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Health Promotion and Disease Prevention


Entry requirements

Only open to master’s students in Psychology with specialisation Health and Medical Psychology (mandatory) or Occupational Health Psychology (elective).


Students will learn how to develop an intervention program to promote health behavior, based on a systematic evidence-based approach. During the lectures, theories on the determinants of health behaviour (change) will be presented including recent insights in health promotion research, and vivid examples from practice. During the practical sessions, students will work in subgroups to design an intervention aimed at preventing the onset and/or continuation of health-compromising behaviours (e.g., smoking, alcohol abuse, snacking) or by encouraging health-enhancing behaviours (e.g., exercise, fruit and vegetable consumption). Students will perform a literature search to establish a state-of-the-art summary of the relationship between this behaviour and relevant health outcomes. They will then design an intervention model including determinants of the behavior and methods of change, based on theoretical and empirical considerations. Following this, they will develop an intervention program and implement and evaluate part of the intervention among students at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences during the Healthy Faculty days.

Course objectives

On completion of the course students:

  • Have an understanding of planned intervention development;

  • Have experience with the application of theory and evidence with respect to understanding and changing health behaviour; and

  • Are able to recognize the promises and pitfalls of intervention development.

Designing interventions in a systematic evidence-based way prepares students for future work situations in which they may need to develop intervention programs or trainings for clients and patients or other groups in the general population. Students will also gain some experience with implementing such interventions.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Lectures Work group sessions



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s course registration

Mode of instruction

During the course the whole process of intervention planning will be introduced and illustrated. Students will learn how to systematically design and implement an intervention. The course consists of 4 2-hour lectures, 8 work group sessions (3 hours each), and a workshop and environmental intervention for Faculty staff and/or students (one whole day).

Assessment method

Final grade is based on:
Attendance during lectures and work group sessions (full attendance is mandatory)
Group assignments (75%)
Individual assignment (25%)

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

  • Bartholomew Eldredge, L.K., Markham, C.M., Ruiter, R.A.C., Fernández, M.E., Kok, G. & Parcel, G.S. (2016). Planning Health Promotion Programs. An Intervention Mapping Approach. 4th edition. Wiley: Jossey-Bass

  • Course reader (which will be made available in Blackboard)

Contact information

Dr. Winnie Gebhardt