• Class Number 8920
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Rhonda Brown
    • AsPr Rhonda Brown
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

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

Research-Led Teaching

Health Psychology is a relatively new sub-discipline of psychology with a strong multi-disciplinary focus on health, medicine, medical science, and clinical and abnormal psychology. Thus, the emphasis in the course is on developing students’ skills in critically appraising the research evidence presented in a variety of different literatures; for example, judging the merits (or otherwise) of the design, psychometrics, and statistical analysis used in the studies. Consistent with the science-practitioner model, the emphasis will be on describing evidence-based clinical practice in psychology and medicine and evidence-based medical and psychological resources. Students will be exposed to a broad range of different research methods including psychophysical (e.g. heart rate), interoceptive (i.e. awareness of bodily sensations), and psychosocial (e.g. states, cognitions, behaviour, social support). Students will be able to participate in studies that use existing and newly-developed research methods; analyse data obtained from a study to examine the relationship between the study variables of interest; and write a research report that is related to the study results and which addresses the relevant theory and empirical research.      

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Physical Systems
2 Psychoneuroimmunology and Psychoneuroendocrinology
3 Stress
4 Stress
5 Stress and Sleep Mid-semester Test
6 Assignment Preparation
7 Depression and Anxiety Research Report
8 Health-related Behaviour
9 Health-related Behaviour
10 Pain and Positive Psychology
11 Chronic Illness
12 Health Services

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Mid-Semester Test 10 % 24/08/2020 06/09/2020 1,2,8
Research Report 40 % 21/09/2020 05/10/2019 1,5,8,9,10,11
Final Examination 50 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 06/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,8

Mid-Semester Test

The mid-semester test will be held at the beginning of Laboratory session 2 in the week of 24-28th August 2020. The test will be completed online, it will be timed, and include 20 multiple-choice-questions. All test questions will be related to the material covered in Lectures 1-4 in weeks 1 and 2. The following topics will be assessed in the test: Introduction to health psychology; physical systems, including Psychoneuroimmunology and Psychoneuroendocrinology.

  • Word limit (where applicable): NA
  • Value: The mid-semester-test is worth 10% of the total marks for this course.
  • Presentation requirements: NA
  • Estimated return date: Tests will be marked by class tutors and student marks will be provided on Wattle after they are finalized, within two-weeks.
  • Hurdle requirements (where applicable): NA
  • Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): NA

The mid-semester exam will be held in the week commencing 24 August. Students should note that they will sit the exam on different dates depending on their lab group. The date in the date range indicates the date the lab group 1 will sit the exam.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 21/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 05/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,5,8,9,10,11

Research Report

The research report is due to be submitted on Monday, 21st September, 2020. An electronic pdf copy of the research report must be submitted via Turnitin which is found at the Wattle online submission portal (Wattle Research Report section). Using Turnitin you can receive electronic feedback about possible plagiarism before you submit the research report on Wattle. You are not required to submit a hard copy of the research report. In the research report, you are required to describe the literature pertaining to interoceptive sensibility, rumination and anxiety and depression symptoms, then describe the relevant study, analyze the dataset obtained from the study, discuss the study results, and then relate them back to the existing literature on this topic.

  • Assessment Rubric: Provided in Course Summary on Wattle
  • Word limit (where applicable): 2000-words (Note: there is no 10% rule, 2,000 words max)
  • Value: 40% of the total marks for this course
  • Presentation requirements: APA formatting is required
  • Estimated return date: Within 2-weeks of the submission date
  • Hurdle requirements (where applicable): NA
  • Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): NA

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Final Examination

The final examination will be held during the examination period in November 2020 at a time and place to be announced. The semester 2 final examination will be a take-home exam that is comprised of short answer questions. The exact format of the exam will be advised closer to the examination date.

Word limit (where applicable): NA

  • Value: 50% of the total marks for this course
  • Presentation requirements: NA
  • Estimated return date: NA
  • Hurdle requirements (where applicable): NA
  • Individual Assessment in Group Tasks (where applicable): NA

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. You may also be required to submit your take-home exam answers through Turnitin and electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your final exam answers. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Electronic assessments will be returned via Wattle with comments two weeks after submission

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not generally permitted, except under extreme (and documented) circumstances

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Rhonda Brown
6125 0635

Research Interests

Illness comorbidity, predictors of medical and mental health outcomes

AsPr Rhonda Brown

AsPr Rhonda Brown
6125 0635

Research Interests

AsPr Rhonda Brown

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions