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Cross-cultural Psychology of Health and Illness


Entry requirements



This course looks at culture, health, disease and health care from a psychological perspective and at cultural aspects of core psychological concepts and models.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, students are prepared for a culturally diverse society and able to:

  • Identify cultural aspects of personality, psychopathology, stress, pain and illness, distinguish cultural influences on health beliefs, lifestyles and health

  • Understand communication between health care professionals and migrant patients and the use of healthcare facilities.

  • Develop awareness of the impact of culture on social and professional settings


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis. You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from July. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December.
The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC). First year Bachelor students as well as premaster students will be registered by the Student Service Center; they do not need to register themselves.

The registration period for all courses closes five calendar days before the start of the course.
Also read the complete registration procedure


Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 8 2-hour lectures (weblectures are available, with the exception of clinical video material).

Assessment method

Written exam with multiple choice and open questions focusing on insight and application of the learned material, weighted 70% and 30% respectively.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation. Disciplinary measures will be taken when exam fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

  • Heine, S.J. (2020). Cultural psychology (Regular or International student edition), 4th edition. New York NY: Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-393-42189-7 or 978-0-393-64469-2.

  • A set of articles available via Brightspace.

Selected chapters from the book by Heine, the articles on Brightspace, the lecture slides, as well as the information from the lectures are all part of the exam material.

Contact information

Dr. Rebecca Schaefer