Module Catalogue 2023/24

POL1050 : Politics of Happiness

POL1050 : Politics of Happiness

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Walker
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The aims in this module are to introduce and teach:

•       perspectives on happiness
•       how wellbeing can be promoted and maintained at individual and societal levels
•       the political theory and practice relating to happiness or wellbeing
•       critical consideration of political theories and practices relating to happiness
•       elements of reflective learning

Outline Of Syllabus

•       The Meaning of Happiness
•       Actions for Happiness
•       Philosophy of Happiness in the Ancient Greek World
•       Utilitarianism
•       Economics and Happiness
•       Politics and Happiness
•       Measuring Happiness
•       Politics of Happiness Around the World: UK; Bhutan; Ubuntu; Sumak Kawsay/Buen Vivir
•       Reflective Learning

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The intended knowledge outcomes are:

•       Knowledge of perspectives on wellbeing, and activities and practices that promote it
•       Awareness of reflective learning theory and practice
•       Knowledge of key ideas, thinkers, schools of thought, and political practice relating to wellbeing
•       An understanding of how these ideas, thinkers, schools of thought, and political practices relate or stand in relation to one another
•       A critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of political ideas and practices relating to wellbeing
•       An awareness of the role and significance of happiness/wellbeing in contemporary politics

Intended Skill Outcomes

The intended skill outcomes for students are to develop their critical-analytical ability, their written and oral communication skills, planning and organisational skills, and reflective learning ability.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1142:00142:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00PiP
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:00Recorded, non-synchronous; personal capture (PCap) videos;
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key themes, concepts, policies and practices relating to politics of wellbeing. Recorded videos will cover wellbeing activities that students can watch and carry out assignments for in own time.
The seminars allow for participation by students in clarifying and exploring key ideas and issues. These help to develop critical-analytical and oral communication skills.
Coursework will help to develop critical-analytical skills, written communication skills, and reflective learning ability. Planning and organisational skills are developed throughout module, along with attainment of knowledge outcomes relating to politics of happiness and individual wellbeing.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M501800 word essay
Reflective log1M501800 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will provide an opportunity for students to explore one of the topics in greater depth, applying the theoretical knowledge covered in the first half of the module to one of the examples focused on in the second half of the module. It will assess the student’s ability to research, synthesise, analyse, and critically examine approaches and issues covered in the module.
The reflective report will cover reflective learning and individual wellbeing. The focus will be on weekly non-assessed wellbeing activities, how happiness should be characterised, and elements of the module material found interesting by students.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.