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Health psychology I: Introduction, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Hälsopsykologi I: Introduktion

This syllabus is valid: 2021-01-04 and until further notice

Course code: 2PS304

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Psychology: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Psychology

Established by: Head of Department of Psychology, 2021-03-11


The course deals with a wide range of aspects of health psychology that form the basis for in-depth understanding of health and ill health. A biopsychosocial perspective is taken by emphasizing the interplay between biological, psychological and social factors and its consequences for health. In addition, epigenetics will be dealt with. Examples of areas that will be included in the course are public diseases, the concept of symptoms, functional syndromes, psychosomatics, illness perception, stress, sleep disturbance, pain and health factors. In addition to theoretical elements, practice is given in measuring stress-related responses. The course also contains elements in current research and developmental work.

Expected learning outcomes

After completed course the student shall:

Knowledge and understanding
*    demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the biopsychosocial model, key concepts (e.g. symptoms and illness perception), health conditions (e.g. stress, sleep disturbance and pain) and risk and health factors for health and ill health
*    demonstrate overall knowledge and understanding of the body's biology (e.g. organ systems and epigenetic mechanisms) and psychosomatics (e.g. psychoneuro-immunology and placebo/nocebo)
*    show insight into current research and developmental work related to stress, sleep and psychosomatics

Skills and ability
*    demonstrate ability to measure stress-related responses
*    demonstrate ability to integrate knowledge and to analyze, assess and manage complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
*    demonstrate ability to use the theories, methods and practical skills required to work with health problems and health-promoting activities from a health psychological perspective
*    demonstrate ability to orally present and discuss conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based

Evaluation ability and approach
*    demonstrate ability to reflect on the United Nations' global goals for sustainable development of relevance to health psychology

Required Knowledge

A Bachelor's degree (equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, 180 ECTS) from an internationally recognized university. Special requirements: 90 ECTS in health or behavioral science subjects (including physiotherapeutic and occupational therapeutic subjects). Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

Form of instruction

The teaching is conducted in the form of lectures, seminars, practical exercises under supervision and reverse classroom pedagogy. The right to receive teaching and supervision applies only during the time the course, for which the student is registered to, is ongoing. The course is given in English.

Examination modes

The examination includes a written hall examination, oral presentations at seminars, PMs and practical exercises.

Examining elements are indicated in the schedule. All existing teaching within the course can be subject for examination. Decisions on any deviations from the current form of assessment will be made by concerned Director of studies.

Grade for the course will be assigned when the written test and all mandatory elements are approved. The possible grades are 'Pass with distinction',' Pass' or 'Fail'. Students are entitled to rewrite the same examination five times. Students who do not pass the regular examination should be provided an opportunity for further examination according to the University's "Regulations for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate levels." A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course, is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (HF 6 Chap. 22 §). Requests for new examiners are made to the head of the department of Psychology. Students have the right to be tested on the same curriculum as the regular examination at least two occasions up to two years after the first registration.

Deviations from the form of examination in the syllabus can be made for a student who has pedagogical support due to disabilities. Individual adjustments of the examination form is determined based on the student's needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes of the syllabus. After a request from the student the study counselor shall, in consultation with the course coordinator and examiner, promptly decide on the adjusted form of examination. The decision is then to be announced to the student.


Valid from: 2021 week 1

An introduction to health psychology
Morrison Val, Bennett Paul
Fourth edition. : Harlow, United Kingdom : Pearson Education Limited : 2016. : xvii, 657 s. :
ISBN: 978-1-292-00313-9
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Articles, about 200 pages, will be added based on the recommendation of the teacher responsible for the course.