PSYC339-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Health Psychology and Behaviour Change

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This is an introductory course in health psychology. The focus is on the contributions of behavioural science to the promotion of health and the treatment of illness. Topics covered include determinants of health-related behaviours (e.g. smoking, diet), individual and population approaches to behaviour change, stress and coping, adjustment to illness.

Health psychology is concerned with understanding human behaviour in the context of physical health and illness. As such the field is a large one and this course aims to introduce students to a range of topics in the field. Topics include health promotion and prevention, determinants of health-related behaviours (e.g. smoking, diet, exercise), stress and coping, patient-practitioner communication, pain and its management, and management of chronic and serious illness. Health psychology applies theories from various psychological sub-disciples and as such has a natural affinity with several other courses at the undergraduate and graduate level including abnormal, social, personality, developmental and industrial-organizational psychology. PSYC339 is recommended preparation for PSYC434 Health Psychology: Theories and interventions (advanced course in health psychology).

Learning Outcomes

(1) To provide students with a broad overview of the field of health psychology
(2) To develop an understanding and appreciation of the complex interplay between physical well-being and a variety of biological, psychological, and social factors
(3) To encourage interest in the area of health psychology
(4) To encourage critical thinking about health psychological issues


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Roeline Kuijer


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Fieldwork report 26%
Laboratory reports / assignments 14%
Test 25%
Final exam 35%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Abraham, C., Conner, M., Jones, F., & O'Connor, D; Health Psychology ; 2nd Edition; Routledge, 2016.

In addition to the textbook, additional readings will be assigned (available via LEARN)

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,833.00

International fee $9,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing .

All PSYC339 Occurrences

  • PSYC339-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023