Module code: PSYM022

Module Overview

This module provides students with advanced knowledge and understanding of methods, theory and practice in developing and maintaining health throughout the life span. 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, physiological and psychosomatic disease processes, client groups and other stakeholders, health-related behavior and cognitions, interventions, measurement issues and professional issues.  This module will help students to better understand how health psychology theory can be used in health across the lifespan.

Module provider


Module Leader

CROPLEY Mark (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: 62

Lecture Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 44

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Health psychology as challenge to biomedicine

  • Stress, Illness and Coping

  • Exercise

  • Eating Behaviour

  • Health psychology interventions

  • Sleep: disorders and interventions

  • Cardiovascular Health

  • Addiction

  • Applications: assessments for tailoring health care

  • Health promotion I – introduction to Health promotion & ethical issues

  • Health promotion II – evidenced based health promotion

NB: This timetable is subject to minor fluctuation due to availability of external speakers

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY 1000 WORDS 25

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Key literacy skills, including their ability to critically engage with academic literature and their ability to critically review the literature and to assess the quality and quantity of evidence in health psychology.

The assessments will also allow students to demonstrate key employability (and research skills for those wishing to study for a PhD) skills, specifically their ability to present clear, coherent, and concise arguments to an audience. The purpose of the first assignment is for students to develop an understanding of the philosophy underlying the Biopsychosocial model and the scientist-practitioner approach. The rationale being that this model underlies the whole course.

The second assignment allows students to apply the knowledge and skills gained over the course to develop a scientist-practitioner piece of work. This assignment allows students to draw on a range of topics within the module to form an evidenced based report, underpinned by a theoretical understanding of health psychology. It is expected that students work independently on both assignments.


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • One essay (25%, 1000 words using APA style)

  • One project assignment (75%, 2000 words using APA style)


  Formative assessment

Throughout the module students are encouraged to discuss and question the evidence and they will receive verbal feedback in sessions linked to the lectures.

Written feedback on assignments

Dialogue between students and staff in lectures

Students are encouraged to reflect on their own decision making, considering solutions to practitioner-based problems

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the different principals, health psychology theories used in lifespan research
  • Help students understand the principles of health promotion and ethical
  • To evaluate the evidence-base of health promotion
  • Introduce students to different ways to maintain health across the lifespan
  • Help students to communicate their work in two different format

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 To describe and be aware of the differences between the medical model and the biopsychosocial model KCPT
002 To critically evaluate published theories and research KCPT
003 Apply disciplinary principles and practices to develop health psychology interventions to change behaviour KCPT
004 To demonstrate critical evaluation of the theoretical frameworks used in health psychology KCP
005 To demonstrate critical evaluation of the underlying empirical and theoretical evidence KCP
006 To develop proficiency in writing academic assignments within health psychology KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include:

•Lectures of 2hrs duration for 11 weeks

•Class exercises

Students are invited to contribute to discussions from their own background and experiences and are encouraged to be actively involved in problem-solving, thus developing their own judgement and opinions. 

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: PSYM022

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:¿ 

Resourcefulness and resilience:

Students are required to reflect on the material covered within the model and on the feedback provided by the teaching staff. Students will need to be resourceful as they will be asked to research, critically evaluate and design an intervention programme drawing upon health psychology research to change someone’s exercise, diet, stress, smoking behaviour, or sleep, or evaluate the effects of exercise on health. 


Digital capabilities (D)¿ 

Students will need to engage with several elements of digital skill during the course; they will utilize the university of Surrey Virtual Learning Environment (SurreyLearn) to access the course materials and key content. Students will also need to use on-line search engines to research academic journal articles for their assignments. The coursework also provides further digital learning opportunities using Microsoft word.¿¿

Global and Cultural Capabilities:

Students are encouraged to consider how differing perspectives may influence health and wellbeing as the module covers a range of behaviours that influence health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Students will also discuss public health issues and reflect on the possible barriers and facilitators of health interventions with different communities/cultures.

Sustainability (S)¿ 

In this module, students will cover a wide range of topics relevant to maintaining health across the lifespan and understand factors that contribute to health and wellbeing.  Students will be aware of the challenges individuals face in maintaining health. 


Although this module is situated within a theoretical programme, the learning aims and assessments are designed to develop students’ professional and employability skills. The assignments require effective literacy, critical thinking, presentation and time management skills. These are important skills for trainee Health Psychologists.  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Health Psychology MSc 1 Compulsory 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 2025/6 academic year.