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Honoursmodule: Urban Mental Health

How can complexity science be used to advance our understanding of urban mental health?

Urban living is on the rise: more than 50 percent of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to rise to 66 percent by 2050. Urban environments are characterised by features that make city life not only economically attractive and exciting but also more challenging and stressful than rural environments (‘urban stress’), which influences mental health.

The Centre for Urban Mental Health aims to unravel new pathways to improve urban mental health that considers the complexities and dynamics of mental health problems and mental health disorders in an urban environment. 

In this Honours course, we will explore the topic of mental health and why a complexity science approach is warranted to advance scientific advances in the field. Secondly, we will explore urban factors and the interplay between mental health and urban factors. Third, we provide examples of interdisciplinary approaches to better understand urban mental health.   

Throughout the course, students are encouraged to integrate and debate previously unconnected theories and sources to identify new leverage points for interventions and policymaking. Students are encouraged to develop their own questions or urban challenges and approaches to resolve them. 

Lectures from a range of interdisciplinary scientists are provided (social sciences, natural sciences, complexity science and medicine) as well as by global and local policymakers and practitioners.

Multiple task-driven projects are given to students who will receive an individual grade at the end of the course. This course will be taught with the Problem Based Learning approach, an interactive way of learning based on problems identified by the group. 


We now expect that all lectures can take place on-campus. In case the situation changes, you will be notified. You can find the timetable on Datanose.


Registration is possible for 2nd year (or higher) students participating in an Honours programme. The registration for the Honours courses will start on November 29, 10 am -  December 6, 11 pm, You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS(registration is NOT through SIS or GLASS).

Please note: There is no guarantee for placement if you register after 6 December, so make sure you register on time. You will hear which course(s) you are registered for before 20 december. For questions about registration, please contact us at Honours-iis@uva.nl.

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