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Health Promotion and Disease Prevention


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

None, but it is recommended students have completed at least one 100-level and one 200-level course in the “Health Sciences” track of the Global Public Health Major.


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). Lifestyle factors (i.e smoking, dietary habits, unsafe sex and physical activity), but also social factors (i.e. 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. Health promotion and health behaviour theories are invaluable in public health to the development of interventions that have maximum reach and maximum potential to improve health and well-being. Theories will be critically examined for strengths and limitations at various levels of implementation: individual, interpersonal, community, organization and ecosystem.

Course Objectives


  • Know the intersections between behavioural 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 behaviours


  • Critically analyse 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 behaviour interventions

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

By the end of the course students will:

  • Explain the primary individual, interpersonal, communication, organization, and system-level theories and concepts most often used in health promotion and public health interventions.

  • Describe examples of the application of these theories

  • Critically assess these theoretical perspectives in order to appreciate both their value and limitations

  • Develop a research plan grounded in the theoretical perspectives studied in the course.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2022-2023 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

  • Concept Explanation Assignment (Week 3): 20%

  • Individual Behaviour Change Assignment (Week 5): 30%

  • Intervention Mapping Project: Presentation (Week 7): 15% and Report (Week 8): 35%

Reading list



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 course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Jyothi Thrivikraman,