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Work and Stress


Admission requirements

Master’s students Occupational Health Psychology


This course focuses on the role of workplace factors in employee health and well-being. Both the potential negative consequences, i.e. mental and physical health problems, and the positive consequences, i.e. engagement, personal growth/learning, will be addressed.

A series of introductory lectures introduces students to the most important psychosocial stress models (e.g., Job-Demand-Control-Support model, Effort-Reward Imbalance model, Person-Environment fit model). Empirical research regarding the impact of work factors on mental and physical health (e.g. burnout, cardiovascular disease) is discussed.
After these lectures, sessions will be dedicated to presentations on a contemporary issue in the work and stress field prepared by the students themselves. Regarding the topic of the presentation, students may put forward own suggestions, or choose a topic from an existing list (e.g. work-family conflict, impact of shift work on health, determinants of burnout, the experience of ‘flow’). In order to ensure active involvement and participation in the presentations and ensuing discussion, all students will read provided key publications on the topics at hand before each presentation session.
At the end of the course students will write a short paper related to the topic of their presentation.

Course objectives

Students will

  • acquire scientific up-to-date knowledge on the area of occupational stress

  • be familiar with the most prominent occupational stress models

  • be able to prepare and give a presentation in English on an occupational stress topic

  • be able to write a short paper on an occupational stress topic based on up-to-date scientific literature


Work and Stress (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures (4)

  • student presentations and discussion (6 sessions)

  • individual feedback on draft of presentation and paper

Assessment method

Oral presentation, individual paper, attendance and active participation

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

Recent key publications on contemporary topics


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

Contact information

Dr. M. van der Doef
Room 2B34
Tel.: +31 (0)71 527 3987