PHTY2000 – Behaviour Change for Health and Exercise

2023 – Session 3, Online-scheduled-In person assessment, North Ryde

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor, Lecturer, Tutor
Morwenna Kirwan
Contact via Email for an appointment
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
((PSYC104 or PSYU1104 or PSYU1101) and (PSYC105 or PSYU1105 or PSYU1102)) or Admission to BClinSc
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit introduces you to the key psychological theories underlying contemporary approaches to health behaviour change, in individuals and at the population level. In this unit you will develop skills in the design and evaluation of evidence-based health behaviour change interventions. Additionally, this unit will teach the foundational principles of motivational interviewing, an empirically-supported communication style that assists health professionals in conversing with individuals about lifestyle behaviour change. Learning activities will include interactive lectures, simulations, and observations. Through this unit you will gain essential research and communication skills to support your career in promoting health and behaviour change.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Apply various theoretical models of health behaviour change to specific health issues
  • ULO2: Critically evaluate strategies to support health behaviour change initiatives
  • ULO3: Outline the common barriers and facilitators of lifestyle change and disease prevention
  • ULO4: Describe and demonstrate the key tasks, principles, skills and spirit of motivational interviewing

General Assessment Information

Grade descriptors and other information concerning grading are contained in the Macquarie University Assessment Policy.

All final grades are determined by a grading committee, in accordance with the Macquarie University Assessment Policy, and are not the sole responsibility of the Unit Convenor.

Students will be awarded a final grade and a mark which must correspond to the grade descriptors specified in the Assessment Procedure (clause 128 and 129).

To pass this unit, you must demonstrate sufficient evidence of achievement of the learning outcomes, meet any ungraded requirements,and achieve a final mark of 50 or better. 

Further details for each assessment task will be available on iLearn.

Late Submissions

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, a 5% penalty (OF THE TOTAL POSSIBLE MARK) will be applied each day an assessment is not submitted, up until the 7th day (including weekends). After the 7th day, a grade of ‘0’ will be awarded even if the assessment is submitted. Submission time for all written assessments is set at 11.55pm. A 1-hour grace period is provided to students who experience a technical concern. 

 For example:

Number of days (hours) late

Total Possible Marks


Raw mark

Final mark

1 day (1-24 hours)





2 days (24-48 hours)





3 days (48-72 hours)





7 days (144-168 hours)





>7 days (>168 hours)






For any late submissions of time-sensitive tasks, such as scheduled tests/exams, performance assessments/presentations, and/or scheduled practical assessments/labs, students need to submit an application for Special Consideration.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Case study analysis 30% No Friday Week 3 - In scheduled tutorial
Health Consultation Simulation 40% No Friday Week 4
Final examination 30% No Examination Period

Case study analysis

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Friday Week 3 - In scheduled tutorial
Weighting: 30%


You will apply various theoretical models of health behaviour change to real world cases, analyse scenarios, identifying barriers and facilitators to change, and critically evaluate strategies to improve health promotion initiatives.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply various theoretical models of health behaviour change to specific health issues
  • Critically evaluate strategies to support health behaviour change initiatives
  • Outline the common barriers and facilitators of lifestyle change and disease prevention
  • Describe and demonstrate the key tasks, principles, skills and spirit of motivational interviewing

Health Consultation Simulation

Assessment Type 1: Simulation/role play
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Friday Week 4
Weighting: 40%


You will produce a motivational interviewing script and video consultation with a client about changing their behaviour.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Outline the common barriers and facilitators of lifestyle change and disease prevention
  • Describe and demonstrate the key tasks, principles, skills and spirit of motivational interviewing

Final examination

Assessment Type 1: Examination
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Examination Period
Weighting: 30%


Final examination


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply various theoretical models of health behaviour change to specific health issues
  • Critically evaluate strategies to support health behaviour change initiatives
  • Outline the common barriers and facilitators of lifestyle change and disease prevention

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Unit Organisation

This is a ten credit point unit run over a 5 week intensive session. Each week there are online modules, forum activities and a 2 hour online tutorial. Further information is available via the PHTY2000 iLearn site

Teaching and Learning Strategy

The online modules provide foundational concepts, theories and approaches to promoting behaviour change in individuals and the wider population.  Each online module includes videos, activities and formative knowledge checks to ensure an engaging learning experience.  Forum activities draw from the content in the online modules and are applied tasks that will prepare you for your assessments.  Online tutorials will include group activities, case studies and problem solving scenarios.  Motivational interviewing conversational skills will be developed via role-plays with peers in the tutorials. 


Online modules and forum activities will be delivered asynchronously and need to be completed prior to the online tutorial.  Online tutorials are scheduled in your individual timetable. The timetable for classes can be found on the University website at: You may make a request to your tutor to attend a different tutorial on a one-off basis for extenuating circumstances. Please note that tutorials dates are subject to change and any changes will be communicated through iLearn.  It is the responsibility of the student to contact their tutor by email to let them know they are going to be absent.

Textbooks & Readings


This unit does not have any textbooks that are essential for you to purchase.


The following texts will be useful resources and are available online in the library. Recommendations about specific readings from these and other resources (such as research papers and books) will be listed on iLearn.

  • Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2012). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change. 3rd Edition. Guilford Press: New York, USA
  • Hagger, M., Cameron, L., Hamilton, K., Hankonen, N., & Lintunen, T. (Eds.). (2020). The Handbook of Behavior Change (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108677318

Technology Used

Active participation in the learning activities throughout the unit will require students to have access to a tablet, laptop or similar device. Students who do not own their own laptop computer may borrow one from the university library.

Unit Schedule

Online modules and forums

Online modules and applied forum activities will be made available every week.  

Online Tutorials

Tutorials take place once per week, every week.  This schedule is subject to change. Any changes will be communicated via iLearn.


Across the session you will engage in the following topics:

  • Why behaviour change matters
  • Influences, stages, and processes of change 
  • Goal setting and behaviour change
  • Habits and behaviour change
  • Self-control and behaviour change
  • Motivation and behaviour change 
  • Beliefs and behaviour change 
  • Culture and behaviour change
  • Synthesis of behaviour change frameworks
  • Motivational Interviewing

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central ( Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies ( It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central ( and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct:


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit or if you are a Global MBA student contact

Academic Integrity

At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre provides resources to develop your English language proficiency, academic writing, and communication skills.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Macquarie University offers a range of Student Support Services including:

Student Enquiries

Got a question? Ask us via AskMQ, or contact Service Connect.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Inclusion and Diversity

Social inclusion at Macquarie University is about giving everyone who has the potential to benefit from higher education the opportunity to study at university, participate in campus life and flourish in their chosen field. The University has made significant moves to promote an equitable, diverse and exciting campus community for the benefit of staff and students. It is your responsibility to contribute towards the development of an inclusive culture and practice in the areas of learning and teaching, research, and service orientation and delivery. As a member of the Macquarie University community you must not discriminate against or harass others based on their sex, gender, race, marital status, carers' responsibilities, disability, sexual orientation, age, political conviction or religious belief. All staff and students are expected to display appropriate behaviour that is conducive to a healthy learning environment for everyone.


In the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences, professionalism is a key capability embedded in all our courses.

As part of developing professionalism, students are expected to attend all small group interactive sessions including clinical, practical, laboratory, work-integrated learning (e.g., PACE placements), and team-based learning activities. Some learning activities are recorded (e.g., face-to-face lectures), however you are encouraged to avoid relying upon such material as they do not recreate the whole learning experience and technical issues can and do occur. As an adult learner, we respect your decision to choose how you engage with your learning, but we would remind you that the learning opportunities we create for you have been done so to enable your success, and that by not engaging you may impact your ability to successfully complete this unit. We equally expect that you show respect for the academic staff  who have worked hard to develop meaningful activities and prioritise your learning by communicating with them in advance if you are unable to attend a small group interactive session.

Another dimension of professionalism is having respect for your peers. It is the right of every student to learn in an environment that is free of disruption and distraction. Please arrive to all learning activities on time, and if you are unavoidably detained, please join activity as quietly as possible to minimise disruption. Phones and other electronic devices that produce noise and other distractions must be turned off prior to entering class. Where your own device (e.g., laptop) is being used for class-related activities, you are asked to close down all other applications to avoid distraction to you and others. Please treat your fellow students with the utmost respect. If you are uncomfortable participating in any specific activity, please let the relevant academic know.

Unit information based on version 2023.03 of the Handbook