• Offered by Research School of Psychology
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Psychology
  • Areas of interest Psychology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

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]

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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, Quantitative Methods in Psychology or equivalent.

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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2022 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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