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Research Topics in Health Promotion


Entry requirements

Open to MSc Psychology (research) students.


In the first part of this course, you will become acquainted with several core topics in Health Promotion. These core topics involve current conceptual issues, state-of-the art theories, paradigms and interventions in the field of Health Promotion, and the Leiden research program on Health Promotion in particular. You will familiarize yourself with these topics, critically reflect on them, and learn to design a new study. In this way you will be trained to apply current insights in the field of health promotion including ongoing debates and theoretical as well as methodological developments to design research projects that help this field move forward. With a small group of students, you will be asked to critically reflect on one core topic in a written assignment and to host an interactive session which involves an oral presentation and a debate related to this topic.

In the second part of this course, you will be asked to work on an individual assignment. In this individual assignment you will build on existing research as discussed in the first part of this course by writing a research proposal. Based on the discussions and reflection in the course, in this proposal you provide a convincing line of reasoning describing what the next step should be to increase knowledge on this topic, and formulate a new research question and propose an appropriate study to address this question.

Course objectives

After the course, students are able to

  • critically and in a constructive manner reflect upon several core research topics in health promotion, including their associated methodology and outstanding research questions;

  • design a new study building on a critical appraisal of the existing literature, while adhering to ethical standards;

  • write and present about research ideas and previous findings in a scientific manner.

Skills that will be trained:
Students will learn to critically reflect on research in health promotion which will be used to generate new theoretical insights and research questions. The following skills that are essential for all researchers will be trained:

  • Critically reading, analyzing and synthesizing of the literature

  • Generating new ideas based on a critical appraisal of the literature

  • Writing a research proposal

  • Writing a critical reflection

  • Designing an (experimental) study

  • Working together in a small group as well as working individually

  • Presenting

  • Organizing an interactive debate


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

The course will consist of lectures and interactive workgroups.

Assessment method

Attendance during sessions (full attendance is mandatory)
Assessment is based on the written group assignment (20%) and the interactive presentation and debate session (20%) as well as the individual research proposal (60%).

The Institute of Psychology 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 this fraud policy.

Reading list

A reading list will be posted on Brightspace.

Contact information

Prof. Marieke Adriaanse
Dr. Antoinette van Laarhoven