Module code: PSYM006

Module Overview

This module covers psychological factors that influence the patient's passage through the health care system from symptom perception to help seeking to the consultation with a focus on specific aspects of health care such as surgery, vaccinations and psychological interventions. This module has been designed in accordance with requirements (stage 1) of the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology accreditation criteria. This module addresses the following curriculum areas for a British Psychological Society accredited Health Psychology Masters degree: contexts and perspectives in health psychology, client groups and other stakeholders, health-related behaviour and cognitions, interventions, measurement issues and healthcare and professional settings. This module will help students to better understand how health psychology theory can help us understand the patient experience of healthcare.

Module provider


Module Leader

LALLY Phillippa (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Practical/Performance Hours: 2

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 8

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


Help seeking behaviour, adherence to treatment, the consultation, vaccinations, preparation for surgery, recovery from surgery, and health inequalities.

Weeks 1-10 will cover key components of the passage through the health care system and will offer students the opportunity to prepare for the final presentations through groups discussions and poster presentations.

Week 11 will be the final presentation assessment when students will present their account of one person’s experience of the healthcare system and how this relates to psychological theories and research evidence.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY 50

Alternative Assessment

If, due to extenuating circumstances, a student is unable to present in Week 11 they will be required to record themselves giving the presentation and upload this in addition to their slides. 

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a thorough understanding and critical appraisal of key theories and evidence in understanding the role of patient and health care professionals beliefs in the patient health care experience, and to also demonstrate that they can then apply health psychology theory and evidence to understand an individual’s experience with the health care system.

Thus, the summative assessments for this module consist of:

Coursework – Essay (addresses learning outcomes 1 and 2) 

Practical Based Assessment – Presentation (addresses learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4)

Students upload their slides to Surreylearn but give the presentation in person.

The module convenor will go over the assignment briefs with the students within the first 5 weeks of the semester and will explain the marking criteria. They will support the students do prepare interview questions in preparation for their second assessment. 


Alternative assessment

If a student is unable to attend in Week 11 to give their presentation they can record themselves giving the presentation and submit this recording alongside their slides in Surreylearn.


Formative assessment

During each teaching session from weeks 1-10 students will participate in group discussions and practice presentations to identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.



Detailed written feedback is provided by the module convenor on the essay assignment. The presentations are marked by two members of the academic team and the scores provided across the marking criteria are provided to students, alongside brief comments.

Module aims

  • To provide an understanding and awareness of the psychological issues that influence a patient's passage through the healthcare system. This includes help seeking behaviour, communication in health care settings, surgery, adherence, vaccinations and broader constructs such as the role of the healthcare environment and health inequalities.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Develop a critical understanding of psychological theories and research that relate to the passage through the healthcare system KCPT
002 Be able to describe and critically analyse the role of patients and health care professionals¿ beliefs in health care delivery and patient health outcomes KCPT
003 Be able to apply health psychology evidence and theory to understand every day experiences of the health care system (CKTP) KCPT
004 Be able to communicate health psychology theories and their application to understanding health care experiences, to a non-specialist audience KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is as follows:

Each week (weeks 1-10) students will attend a  teaching session where approximately half the time will be spent with the lecturer conveying core content and signposting towards further reading. The remaining time will be used in discussions, tasks and mini-presentations to help develop students understanding and application of the theories and research evidence to understanding the role of psychological factors in patients’ access and use of health care services, and their experiences of these services.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Teaching sessions (combination lecture and seminar)

Captured content (recordings of teaching sessions and/or separate recordings summarising the content)

Independent learning


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSYM006

Other information

In line with Surrey’s Curriculum Framework, we are committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes to the five pillars in the following ways: 


Employability (E) 

This module supports the students’ employability skills as it will teach students how to take psychological theory and research and use this to understand the patients’ pathway through the health care system.  This is key to any health care role in either primary or secondary care.  They will also have to present an oral presentation of their analysis of one individual’s experience of the health care system.  Presentation skills are key to pretty much all careers.  


Digital capabilities (D) 

Students will need to engage with several elements of digital skills during the course; they will utilize the university of Surrey Virtual Learning Environment (SurreyLearn) to access the course materials and key content; they will become competent in a presentation package to develop their presentation; they will need to use on-line search engines to research academic journal articles for their assignments.  


Global and cultural capabilities (G) 

One of the key global challenges is an ageing population and how to manage the increase in comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, dementia and cancer that come with living longer.  This module will teach students about the role of psychology in patient care and the factors that influence a patient’s experience of the health care system.  


Resourcefulness and resilience (R) 

This module will provide several opportunities to develop resourcefulness and resilience and the assessment will play an important role in this pillar. Students can be fearful of oral presentations.  This module will support the to build their confidence as presenters and will give them plenty of practice and feedback throughout the module as they present their group posters before the final assessment.  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Environmental Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Health Psychology MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Social Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.