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Health Psychology




Admissions requirements

Social Determinants of Health 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. In this course, students will acquire a foundation in the primary theoretical perspectives that inform current public health interventions. Theories will be critically examined for strengths and limitations at the various levels of implementation: individual, interpersonal, community, organization and system. Coupled with the theories will be lectures on determinants that influence health behaviours as well as psychological impacts of disease diagnosis. Determinants of health behaviours will be placed into larger social, political and economic contexts.

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. These topics will emphasize personal responsibility and link to the theoretical foundations on behavior change. The course encourages students to relate course material to their own lives and to examine their health-related behaviors.

This course is a prerequisite for the “Primary and Secondary Prevention Strategies” course where you will apply intervention mapping for the development of health promotion programs as well as develop screening programs.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

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

  • Understand the principles of health promotion models for primary prevention of diseases.

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

  • Know the intersections between behaviours models and determinants of health

  • Translate behavioural health theories from research into public health practice

  • Recognize ethical issues in health behavior interventions


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The two-hour twice weekly session will be run with multiple teaching methods, including: lectures, assigned readings and assignments, in-class discussions, guest speakers, and an oral group presentation. Students are expected to attend every class session, to carefully read the articles, and to hand in assignments on the specified deadlines.


Assessment 1: In-class participation
Weight: 10%, deadline: weeks 1-7
Participation in discussion during class

Assessment 2: What is a healthy lifestyle?
Weight: 10%, deadline: week 1, session 1
One page paper on your ideas of what is healthy, unhealthy and a healthy lifestyle?
Bring in four photos: two healthy images and two unhealthy images

Assessment 3: Journal Article Discussion
Weight: 15%, deadline: week 2-6
a. Pick a journal article based on previously studied theoretical perspective
b. Discuss the goal of the article: what theory were they using, examine the strengths and limitations
c. Develop discussion questions linking theory with practice

Assessment 4: Personal Behaviour Change Assignment
Discussion of Behavior Change Assignment with teacher, Week 2 (during office hours)
Monitor baseline situation of the activity, Week 3
Implement intervention, Week 4-5
Terminate the intervention and monitor any lasting effects + Submit a 4-5 report on this assignment, Week 7, 25%

Assessment 5: Responses to questions and preparation for in-class discussion
Weight: 15%, deadline: week 6
Responses to questions and preparation for in-class discussion

Assessment 6: Final Paper
Weight: 25%, Week 8
Research report (3000 words)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Jyothi Thrivikraman


The focus of this course is to cover the key theoretical concepts underlying health promotion efforts and to learn about the determinants of healthy behaviours. The students will have a wide range of teaching tools to reinforce the learnings.