Philosophy of Health and Happiness module

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This module is accredited for CPD by the Royal College of Physicians (10 credits) and can be studied as part of our Philosophy MA programmes, or as a standalone module for CPD.

The module will give you the opportunity to engage with debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what are “happiness”, “health” and “disease”?) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as the drive to achieve ‘perfection’ rather than health). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances are changing these understandings (e.g. genetic advances).

Topics you will address include:

  • What is happiness?
  • How we should understand health and disease.
  • How do health and happiness relate?
  • How does illness affect our understanding of what matters?
  • How do personal narratives affect psychological well-being and mental health?

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough familiarity and understanding of the areas of philosophy covered by the module.
  • Manifest expertise in the philosophical skills required for productive independent research on these topics, such as: the ability to find, interpret and analyse different types of texts; the ability to construct rigorous arguments concerning these issues;  and the ability to analyse and criticise others' arguments.
  • Communicate results of interpretation, analysis and independent research orally and in writing. 


This module is worth 20 credits on a Masters MA programme and it is accredited for CPD by the Royal College of Physicians – equivalent to 10 category 1 (external) credits.

Fees and funding

If you study this as a stand-alone module, fees for starting in January 2015 are:

  •  Home/EU: £660
  •  International: £1,519

If you study this as part of one of our MA programmes, annual fees for starting in September 2015 are:

  • Home/EU: £6,210 full-time, £3,105 part-time
  • International: £14,140 full-time

Entry requirements

Additional information:

Our standard entry requirement is an upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline.
All applications will be considered on their own merit.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Module attendance required

This module will be taught 1pm-3pm on a Thursday during the Spring Term, which runs 11 January - 25 March 2015.


You will be assessed by two written assignments (each of no more than 2,000 words), each of which is worth 50% of your marks

Academics teaching on this module

More information on the Health and Happiness team and their work can be found on the Department of Philosophy website.

Those in health-related professions will find the topics and debates around health and happiness that are covered in this module can be directly applied in their day-to-day work. However, all students will benefit from the opportunity to develop a range of skills, including good articulation, precise analytical thought, and the ability to analyse and construct sounds arguments, which can be used in a variety of occupations.