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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC5906M Health Behaviour Change: Theories, Methods and Interventions

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Mark Conner

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least an upper second class honours degree in Psychology or a discipline containing a substantial amount of psychology and research methods training.


PSYC5907MTheory and Intervention in Food and Nutrition
PSYC5912MPsychology of Patient Safety

This module is mutually exclusive with

PSYC5905MCurrent Themes in Neuropsychology and Neuroscience
PSYC5910MThe Psychology of Ageing and Dementia
PSYC5911MTypical and Disordered Development

Module replaces

PSYC5620M Understanding, Predicting and Changing Health Behaviours (15 credits)

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will introduce, describe and evaluate research around a range of different health behaviours and reflect on what health psychology research has contributed to the understanding and changing of such behaviours at the individual level of analysis.


On completion of this module, students should be able to provide an in depth account and critical evaluation of the following:
What social cognition models contribute to our understanding and predicting health behaviours;
The major social cognition models of health behaviour;
The operationalisation of a social cognition model to a health behaviour;
How social cognition models might be used to change health behaviours.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students should be able to -
Describe and critically evaluate a range of social cognition models.
Critically evaluate alternative social cognition models as applied to health behaviours.
Critically reflect on how social cognition models can be used to direct effects to change health behaviours.

Skills outcomes
Ability to evaluate and apply a range of social cognition models to health behaviours.


The module will focus on what theories, methods and interventions have contributed to our understanding of health behaviour and how to change them in light of recent literature. The key theories, behaviour change techniques and methods will be outlined along with representative research in the health-arena employing these approaches to the understanding and changing of health behaviours. As part of developing their full and reflective knowledge and evaluation of these theories, students will learn how to operationalise the theories in order to further understanding of a health behaviour and how to critically evaluate interventions to change them.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Group learning14.004.00
Private study hours165.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will have 166 private study hours. We envisage that this time will be spent thus:
Reading for each lecture: 10 x 6 hours = 60 hours
Preparing in-class presentation (group learning task, presenting application of one model) = 30 hours
Revision and exam practice = 40 hours
For the remaining 36 hours we anticipate that students will use electronic materials, participate in e-learning, and on-line discussion.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored primarily through participation in group discussion in each class session where each student within the group will be required to contribute. In addition the midcourse group learning session will take the form of a presentation of the application of one social cognition model to a particular health behaviour and consideration of implications for changing this health behaviour. The other students plus the academic member of staff will give feedback on the presentation. In addition, the presentation will receive a mark (10% of total).

Students have the opportunity to attend a feedback session where they can view the marker's comments on their exam paper.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationGroup Presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)10.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)90.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:59:40


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