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Health and Health Behaviour


Admission requirements


If you are not enrolled in the MSc programme Population Health Management but you consider taking this course as an elective, please contact our study advisor.


In this course you will learn about the fundamentals of health psychology. We’ll dive into the role of behaviour, cognitions, emotions, and our environment. We will explore how they influence people’s health status and how these mechanisms work among people who are chronically ill or at risk for chronic illness. Throughout this course we will make you familiar with the building blocks of designing an intervention by addressing a health problem of a specific target group. In the on campus week you will be guided through the steps of the Behaviour Change Wheel by, amongst others, exploring the health problem and its underlying behavioural determinants, selecting Behaviour Change Techniques to address these determinants, and developing a prototype of your intervention. At the end of this course you will give a presentation and hand in a report on your intervention.

Course objectives

Concise description of the course objectives formulated in terms of knowledge, insight and skills students will have acquired at the end of the course. The relationship between these objectives and achievement levels for the programme should be evident. (max 150 words)

Upon successful completion of this course, the student:

  • can analyse and categorize determinants of health behaviour

  • can justify which determinants are suitable for intervention development

  • is able to assess and deploy self-management and coping strategies in risk populations

  • can tailor health promotion and disease prevention strategies to needs of specific risk/target groups

  • can compare health behaviour interventions for a specific risk/target group and reflect on strengths and weaknesses

  • is able to create an intervention that fits the needs and skills of a target population


All course and group schedules are published on MyTimeTable.

The exam dates have been determined by the Education Board and are published in MyTimeTable.
It will be announced in MyTimeTable and/or Brightspace when and how the post-exam feedback will be organized.

Mode of instruction

  • Online education

  • Group work

  • Lectures

Assessment method

Students are assessed according to the following three obligatory components:

Week 1-2 – Online: Peer review assessment (20%, no required minimum grade)

Week 3 – On Campus: Group presentation (30%, no required minimum grade)

Week 4 – Final week: Final assignment (50%, required minimum grade: 6,0)

All components combined make up the grade for the course. It is compulsory to participate in each of the components in order to receive a grade.
Details on the assessment can be found in the assessment plan on Brightspace.

A final grade of 6,0 minimum is considered sufficient. If the result is less than 6,0 or if the student did not participate in one of the components, the student is given the opportunity to retake the assessment as one assignment that covers all the learning goals for the course.

Final grades between 5,0 and 6,0 will be rounded:

  • 5,0-5,4 → 5,0

  • 5,5-6,0 → 6,0

Reading list

The reading list can be found on Brightspace. The material consists of presentations and pdf files. There is no need to purchase literature, as the presented material is not commercialized.


Registration must be completed via MyStudyMap. Registration in MyStudyMap gives you automatic access to the course in Brightspace. For more information, please visit the Leiden University website for students.


Laurens van Gestel -


This course is a combination of online education and on campus education at the Leiden University Health Campus in The Hague.