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Health and Medical Psychology


Entry requirements

All 60 ec of the first-year in Psychology obtained.


The focus of the lectures is on health promotion (first 3 weeks) and on illness prevention and chronic diseases (last 5 weeks). The lectures introduce theoretical models (concerning health promotion, symptom perception, stress-related symptoms, and coping with, and psychological interventions in, chronic disease) and illustrate them with practical examples. The lecture topics are the following:

Part 1:

  • Explaining health behaviour

  • Changing health behaviour

  • Health promotion in the workplace

Part 2:

  • Mechanisms and diagnosis of stress-related symptoms

  • Symptom perception and illness

  • Psychosocial consequences of, and how to cope with, chronic disease

  • Pain and pain management

  • Psychological interventions in chronic disease

In part 1 (first 3 weeks) of the work group sessions students are requested to produce a health promotion leaflet or app on a self-chosen topic. IN part 2 (last 5 weeks) of the work group sessions, students will practice screening, diagnosing and treating the psychosocial problems of a patient suffering from a chronic disease.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the principles of health promotion and apply these to various health behaviours;

  • Gain insight into the role of symptom perception and stress in the development of chronic diseases, and the psychosocial consequences of, and interventions in, chronic diseases;

  • Practice psychological intervention techniques focusing on self-management and quality of life in patients suffering from chronic diseases; and

  • Develop pratical skills that will allow them to conduct health promotion programs and work with patients with psychosocial problems in a medical setting.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables

Semester 1: Lectures Work group sessions Exams

Semester 2: Lectures Work group sessions Exams



Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams.
Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year


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

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements, please contact your exchange coordinator


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures
8 2-hour work group sessions

Work group attendance is mandatory. Students are required to complete assignments during and in-between the work group sessions.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on a written exam (60%) and a work group grade (40%). The written exam includes both open questions (counts for 30% of the written exam grade) and multiple-choice questions (counts for 70% of the written exam grade). Work group assignments are based on group assignments in part 1 (counts for 40% of the work group grade) and individual and group assignments in part 2 (counts for 60% of the work group grade).
All lectures will be in English. For the written exam, all multiple-choice questions are in English. The open questions are in English; students can answer in Dutch or in English. Work groups will be in Dutch or English (IBP).

The date and location of the post exam consultation will be posted on blackboard (BB). In order to be able to attend this post exam consultation, an appointment needs to be made by contacting one of the coordinators.

Study materials for the written exam are:

  • Morrison V. & Bennet P. (2012/ 2016). An Introduction to Health Psychology. Pearson / Prentice Hall, Harlow. All chapters have to be studied, with the exception of chapter 2,

  • The Weblectures,

  • The lecture slides posted on Blackboard and

  • Additional literature posted on Blackboard with the lectures.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

Morrison V. & Bennet P. (2012/2016). An Introduction to Health Psychology. Pearson / Prentice Hall, Harlow.
Additional literature posted on BB with the lectures.

Reader Health and Medical Psychology available on Blackboard.

Contact information

Dr. Véronique de Gucht

Dr. Judy Veldhuijzen