SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC823137
Module Leader Joanna McParland
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally successful completion of Applied Psychology 2 or equivalent.

Summary of Content

This module provides an overview of the ways in which psychology can contribute to our understanding of health and wellbeing. Emphasis will be placed on critically evaluating how health psychology theories, models and interventions can alleviate health problems and promote wellbeing in contemporary contexts. Throughout, students will learn about evidence-based approaches to policy and practice.


Theoretical approaches and intervention design Introduction to health psychology and health psychology in context; policy approaches Understanding health and wellbeing behaviours/cognitions and health improvement Theoretical approaches to health and wellbeing behaviour change Introduction to intervention design and stages of intervention development Applications of intervention In this section topics that represent relevant and contemporary issues in health and wellbeing will be selected on an annual basis. How these topics are determined will be influenced by factors such as current policy and political agenda in a UK and international context; the news agenda, student interest and staff expertise. Topics might include prevention and/or asset-based interventions applied to e.g. the management of pain, physical activity behaviours, drug addiction, vaccinations, screening, safer sex practices.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students should be able to:1. Use empirical evidence to critically evaluate health psychology's theoretical contribution to understandings of health and wellbeing;2. Critically evaluate health psychology's contribution to the management and improvement of health and wellbeing;3. Critically evaluate methodological concerns associated with key theoretical and empirical perspectives in health psychology;4. Design an individual health intervention that demonstrates a detailed understanding of how theory, research and practice converge in the development and evaluation of health and wellbeing interventions.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Core material will be delivered using online and blended learning methods. A flexible approach will be adopted using participative learning approaches with a practical and mobile focus. Core material will be delivered in a formal lecture series. The lecture series will be accompanied by a programme of supportive seminars where learners will be encouraged to critically consider how theory, empirical research and research methodologies can be used to manage/improve health and wellbeing in relevant and contemporary, real-world contexts. Seminars will also be used to support learners in the completion of their summative assessment. A journal club will be established by students for summative assessment and peer support, and formative reflective diaries will be used to guide and record student progress through the process of intervention development.

Indicative Reading

Essential Conner, M., Norman, P. (2015). Predicting and Changing Health Behaviour: Research and Practice with Social Cognition Models . Open University Press. Third Edition. Michie, S., Aitkens, L., West, R. (2014). The Behaviour Change Wheel. A Guide to Designing Interventions. Silverback Publishing. Ogden, J. (2012). Health psychology: A textbook . London: Open University Press (5th edition or any more recent edition) Reading packs will be developed on an annual basis and be available via GCU Learn. Recommended It is recommended that students keep up to date with current issues in peer reviewed health psychology journals such as the Journal of Health Psychology , Psychology & Health and Health Psychology.

Transferrable Skills

The module is designed to encourage a variety of transferable skills. Most notably students will be supported to develop group working skills in relation to the production of a group-based journal assessment. The module curriculum is underpinned by a research informed and evidence-based approach where students will learn about the ways in which evidence can be used to support/drive policy and practice and this learning will be transferable out with the context of health and wellbeing. Students will also learn mobile skills that can be applied to the management and improvement of contemporary and relevant health and wellbeing issues.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
Independent Learning (FT) 148.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 70.00 n/a One individual health intervention (3000 words) (summative-70%)
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 n/a One group-based journal critique (1500-words) (30% -summative)