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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

What can health professionals and health care promoters do to improve their own and others health and wellbeing? What influences people’s health behaviours? Why do people find it difficult to change their health behaviour? What are the most promising strategies for improving health and well-being?

Health behaviours cover a wide range of behaviours (e.g. smoking, physical activity, vaccination, diet, taking medication, and practicing safe sex) and have a major impact on peoples’ health, quality of life, and (healthy) life expectancy. Nevertheless, many people have an unhealthy diet, exercise too little, don’t take their medication as prescribed, smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, and so forth.

In this course, we will address these challenges and students will learn key theories about health behaviour and behaviour change, including behaviour change techniques, in order to understand how health behaviours can be influenced by a variety of factors within an individual (e.g., conscious and unconscious thoughts, emotions, goals, and decisions), and also by factors in the environment (e.g., the behaviours and expectations of society; the quality of the communication by health care professionals; or availability and affordability of healthy options in the environment).

 Health psychologists and health professionals are expected to be able to develop, evaluate and implement intervention programs to promote healthier behaviour, through changing individuals and their environment.

Within this course you will develop your understanding of health behaviours, what influences them and how to change them. You will experience the role of health behaviours from both the participant’s and researcher view, by developing, participating in and analysing your own behavioural intervention.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Foresterhill Sustained Study No
  • Dr Clare Cooper

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

  • 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 give students an introduction to theory and research on the links between behaviour, health, and well-being. Students will learn key theories about behaviour and behaviour change, including behaviour change techniques, and try them out for improving their own health and well-being.

  1. Determine what influences health behaviour and well-being
  2. Choose, evaluate and apply measures to change behaviour, health and well-being
  3. Critically appraise psychological theories and use these theories to identify behavioural targets for intervention
  4. Design and implement a coherent, theory-based behavioural intervention.
  5. Communicate a case study demonstrating the link between behaviour, health and well-being
  6. Critically reflect on theories and evidence promising to change health and well-being

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University week s 7 - 17
  • 1 Tutorial during University week s 7 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

Poster Presentation and Brief Critical Summary (40%); class test (20%); Individual design project (40%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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