Course syllabus for

Health Psychology, 7.5 credits

Hälsopsykologi, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2022.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Health Psychology
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
G2 - First cycle 2 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Programnämnden för Psykologprogrammet
Decision date
Revised by
Education committee CNS
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2022

Specific entry requirements

Passed results of the first and second semester (30 credits and at least 15 credits, respectively) of the Study Programme in Psychology.

Student having failed placement (placement or the equivalent) as a consequence of having shown serious deficiencies in knowledge, skills or attitude that client- or patient security or the clients/ the patients/ the employers' trust for the activities/the healthcare been jeopardised, are qualified to new placement only when the individual action plan has been completed.


Module 1, Basic Health Psychology
On completion of the module, the student should be able to

  • describe and reason about central concepts models, theories and methods within health psychology
  • account for common somatic national diseases and their pathophysiology and the relation between illness/ pathophysiology and psychology/ behavioral factors 
  • with a scientific approach, describe and value knowledge, treatment methods and measures relevant for health and disease, both within and outside of established health care
  • describe the body's nervous-, hormonal-, and immune-systems and their interface and discuss its relevance in health, disease, well-being and brain function
  • describe psychological methods central to behavior change and prevention, and show ability to reflect over ones own behavior change
  • in a given context apply health psychological knowledge, theories and/ or methods to describe, analyse and/ or suggest actions regarding problems within the health psychology realm.

Module 2, Applied Health Psychology
On completion of the module, the student should be able to

  • show ability to describe applied work within the field of the health psychology, based on their own observations
  • describe and reflect around the theories and assumptions behind the practical work in the organization, and reflect on difficulties and possibilities with implementation of evidence-based care
  • identify and describe the competency of the professions that work together in the organization
  • reflect on whether and how collaboration between different professions contributes to evidence-based care and rehabilitation, improved health and/ or high quality research.


The course consists of the following two modules:

Basic health psychology, 6.0 hp

Grading scale: VU

In the first part of the course, knowledge is given of the health concept and methods to measure health and quality of life. Disease theory and pathology, and general knowledge about national diseases, regarding occurrence, genesis, treatment and possible influence on the nervous system. The basic interplay between neural, hormonal, and immunological mechanisms in relation to behavior and health, and the illnesses studied. Psychobiological perspectives on pain, stress, and sleep are presented. Preventive work, psychological treatment and methods for life-style  and behavior change within somatic care are included. Complementary and alternative medicine is touched upon briefly.

Applied health psychology, 1.5 hp

Grading scale: GU

The first part of part 2 consists of observation of professional practice relevant to health psychology, e g psychological treatment in somatic care, preventive health care or in health-psychological research. The final part consists of presentation and discussion of observations at the site, and an analysis of theories and methods informing the work in the particular site observed on theories and methods that underlie the work on the auscultation place.

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of teacher-supervised lectures and practical elements such as journal club, oral presentation, filling out and analysing questionnaires or tests that are used in health psychology, auscultation and excercises that aim to provide familiarity with methods of behavioural change or psychological treatment.

Some course elements are compulsory, see heading "Examination".


The course is examined in the following way:

Module 1, Basic Health Psychology
a) written home examination, is graded U or G 
b) optional written assignment, is graded U, G or VG
c) compulsory teamwork on disease theory, including a presentation
d) active participation in compulsory worskhop on behavioural change
e) active participation in compulsory journal club
f) active participation in compulsory seminar on stress.

The module is graded U, G or VG. 
The grade G on the module requires G on the home examination, as well as fulfillment of compulsory course elements.
The grade VG on the module requires G on the home examination and VG on the optional written assignment, as well as fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Module 2, Applied Health Psychology
a) compulsory auscultation
b) written report, is graded U or G
c) compulsory participation in discussion seminar.

The module is graded U or G.
The grade G on the module requires G on the written report, as well as fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Course grade
The entire course is graded U, G or VG.
The grade G on entire course requires G on both modules.
The grade VG on entire course requires VG on module 1 and G on module 2.

Absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements
The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in or fulfilled compulsory course elements, or compensated for any absence/ failure to fulfill in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from or unfulfillment of a compulsory course element may imply that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered. 

Limitation in the number of VIL opportunities
Regarding the auscultation, which is a VIL placement, the number of times a student has the right to auscultate is limited to two (2) times.

Guidelines in case of failure of auscultation (VIL)
The examiner may, with immediate effect, interrupt a student's auscultation (VIL) if the student demonstrates such a serious lack of understanding, skills or attitude that patient security or the patients' confidence in medical care is at risk. If a VIL opportunity is interrupted in this way, this counts as one failed VIL opportunity. In such cases, an individual action plan should be established, where it is made explicit what activities and examinations are required before the student is qualified for a second VIL-opportunity on the course.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus' regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

If the course is cancelled or goes through substantial changes, information about interim regulations will be stated here.

Other directives

Course evaluation takes place according to KI's local guidelines. Results and possible actions are communicated to the students on the course web page.

Literature and other teaching aids

Mandatory literature

Additional reading according to the teacher's instruction.

Morrison, James R. When psychological problems mask medical disorders : a guide for psychotherapists

Mandatory literature - CHOOSE yourself one (1) of these two books

Ogden, Jane Health psychology : [a textbook]
Morrison, Val; Bennett, Paul An introduction to health psychology

Mandatory literature - CHOOSE yourself one (1) of these two books

Sand, olav; et al Människokroppen : Fysiologi och anatomi
Kolb, Bryan; Whishaw, Ian Q. Fundamentals of human neuropsychology