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Health Psychology


Admission requirements

First year psychology completed.


This is a 7 week course with weekly lectures and workgroups. The focus of the lectures is on health promotion (First 3 weeks) and on disease prevention, coping with chronic disease and interventions in chronic diseases (last 4 weeks). During the lectures theoretical models (resp. concerning health promotion, stress-coping with chronic disease and psychological interventions in chronic disease) are introduced and illustrated by means of practical examples. In the workgroups (seminars) students are requested to produce a health promotion leaflet on a specific self-chosen topic (part1) and to diagnose and treat psychosocial problems of a patient suffering from a chronic disease (part 2).

Topics of the lectures are:

  • Health promotion and primary prevention of disease

  • Explaining and changing health behaviour;

  • Health promotion at the work site;

  • Symptom perception, illness behaviour and adherence to medical advice

  • Diagnosis of psychosocial consequences of and coping with chronic disease;

  • Pain and pain management;

  • Psychological interventions in chronic disease.
    The workgroups are as congruent as possible with the lectures.

Course objectives

  • Insight in relevant psychological concepts, models, diagnosis and interventions with respect to health and illness behaviour.

  • Applying principles of health promotion to various areas of application.

  • Insight in the psychosocial consequences of chronic disease and in psychological intervantions with a focus on self-management and quality of life in patients suffering from chronic diseases.


Health Psychology (2014-2015) is given twice per year, once from November till January and once from February till April:

Semester 1: lectures in English, workgroups in Dutch and English (exchange students)
Semester 2: lectures in English, workgroups in Dutch and English



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Please consult the Instructions registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Electives students

You have to enroll for each course separately.

Mode of instruction

Lecture : 7 weekly lectures of 3 hours each. Work Group: 7 weekly sessions of 3 hours each. In addition students must complete assignments in relation to some workgroup sessions. The course is offered in the first and in the second semester. Attendance to the workgroups is mandatory.

Assessment method

  • Essay exam with open questions.

  • Presence at work group sessions is compulsory, as well as the Work Group assignments.

  • Exam content: Chapters of Morrison & Bennet, power point slides of the lectures and additional literature posted on blackboard (see blackboard).

The Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.


Information on

Reading list

  • Morrison V. & Bennet P. (2009/2012). An Introduction to Health Psychology. Pearson / Prentice Hall, Harlow.

  • Reader Health Psychology (available on Blackboard)

Contact information

  • Coordinator:
    dr. V. De Gucht
    Unit Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, room 2A05a
    Tel. +31 (0)71 527 38 63