Psychology of Health - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Drug use and Sex / Sexual References and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment (30%) , Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,700.00
HECS 793.00
International 2,950.00

The Psychology of Health aims to investigate major issues in society today as they relate to health and community wellbeing. Students will be expected to understand the assumptions of health psychology, and become familiar with the theory, methods and practice of health psychology. Further aims of the unit include health beliefs and illness cognitions, and for the student to become conversant with many of the major health issues affecting society, such as smoking, alcohol, pain, stress, eating, cancer and other diseases. Other aims include an understanding of the role of health professionals, epidemiology of disease in the community and an appreciation of the quality of life.

Please note: assessment values are indicative only, details will be advised at the start of the unit.

It is recommended that you complete COM10006 for this unit.

After successfully completing this unit, students will be able to: 

  1. Describe the theory, methodology, and practice of Health Psychology
  2. Convey a high level of knowledge about health beliefs and illness cognitions
  3. Analyse and appraise the various issues pertinent to Health Psychology (e.g., smoking, alcohol, stress, eating behaviours, disease) and apply this knowledge to explain how to achieve behaviour change
  4. Locate, organise and synthesise information from various sources concerning health status – from mortality rates to quality of life
  5. Critically evaluate the research literature in the area of Health Psychology
  6. Demonstrate scientific writing skills within the context of psychology.
  • Assignment (30%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)
  • Test — Online (10%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PSS340 — Psychology of Health

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

You must also complete two (2) Level 2 studies in Psychology before starting this unit.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to health psychology
2Health inequalities
3Health related behaviours
4Predicting health behaviour
5Reducing risk of disease
6Population approaches to public health
7Symptom perception
8The consultation
9Stress and Illness moderators
10Impact of illness
11Improving health

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Printable format materials

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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