• Offered by Research School of Psychology
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Psychology
  • Areas of interest Psychology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Rhonda Brown
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

All activities that form part of this course will be delivered remotely in Sem 2 2020.

Health Psychology introduces students to the intricate relationships that exist between psychological factors and the biological processes of human health and illness. The course begins by describing the emergence of the field of health psychology, models of health behaviour, and a basic understanding of biological processes. The course then goes on to examine in detail various topics that highlight the role of psychosocial factors in the genesis of health and disease (including a broad range of disorders), as well as the role of psychosocial interventions in assisting individuals to improve their health.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the biopsychosocial model of health and other specific but related psychological theories
  2. Develop an understanding of basic human biology such as the functioning of the endocrine, immune and nervous systems
  3. Appreciate how a person's health can be affected by their behaviour, given certain social factors, environments, and biological factors
  4. Understand the effects of stress on a person's health and the role played by stress-buffering factors
  5. Understanding how stress, affective distress (e.g. anxiety, depression), and other psychological and physical symptoms are assessed, and the potential problems with this measurement
  6. Understand the effects of health status and changes in health on a person's emotions, thinking, and behaivour
  7. Recognise the factors that underpin positive and negative changes in health-related behaviour, and the promotion of healthy behaviour
  8. Identify and describe the content, principles, and methods of past and current health psychology research
  9. Identify the research methods used to conduct health psychology studies, and the ethical issues that pertain to this research
  10. Access online psychological information resources that include the resources provided via Medline, PsychInfo, and the ANU library catalogues
  11. Participate in the collection of research data, analyse data obtained from a study, and write a research report describing the results, in the format of a scientific journal article

Indicative Assessment

  1. a 2000 word research report due mid-semester (40) [LO 1,5,8,9,10,11]
  2. a mid-semester test (10) [LO 1,2,8]
  3. End of semester formal 2 hour examination (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 2 x 1 hour lectures per week and 15 hours of laboratories spread across the semester.
  • Approximately 91 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed PSYC2009.

Prescribed Texts

Health Psychology in Australia, (2017), J. Dorrian, E. Thorsteinsson, M. Di Benedetto, K. Lane-Krebs, M. Day, A. Hutchinson and K. Sherman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, ISBN 978-1-316-62395-4 (hard copy textbook) or E-textbook (ISBN: 9781108146685).





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8920 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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