Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Behaviour change in health and wellbeing MED5648

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an introduction to key aspects of behaviour change within a health context. Promoting healthy behaviour is complex, however there are many Behaviour Change Theories and techniques that can support individuals to adopt positive health behaviours. This course introduces students to theories of behaviour change using real-life examples to help apply learning to professional practice. Students will gain an appreciation of the key challenges of implementing health promotion interventions.


Online course over 10 weeks. Students will have up to 10 hours of learning per week to be completed.

Requirements of Entry

A relevant first degree, at least at 2.2 honours level, or equivalent in addition to a minimum of six months' work experience in a health field. Exceptionally, if no degree then a professional qualification and experience in health care for at least two years at a professional level is required.

Excluded Courses





The two summative assessments will take the form of:


1-Written assessment - 70%-1500 words


Students will be asked to write an essay answering the following:

Design a behaviour change intervention which addresses a current health challenge in your country, or a country with which you are familiar. Thinking about the material delivered throughout this course and your own reading of the relevant evidence, you should write an evidence-based essay, critically appraising the behaviour change theory/framework you have chosen to adopt and why it is appropriate within your chosen population. You should design an intervention using your chosen theory/framework that could potentially address the current health challenge that you have identified.


2-Written assessment - 30%- 500 words


Students will be asked to design a simple, evidence-based Theory of Change

This will include a 500-word summary detailing the rationale for the selection of modifiable factors, and the underpinning Behaviour Change theory chosen.

Course Aims

The aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to describe and critique behaviour change theories and design behaviour change interventions. More specifically, the course aims to examine the theoretical and empirical basis of a range of behaviour change theories as applied to health care.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Critically understand a number of behaviour change theories/models, frameworks and techniques and their potential influence on healthy behaviours within an adult population.

2. Critically appraise the importance of contextual issues when developing behaviour change interventions

3. Critically assess the principles underlying the development of behaviour change interventions

4. Critically appraise and design behaviour change interventions at individual and population levels

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.