University of Technology Sydney

92494 Psychosocial Perspectives in Health

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


In this introductory subject, students explore different conceptualisations of health, and the social, cultural and environmental influences that determine the health of individuals and communities. Key life transitions, health experiences and related behaviours are examined using theories and models from health psychology and sociology. Factors affecting health behaviour, values, coping and adaptation are explored.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Identify key concepts of health and wellness, and different perspectives on these
B. Recognise key stages of human development and their relationship to health and wellness
C. Analyse differing responses to illness and how individual and societal characteristics may increase vulnerability or resistance to illness and/or disease
D. Recognise determinants of health and health inequities in society
E. Describe a contemporary health issue and relate this to socio-ecological concepts of health
F. Discuss challenges faced by vulnerable and marginalised populations
G. Recognise the role of colonisation and impacts of health determinants on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
H. Identify the range of protective factors and assets that act to support health and wellbeing of individuals and communities

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Advocate for and engage with individuals and communities to reduce health inequities and promote social justice in a global context (1.0)
  • Use an assets-based approach to engender effective communication, collaboration and leadership (3.0)
  • Demonstrate professional competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage you to engage and learn about Psychosocial Perspectives in Health.

This subject will benefit from both the real time delivery of content and access to online resources including podcasts, videos and learning modules. Face to face teaching and learning will enable students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology, and engage with sensitive or confronting topics. Online materials will include scenario-based learning which unfolds at each student's pace. Each week, preparatory activities will be set that introduce students to key concepts to be explored in more detail within the lecture and tutorials. Videos and podcasts will illustrate application of theory into practice. Quizzes will test student understanding of preparatory work set each week to assist the tutor in targeting face-to-face time to the class's learning needs. Tutorials will help students explore health related ideas and scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form judgements and develop creative solutions to complex problems. Students' critical thinking will be developed through analysis of a broad range of issues and challenges. Students will be involved in discussions, debates and presentations individually and in groups. Students will receive feedback from peers and teachers not only on their knowledge of the subject area but also on their ability to communicate their thoughts and relevant information in a coherent and confident manner.

Content (topics)

  • Health and wellness from individual and community perspectives
  • Early life and life course trajectories and transitions
  • Health-related behaviours
  • Social determinants of health and the socio-ecological model
  • Marginalised and vulnerable populations
  • Introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellness
  • Health literacy
  • Researching psychosocial perspectives in health


Assessment task 1: Interview report


For students to develop their understanding of differing perspectives on illness and how these are embedded within personal and socio-cultural contexts.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A and C

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):


Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

600-800 words

Assessment task 2: Stages of development


For students to gain an understanding of key stages of development and the factors that can impact these.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):


Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 30%

10 minute group presentation plus 800 word written summary

Assessment task 3: Presentation of a contemporary Indigenous health issue: social perspectives


For students to develop their understanding of factors contributing to health disparities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and how these might be addressed.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

E, F, G and H

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 3.0 and 6.0

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

Approximately 20 slides (1,200 words, including speaker notes, plus references).

Required texts

There is no essential text for this subejct. All necessary readings and material will be posted on UTS Online


Jones, K. & Creedy, D. 2008, Health and Human Behaviour, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Keleher, H. & Macdougall, C. 2016, Understanding Health, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K., & Viswanath, K. (eds) 2008, Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice, 4th edn, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.