  • Recognize the principles of health promotion for primary and secondary prevention of diseases

  • Understand prevention policies for significant global public health challenges

  • Apply relevant psychological models with respect to health and illness behaviors


  • Critically analyze the theoretical frameworks in order to appreciate both their value and their limitations in the field

  • Translate behavioural health theories from research into public health practice

  • Recognize ethical issues in health behavior interventions

  • Design theory-based and evidence-based prevention intervention.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

In-class exercise
Guest Lectures
Intervention Mapping Project
Student Presentations

Assessment Method

  • Class Participation (15%), Weeks 1 to 7

  • Food Waste Photo Project and Theory Essay (40%)

  • Part 1: Food Waste Photo Essay and Reflection (15%), due 18th April via Teams

  • Part 2: Food Waste Theory (25%), due 16th May via Brightspace

  • Intervention Mapping Report (45%), due 2nd June via Brightspace.

Reading list

  • Eldredge, L. Kay Bartholomew, et al. Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

  • Other readings made available via BrightSpace


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Jyothi Thrivikraman,