This course is discontinued

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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 and understand 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 conducting therapy and when planning, implementing and evaluating health initiatives.


This course is only offered to students who have been admitted to the professional program of psychology. Only students in semesters 7-12 are allowed to take the course.

Only students admitted to the course may take part in instruction and tuition and sit for the examination.

Students who are admitted to study programmes or individual courses at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for by registering a study plan in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Semesters 1-6 of the professional program in psychology have to be completed in advance

Recommended previous knowledge

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


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 4 seminar sessions.

The class is run together with the Master's course, PSY4106 - Health and Society


Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Assessment will consist of:

  • Active participation in the 4 seminar sessions
  • Two reflection notes (case note and reflections on own learning/role, in total approximately 5-10 pages)

Active participation in the seminar sessions counts 50% towards the assessment, while the two reflection notes count 50%.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

English. Students are allowed to write the two reflection notes in Norwegian, but the tasks 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 assessment will be ready approximately 2 weeks after final submission. The exact date will be posted on the semester page, on Fronter, and/or send out to the student email.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Studenter kan søke om utsatt frist ved gyldig dokumentert grunn (sykdom o.l.)

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.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


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




Next time: autumn 2011


Next time: autumn 2011

Teaching language