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PhD course

Interdisciplinary perspectives on modifiable social influences on behaviour

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Course description

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Course content

General content

Social capital, social support, social networks, social norms, peer and family influence have all been identified as key determinants of development, wellbeing and behaviour. The potential for interventions and policies to harness understandings of these social determinants has been relatively underdeveloped, which in part is due to the contested nature across disciplines of their relative importance and of how they are theorised and potentially modified.

General learning objectives

The main aims of this course are (i) to understand multidisciplinary conceptions of these social processes and (ii) identify barriers and possibilities for the development of interventions and policies based on applied interdisciplinary synthesis of these often competing conceptions. Examples of interventions that have successfully achieved this will be examined in detail.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the candidate should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The candidate

  • Has knowledge on multidisciplinary perspectives of social influence
  • Has knowledge on the importance of social relationships in human development, wellbeing and behaviour
  • Has knowledge on interventions from multiple disciplines and sectors that have exploited or strengthened social relationships to achieve improved outcomes


After completion of the course, the candidate can:

  • Evaluate the contribution of multiple disciplines to understanding social influences on development, wellbeing and behavior.

General competence

After completion of the course, the candidate can:

  • Advocate for the importance of social processes in determining human growth, wellbeing and behaviour in a variety of contexts
  • Critically appraise published research describing interventions and policies that involve or neglect social influences

Study period

Autumn semester, 4th-10th October 2016.

Credits (ECTS)

1.5 (attendance)

Specific terms

Course registration and deadlines

Registration on Studentweb or by e-mail to maria.luttges@uib.no

Deadline for registration in September 20, 2016.

Recommended previous knowledge

Master Degree in disciplines relevant to educational sciences, psychology and public health.

Compulsory Requirements

Pass with 80 % attendance of the lectures, seminars and group work and demonstrations/ practical activities.

Form of assessment

The evaluation procedures of the Faculty of Psychology will be applied.

Pass or Fail.

Pass with 80 % attendance of the lectures, seminars and group work (1.5 ECTs).

Who may participate

Academic staff and PhD students at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, and Uni Health can attend (others upon request).

Additional information

Supplementary course information

Teaching methods and extent of organized teaching:

Lectures, discussion groups, seminars. 40 hours for 1.5 ECT.

Own activity:

Candidates will apply the learnings of the course as it progresses to develop an outline plan for a policy or intervention, with review through discussion with the course co-ordinator and group members.


For more information contact Maria.luttges@uib.no

Academic responsibility


Laurence Moore, Professor II GHIG; Director, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow.

Reading list

To be announced.

Course location

UiB, Christiesgt. 13, Bergen


Exam information

Study period

Autumn semester, 4th-10th October 2016.