Course Title: Health Psychology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Health Psychology

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Course guide info and changes due to COVID-19: As a consequence of courses being delivered remotely in Semester 2 2020, course guides may not reflect all courses assessments and activities. This is because some information in the course guide is fixed, such as learning outcomes, and some may change according to the semester of delivery.

Please refer to Canvas for details regarding your assessment and activities for each of your Semester 2 courses and talk to your course coordinator if you have any questions.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Sharynn Schuster

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7364

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.03.012

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites) 



Course Description

This course builds on the broader perspective of psychology presented earlier in the students study. The course is designed to provide learning experiences that allow students to adapt their knowledge of psychology and human behaviour to the clinical situations that they experience as health professionals. In a setting of oncology care, the ability to communicate effectively and empathetically is a fundamental part of best-practice clinical care. It can improve outcomes for both patients and health professionals. Effective communication doesn’t come naturally to us all, instead it is a learned skill. The course aims to provide skill acquisition in communication essential for professional practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP148 Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiations):

Professional and ethical conduct

  • practise in an ethical and professional manner, consistent with relevant legislation and regulatory requirements
  • provide each patient/client with an appropriate level of dignity and care
  • assume responsibility, and accept accountability, for professional decisions, and
  • advocate on behalf of the patient/client, when appropriate, within the context of the practitioner’s particular division of registration.

Communication and collaboration

  • communicate clearly, sensitively and effectively with patient/client and your family or carers, and
  • collaborate with other health practitioners.

On successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

  1. demonstrate some of the key communication skills required for eliciting and responding to emotional cues of patients.
  2. explain and elaborate the psychological factors relevant for facilitating patient treatment adherence and wellbeing
  3. communicate effectively with patients taking into account the patient’s welfare and there cultural and spiritual beliefs.
  4. apply appropriate communication skills when working in a multi-disciplinary health team.

Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures, role plays, case studies and class discussions will all facilitate your knowledge and skill acquisition.

Teacher Guided Hours: 48 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 72  per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be provided with course information online through the Canvas course site. Recommended readings will be provided for specific topics. These will be made available from the Canvas course site for this course via e-Reserve, or will be available through the RMIT electronic data bases.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task: Communication exercises

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4 

Assessment Task 2: Assignment

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 3: VCCCP workshop participation

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4