University of Technology Sydney

95730 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 2023 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.


This subject explores different conceptualisations of health, and the social, cultural and environmental influences that determine the health of individuals and communities. Students are introduced to psychological theories about how human development, behaviour, society and culture can impact on health and wellbeing. It also focus on the social determinants of health and how these impact on specific populations across the globe. Students are also introduced to research methods and assessments designed to further their academic writing skills.

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 different theoretical approaches within health psychology and how these impact on our understanding of health and wellbeing
C. Discuss the social determinants of health and recognise health inequities in society
D. Demonstrate the process of effectively researching psychosocial perspectives in health
E. Analyse and apply good academic writing skills in health and psychology
F. Recognise the impacts of health disparities on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and how these might be addressed

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject uses a blended learning approach using face-to-face tutorials as well as online learning opportunities, with an emphasis on critical thinking and knowledge application using a range of real-world scenarios. Students will benefit from both the real time delivery of content and access to online resources including podcasts, videos and learning modules. 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 modules and tutorials. 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. This will allow students to deepen their understanding of concepts and theories and to prepare for tutorials.

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 group presentations.

Assessments allow students to practically apply their knowledge using realistic case studies. They will also evaluate the students acadmic writing and critical thinking skills and to enhance their understanding of Indigenous health and wellbeing. Students will receive feedback from the subject coordinator and peers in tutorials, and in online discussion forums throughout the semester.

Content (topics)

  1. Defining and understanding health and wellbeing
  2. Domains of human development and psychological theories
  3. Social determinants of health
  4. Undesrtanding health and wellbeing in marginalised and vulnerable populations
  5. Introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing and cultural safety
  6. Health literacy and research methodologies
  7. Evaluating research and academic writing skills


Assessment task 1: Short answer writing task: Impact of developmental domains on wellbeing


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, D and E

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

500 words plus references and table

Assessment task 2: Group presentation: Indigenous health and wellbeing


For students to develop their understanding of factors that contribute to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Students will also develop an understanding of how community driven health initiatives can benefit the wider community and think about the impact that they can have within their own practice.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, C, D, E and F

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

10 minute group presentation

Assessment task 3: Academic writing and critical thinking task


Students will apply theoretical knowledge and academic writing skills to a quasi-real world scenario that demonstrates critical thinking about population health and wellbeing.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

1200 words + references

Required texts

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


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 ( and Canvas 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.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or