This course is discontinued

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course looks into elements that improve people’s health and well-being, with a specific focus on individuals within a societal context. A contextual focus is important to understand individual and community health and health disparities within a multicultural, global context. We examine different understandings of health, well-being and illness, how people cope and live with disease, and how health and illness is shaped by contextual factors. Special attention is given to health communication and interaction between individuals and communities, in Norway and globally. We also examine how community psychology and critical psychology may contribute to empowerment and well-being within diverse populations and settings.

Learning outcome

The aim of this course is to provide students with knowledge and skills based on up-to-date theory and research so that they are able to observe, understand, and eventually act upon, major factors detrimental to health and well-being in the contemporary society. Students learn to engage in critical reflection and communication with diverse populations, and to take the multicultural perspective into account when planning, implementing and evaluating health initiatives.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The course is offered to students, who have been offered a place in the Master’s Degree Programme in Psychology. Students from other master’s programmes at the University of Oslo may be admitted into this course by individual application to the department. The application has to include a confirmation from your department that the course can be a part of your degree.

Recommended previous knowledge

No prerequisites. A basic knowledge of health psychology is however recommended. Students might want to familiarize themselves with the basic topics through any introductory book in health psychology.

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with PSYC6509 – Health and Society (discontinued)


The teaching will be given through seminars and lectures. There will be 18 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of seminars. Attendance is compulsory in all of the 4 seminars.

September and October


The course will be marked pass/fail. Compulsory activities must have been approved by the department before you can take the exam:

Home exam:
Written assignment will be given as a home exam with 2 weeks deadline for submission. You will be required to write an essay of minimum 3000 words.

Compulsory activities will consist of:
• Active participation in seminar group
• Compulsory attendance in all 4 seminar sessions
• Two reflection notes (case note and reflections on own learning/role)

Participation and reflection notes count 50%, written assignment counts 50%.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

English. Students are allowed to submitt the home exam in Norwegian, but the topic will be given in English only.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

The results from the exam will be ready approximately 3 weeks after the exam. The exam text and submission deadline dates will be posted on the semester page and/or send out to the student by email.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who due to illness or other valid reason of absence were unable to submitt their final home exam may apply for participation in make-up exams. Make-up exams are arranged either later in the same semester or early in the semester following the exam in question. Documentation of valid reasons for absence from the regular exam must be submitted upon application to participate in make-up exams.

You may apply to take a new exam if you fail this course. This exam will be held in the beginning of the spring semster, and will be considered as a second attempt. The deadline for an application will be posted on the message board each autumn semester. Please apply by e-mail to the administrative coordinator Trine Andresen.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

A student can submitt this exam up to 3 times. If a student wishes to withdraw from the exam, she/he must do this in StudentWeb at least two weeks prior to the date of the topic of the home exam to be given out. Failure to do so will be counted as one of the three opportunities to submitt the home exam.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Deadline 1 September. Detailed information in Norwegian.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Last time: autumn 2009


Last time: autumn 2009

Teaching language