Science of happiness course improves students’ mental health, study finds

“Almost 1,000 students at the University of Bristol have taken the 12-week course.”

Claire Hayhurst reports for the Evening Standard:

“A university course teaching students lessons in happiness improves their mental wellbeing, research has found.

The University of Bristol’s Science of Happiness course, which counts towards a degree, is the first of its kind in the UK and was launched in 2018.

It uses the latest peer-reviewed studies in psychology and neuroscience to educate students on what is scientifically proven to make people happier.

Any student can enrol on the Science of Happiness, the only course at the university that gives credits towards a student’s degree but does not involve any exams or coursework.

Instead, students gain credit for their engagement in weekly activities and so-called happiness hubs, which are led by senior student mentors, and complete a final group project.

A study has found that three cohorts of students completed the course with better mental health than control groups.

Professor Bruce Hood, who runs the course, said: ‘I knew the students would enjoy the lectures as the content is so fascinating, but I was truly astounded to discover the positive impact on their mental wellbeing.

‘Initially, I thought all the benefits of the course would be washed away by the stress of the pandemic and the lack of social interaction.

‘This definitely happened to other students, but those who took the online version of the course still benefitted even though the lectures and happiness hubs were virtual.

‘This study proves that learning about happiness can improve your mental well-being’ …”

You can read more from here.

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