Health and Psychology


Provides an introduction to Health Psychology: conceptually defining health within a 'biopsychosocial' framework, as well as covering basic physiological functions and processes of acute and chronic illness. Major causes of morbidity and mortality are reviewed, and key aspects of health-related assessment and measurement are addressed. The roles for psychologists to work at individual and community levels to improve health will be discussed, together with relevant models of health behaviour and behaviour change.


Distance Education - Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Define 'health', within a biopsychosocial framework.

2. Identify the major physiological systems of the body and key processes of acute and chronic illness.

3. Identify major causes of morbidity and mortality and associated key individual and environmental determinants as well as particular high-risk sub-groups

4. Describe the major methods and instruments used to assess health and related issues, and be able to select and apply measurement tools appropriate to particular contexts.

5. Identify the opportunities for psychologists to work within the health area, from the clinical to health promotion ends of the spectrum.

6. Identify key models of health behaviour and behaviour change, and intervention approaches, underpinning the field of Health Psychology.


  1. Defining health, within a biopsychosocial framework
  2. Major physiological systems; processes of acute and chronic illness
  3. Morbidity and mortality among the Australian population; determinants of health and illness
  4. Health-related assessment /measurement methods and instruments
  5. Opportunities for Health Psychology to improve health, and models of health behaviour and behaviour change underpinning approaches to intervention


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Health Psychology, Master of Clinical Psychology, Doctor of Clinical & Health Psychology or PhD in Health Psychology, Doctor of Clinical Psychology or PhD Clinical Psychology programs .

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students will have completed a four-year program in Psychology that has been accredited by the Australian Psychological Society.

Assessment Items

Online Learning Activity: Electronic Tutorials - Contribution to Blackboard discussions

Essay: Essay

In Term Test: Examination

Contact Hours

Distance Education - Callaghan


Online 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

A total commitment of three hours a week of seminar/PBL/workshop.