Module Catalogue 2020/21

POL3122 : The Politics of Happiness (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Walker
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aims in this module are to enable students: to gain a grasp of the political theory and practice relating to happiness or wellbeing; to examine critically political theories and practices relating to happiness; to consider the tenability and value of happiness as a goal of happiness.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will look at select theorists and theories from the Ancient Greeks to the present, and will look at contemporary political approaches and policies relating to happiness.

The Meaning of Happiness
Philosophy of Happiness in the Ancient World
Philosophy of Happiness in the Modern World
Economics of Happiness
Liberty, Democracy, Equality and Happiness
Measuring Happiness
Politics of Happiness Around the World: UK; Bhutan; Ubuntu; Sumak Kawsay/Buen Vivir

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The intended knowledge outcomes are: a good grasp of key ideas of thinkers and schools of thought studied; an insight into how their ideas relate to one another; a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these ideas; an awareness of the role and significance of happiness/wellbeing in contemporary politics.

Intended Skill Outcomes

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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key themes. 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. Essays help to develop critical-analytical skills and written communication skills. Planning and organisational skills are developed throughout module, along with knowledge outcomes, which are tested in examination.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 word essay
Essay1M502000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essays will provide an opportunity for students to explore one of the topics in greater depth. It will assess the student’s ability to research, synthesise, analyse, and critically examine approaches and issues covered in the module.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.