Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Psychology Applied to Health

Module titlePsychology Applied to Health
Module codeNEU3003
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Mark Tarrant (Convenor)

Dr Byron Creese (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Health and illness are not only influenced by biological factors (viruses, bacteria etc.) but also by psychological and social factors, including emotions, personality, and our relationships with other people. Understanding the interplay between these different influences is critical to medical research and clinical practice. This module will provide students with an introduction to this field and highlight research relevant to both treatment and prevention of ill health.   

This optional module is delivered by expert psychologists who conduct research in a variety of health contexts and is likely to interest final year students of the BSc Neuroscience, BSc Medical Sciences, and related disciplines (e.g., Psychology, Biosciences, Human Sciences, Sport and Exercise Sciences). 

Module aims - intentions of the module

Students are introduced to contemporary research in key areas of psychology applied to health (including stress, social support, medication adherence), and study how research findings are translated into practice in healthcare settings (e.g., through health promotion and behaviour change interventions). By critically appraising how social and psychological processes influence health and illness, students will develop an integrative, holistic understanding of important problems in healthcare.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate understanding of key research and findings in psychology applied to health
  • 2. Review key psychological theories and research studies in health psychology
  • 3. Critically appraise research in psychology applied to health, in terms of theoretical and methodological rigour
  • 4. Evaluate research that has been applied in preventative health contexts (e.g., in healthcare and public health interventions) and consider the implications of this research for the future of healthcare and public health policy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Describe and critically appraise methods used in health psychology research
  • 6. Critically appraise scientific research papers in psychology

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Study autonomously, managing private study, soliciting and using feedback
  • 8. Interact effectively with others and contribute to scientific discussions
  • 9. Communicate ideas effectively by written means

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module’s precise content will vary from year to year, but the following information gives a detailed description of the typical overall structure.  

The delivery will be a combination of lectures, seminars and structured discussions, and will be all online. Specifically, students will attend a series of lectures which provide the core content of the module, in terms of theoretical frameworks and key empirical studies within the field. Group learning seminars will enable students to work with others in developing critical appraisal skills and fostering deeper understanding of module material. Structured discussions will allow students to discuss key topics from lectures  

The syllabus is supported by an on-line clinic for questions, comments and advice. Students are expected to engage in independent study across the module. 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching15.52x lectures (1hr each); 9x lectures (1.5 hrs each)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4Seminar and workshop (2 hrs each)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Weekly tutor clinic
Scheduled Learning and Teaching0.5Structured discussion
Guided Independent Study119Guided reading of research articles and literature; preparation for lectures, seminars and scientific discussions; assessment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Contribution to structured discussions, including developing a scientific argumentBased on contributions to the on-line forum (students are expected to contribute to each discussion).1-9, esp. 8Oral (tutor)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay Examination (online)6024 hours (2 questions)1-7, 9Individual grade
Scientific Essay Synopsis (coursework)401000 words1-7, 9Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay Examination, 60% (online)Essay Examination1-7, 9Ref/Def
Scientific Essay Synopsis, 40%Essay Examination1-7, 9Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Jetten, J. et al. (2011). The Social Cure: Identity, Health and Well-being. Hove: Psychology Press.

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Primary research publications and review articles covering various topics, as directed by the module team and identified through independent study.

Key words search

Psychology, Health, Behaviour Change, Health Promotion, Interventions

Credit value15
Module ECTS


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date