nl en

Health and Medical Psychology


Entry requirements

All 60 ec of the first-year in Psychology obtained.


The course Health and Medical Psychology focuses on health promotion (first 3 weeks) and on illness prevention and coping with chronic diseases (last 5 weeks). In the lectures, theoretical models illustrated with practical examples will be introduced concerning health promotion, symptom perception, stress-related symptoms, coping with chronic diseases, and psychological interventions in chronic disease. The lecture topics are the following:

Part 1:

  • Explaining health behaviour (week 1)

  • Changing health behaviour (week 2)

  • Health promotion in the workplace (week 3)

Part 2:

  • Symptom perception and illness (week 4)*

  • Mechanisms and diagnosis of stress-related symptoms (week 5)*

  • Psychosocial consequences of, and how to cope with, chronic disease (week 6)

  • Pain and pain management (week 7)

  • Psychological interventions in chronic disease (week 8)

Note: Topics from weeks 4 and 5 may be switched around.

In the work group sessions, students are requested to produce a health promotion leaflet or mock-up app on a self-chosen topic (first 3 weeks) and students will practice screening, diagnosing and treating psychosocial problems based on a case description of a patient suffering from a chronic disease (last 5 weeks).

Course objectives

Students will:
1. Gain knowledge of the principles of health prevention and health promotion and apply these to various health behaviours;
2. Gain insight into the role of symptom perception and stress in the development of chronic diseases, and the psychosocial consequences of, and interventions in, chronic diseases;
3. Practice psychological intervention techniques focusing on self-management and quality of life in patients suffering from chronic diseases; and
4. Develop practical skills that will allow them to conduct health promotion programs and work with patients with psychosocial problems as a preparation to the professional setting.

These course objectives will be covered by using different working methods: lectures, work groups, additional assignments and reading (book, reader, additional reading posted on Brightspace). The course objectives will be assessed by a written exam (course objectives 1 and 2) and by assignments in and between work group sessions (course objectives 3 and 4).


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis. You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from July. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December.
The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC). First year Bachelor students as well as premaster students will be registered by the Student Service Center; they do not need to register themselves.

The registration period for all courses closes five calendar days before the start of the course.
Also read the complete registration procedure


Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures
8 2-hour work group sessions (maximum of 15 students per work group)

Work group attendance is mandatory. Students are required to complete assignments during and in-between the work group sessions.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on a written exam grade (60%) and a work group grade (40%).

The written exam includes 4 open questions (counts for 30% of the written exam grade) and 40 multiple-choice questions (counts for 70% of the written exam grade). One final grade will be given for the written exam; no separate grades for the open and multiple-choice question parts will be provided.

Work group assignments are based on group assignments in part 1 (counts for 40% of the work group grade) and individual and group assignments in part 2 (counts for 60% of the work group grade).

All lectures will be in English. For the written exam, all multiple-choice questions are in English. The open questions are in English; students can answer in Dutch or in English. Work groups will be in Dutch or English (IBP).

Post exam consultation will be on an individual basis. The information how to sign up for the post exam consultation will be posted on Brightspace. In order to be able to attend this post exam consultation, an appointment needs to be made by contacting the coordinator. Post-exam evaluation will be possible only on the designated date and at the designated time and only if you were registered for the course and took the exam.

Study materials for the written exam are:

  • Morrison V. & Bennet P. (2016). An Introduction to Health Psychology. Pearson / Prentice Hall, Harlow.

  • The Weblectures,

  • The lecture slides posted on Brightspace and

  • Additional literature posted on Brightspace with the lectures.

Study materials for the work groups are:

  • The workgroup reader,

  • Additional literature and digital information (e.g., video’s) posted on Brightspace with the work groups.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

Morrison V. & Bennet P. (2016). An Introduction to Health Psychology. Pearson / Prentice Hall, Harlow.
Additional literature posted on Brightspace with the lectures.

Reader Health and Medical Psychology available on Brightspace.
Additional literature posted on Brightspace with the work groups.

Contact information

Dr. Judy Veldhuijzen