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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course explores how stress and personality can affect our health by influencing how we view the world, how we react to situations and events (psychologically, physiologically and behaviourally) and our capacity to cope in difficult circumstances.

We are all individuals who respond differently to the environment around us and these individual differences can influence our health, positively and negatively. Stress and other individual differences such as coping, social support and personality will be explored in relation to health and illness. Understanding the relationship between these factors can explain the psychological influences on health and identify key areas for intervention.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Clare Cooper

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • MSc Health Psychology (Studied)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to understand the psychological and individual factors influencing health and specifically by the end of the course you should be able to

·         Critically evaluate the key theoretical models of stress and personality, and to apply these models to research problems in the context of health

·         Discuss the psychological processes that explain how individual difference factors influence health beliefs and behaviours

·         Describe the physiological and psychological determinants/consequences of stress and to reflect on how best to operationalize the concept of ‘stress’ in a variety of contexts

·         Select measures of the psychological and physiological indicators of stress that are appropriate for use in controlled laboratory setting and in ambulatory real word settings

·         Interpret complex psychophysiological data

·         Apply theory to the design of context-appropriate stress management interventions


Topics covered by the course include:

·         Theoretical models of stress

·         Measurement of stress

·         Models of coping and stress management

·         Psychoneuroimmunology

·         Models and theories of personality

·         The role of personality in health and illness

·         Emotion in health

·         Individual differences in health, health behaviour, illness perceptions and health beliefs

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • MSc Health Psychology

Contact Teaching Time

33 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1x two hour written exam (60%) + continous assessment (40%)[2,500 word written assignment]

Formative Assessment




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