Health and Medical Psychology (MSc)
The master's specialisation Health and Medical Psychology consists of three main parts: the mandatory and elective courses, a thesis and an internship.
Here you can see the schedule for this master. Click on the programme to view it at full-screen.
I especially liked the course Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; we set up a fun workshop for staff members of Leiden University at the Healthy Faculty Days and they really seemed to enjoy it. For me it was a very nice change of pace to create our own health promotion intervention and to present it, instead of just learning from books.
I really enjoyed the mandatory courses of Health & Medical Psychology. On the one hand you train your therapeutic skills with Basic Therapeutic Skills and Cognitive Behaviour Interventions, and on the other hand you get a little taste of the practical work of Health Psychology with Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
Basic Therapeutic Skills is a course in professional skills in which the student will learn to understand and apply basic psychotherapeutic skills in a clinical and health psychological setting. Work group sessions consist of supervised and unsupervised meetings where students practice therapeutic skills, reflect upon the therapeutic process with other students and staff, and discuss relevant literature. A central tenet is the process of self-monitoring and reflecting upon one’s own professional development as a therapist.
In this course, students will learn how to develop an intervention program to promote health behavior, based on a systematic evidence-based approach. During the lectures, theories on the determinants of health behaviour (change) will be presented including recent insights in health promotion research, and vivid examples from practice. During the practical sessions, students will work in subgroups to design an intervention aimed at preventing the onset and/or continuation of health-compromising behaviours (e.g., smoking, alcohol abuse, snacking) or by encouraging health-enhancing behaviours (e.g., exercise, fruit and vegetable consumption). Students will perform a literature search to establish a state-of-the-art summary of the relationship between this behaviour and relevant health outcomes. They will then design an intervention model including determinants of the behavior and methods of change, based on theoretical and empirical considerations. Following this, they will develop an intervention program and implement and evaluate part of the intervention among students at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences during the Healthy Faculty days.
In this course the epidemiology of, and specific psychosocial problems associated with a variety of chronic diseases and physical problems (e.g. coronary heart disease, pain syndromes, cancer, diabetes) are introduced. Commonly used psychological assessment instruments measuring these psychosocial problems and related concepts are discussed such as illness cognitions, pain, coping, social support, self-management, stress, and health-related quality of life. Finally, disease-specific psychosocial intervention strategies for the enhancement of quality of life and/or self-management in patients with chronic disease are addressed.
The theoretical part of this course consists of lectures on general aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and specific interventions for different forms of psychopathology and psychological consequences of chronic disease.
In small group sessions running parallel to these lectures, students will be taught basic cognitive-behavioural intervention principles/techniques, such as case formulation, exposure, response prevention, and identifying, challenging and modifying negative thoughts and attitudes.
For more information about the courses, check out the e-Prospectus.
During this master's specialisation, at least 10 EC must consist of elective courses, of level 500. A full list of electives can be found here.
Healthy Faculty Days!
Every year, as part of the course 'Health Promotion and Disease Prevention' students organise the Healthy Faculty Days. Here they develop and implement an health intervention program for staff and students at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Here you can see what they did in 2016:
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