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POL1050 : Politics of Happiness

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • 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


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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1144:00144:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials480:2016:00Recorded, non-synchronous; personal capture (PCap) videos;
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PiP, no scheduled teaching in first teaching week.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key themes, concepts, policies and practices relating to wellbeing and politics.
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.

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 log will cover two aspects: reflective learning; individual wellbeing. The first of these will encourage students to reflect on what they have learned and their approach and methods of learning, and will contribute to the development of their academic and learning skills. The second aspect will be based on a series of non-assessed wellbeing assignments carried out during the first term, and will link to the material covered in the lectures through consideration of the questions ‘To what extent can happiness be facilitated?’ and ‘Can happiness be taught?

Reading Lists