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Health Promotion and Disease Prevention




Admissions requirements

Recommend at least one 100 level and 200 level course in the track “Biomedical Sciences”


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. Prevention strategies in global public health refer to actions to prevent the occurrence of a disease (Primary Prevention) or actions to arrest the progress and reduce the consequences of a disease once established (Secondary Prevention). Theories will be critically examined for strengths and limitations at various levels of implementation: individual, interpersonal, community, organization and ecosystem.

Lifestyle factors as smoking, dietary habits, unsafe sex and physical activity but also social factors as poverty, social support and health care facilities are important determinants of health and disease. Hence, promoting healthy life styles combined with improving living and working conditions and health care facilities play an important role in public health interventions. During this course, attention will be given to the development of theory-based and evidence-based interventions applied to health promotion, prevention of both communicable and non-communicable diseases and tackling socioeconomic inequalities in health.

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. Students are encouraged to relate course material to their own lives and to examine their health-related behaviors.

Course objectives


  • Know the intersections between behavioral theories and determinants of health

  • Recognize the principles of health promotion for primary and secondary prevention of diseases.

  • Understand prevention policies for significant global public health challenges

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

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

  • Translate behavioural health theories from research into public health practice

  • Recognize ethical issues in health behavior interventions

  • Design their own theory-based and evidence-based prevention intervention.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

In-class exercise
Guest Lectures
Intervention Mapping Project
Student Presentations


  • Participation: 10% (weeks 1-7)

  • Behaviour Change Newspaper Piece 15% Week 6

  • Final Paper

    Individual Annotated Bibliography 15% Week 3

    Individual Theoretical Assignment 15% Week 5

    Group Presentation 19% Week 7

    Group Report 26% Week 8

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


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

  • Eldredge, L. Kay Bartholomew, et al. Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

  • Issel, L. Michele, and Rebecca Wells. Health program planning and evaluation. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017.

  • Other readings made available via Blackboard.


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