Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202300198
Health Promotion
Course infoSchedule
Course module202300198
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeStudy Unit
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. M.E. Pieterse
dr. C. Bode
dr. C.H.C. Drossaert
dr. L. L. Kramer
Contactperson for the course
dr. M.E. Pieterse
dr. M.E. Pieterse
Academic year2023
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes

After successful completion of the course Health Promotion (HP) the student is able to:
  • apply and reflect critically on some of the main theoretical models and constructs in this field, including models of behavioral determinants and behavioral change techniques by addressing their strengths and limitations (BCT’s)
  • recognize relevant organizations and resources in the field of Health Promotion both nationally (RIVM, CBS, etc) and internationally (e.g. WHO, ECDC) and understand their contribution to this field
  • find relevant existing Health Promotion interventions on a specific topic, and critically appraise these interventions on their empirical and theoretical foundation and the appropriateness of the BCT’s applied
  • critically judge scientific publications in the field of Health Promotion, and effectiveness studies in particular, accounting for methodological rigor, theoretical soundness, and relevance
  • assess the magnitude of a public health problem with available evidence from recognized resources
  • systematically design a Health Promotion intervention based on theory and empirical evidence, according to the intervention mapping method, while accounting for financial and practical constraints
  • present the intervention proposal, professionally and convincingly, both in writing and orally
  • systematically identify the stakeholders related to the designed intervention, analyze their aims and counterarguments concerning the intervention and create an attractive perspective for the stakeholders in order to successfully implement the Health Promotion product.

Connection to the work field
In this course students get acquainted with many relevant national and international organizations and resources in the field of health promotion. One or two guest speakers from one of these organizations, are invited to tell the students about their organization, current developments and projects, and how a typical working day looks like. Guest speakers are also invited to elaborate on the qualities that organizations look for in future colleagues, and to provide students with tips and tricks that might help them in the start of their career. The assignment, writing a substantiated intervention plan for a health promotion intervention, is a common and realistic task for professionals working in this field. In the professional skills-component, students are trained in identifying relevant stakeholders and how to negotiate their plans with these stakeholders with their own agendas, which is also an extremely important skill for health psychologists working in this field.
Health Promotion (HP) has a focus on promoting (mental) health and healthy lifestyle in the general public. A healthy lifestyle includes behaviors relevant for primary prevention (healthy diet, safe sex, no smoking) and secondary prevention (early detection of disease through participating in cancer screening programs). It also includes building resilience to maintain mental health. Specific health issues such as overweight, addictions, infectious diseases, and specific risk groups such as people with lower socio-economic status, elderly, adolescents, will be addressed in this course.

Students will learn to systematically plan and design an evidence-based health promotion (eHealth) intervention, including skills such as: collecting relevant evidence, identifying relevant determinants of health behavior, selecting appropriate behavior change techniques and put such techniques into practice, and achieving successful dissemination of an intervention on a large scale. Students are also acquainted with novel techniques, including web-based technology and cognitive bias modification techniques.

In three assignments students will deepen and apply the knowledge necessary to design and implement interventions. In one brief group assignment students focus on a specific behavioral change technique (BCT) and share this with their fellow-students in an oral presentation.
In a second and larger individual assignment students run through the full cycle of intervention design on a given health issue.
Based on the intervention proposed in their individual assignments, in a third (group) assignment students acquire several professional skills: Students will practice to identify stakeholders and analyze their position concerning the designed intervention. Students will learn to negotiate different (possibly opposite) perspectives in order to create win-win situations for all involved stakeholders to finance and implement the proposed intervention successfully.

This course also provides the opportunity to become familiar with the current professional field of Health Promotion. Students will meet an inspiring health promotion practitioner invited as guest lecturer.

The course contents are illustrated by current research on implicit and explicit behavior change techniques from the Self-Management and Health Assessment Lab at the Department of PHT.
This is a core course of the M-PSY programme. Only students who are admitted to the entire M-PSY and meet all the admission requirements as referred to in the programme specific part are allowed to take this course.
Assumed previous knowledge
Bachelor or pre-master Psychology UT
Participating study
Master Psychology
Required materials
Batholomew LK, Bartholomew, C.M. Markham, R.A.C. Ruiter, M.E. Fernández, GJ Kok, GS Parcel. Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach, 4th edition. Jossey-Bass, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-119-03549-7
Course material
Powerpoint presentations form lectures
Course material
Scientific articles
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes


Presence dutyYes

Project supervised
Presence dutyYes

Project unsupervised
Presence dutyYes

Self study with assistance


Assignment (individual)

Assignment (group)

Assignment (group)

Kies de Nederlandse taal