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Honoursmodule: Urban Mental Health

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Lecturer(s):

prof. dr. R.W.H.J. Wiers

prof. dr. C.L.H. Bockting

Entry requirements 

For 2nd or 3rd year honours students only.

Learning objectives:

After this module, students are able to:

  • Provide a brief overview about common mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, addiction) and urban factors that may influence it
  • Describe how complexity science can be used to advance understanding of urban mental health
  • Identify, within a group, target points for future intervention and explain how these could be studied using complexity science which includes developing a research proposal
  • Provide an example of the interdisciplinary perspectives available with regards to urban mental health
  • Describe the complex interplay between science and practice especially the potential policy and societal implications of the study of urban mental health

Content:

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 takes into account 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 policy making. Students are encouraged to develop their own questions or ‘urban challenges’ and approaches of how 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 policy makers 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.

Teaching format:

  • Lecture
  • Student presentations
  • Self-study
  • Working independently on a project or thesis
  • Guidance/feedback moment

Assessment:

Individually students will reflect on the topic of urban mental health by writing an essay and in groups students will develop and present a research proposal which uses learned knowledge through the course and applied to an urban mental health problem. At regular intervals students will present on their findings based on the Problem Based Learning approach which will form part of the evaluation. Students are also encouraged to take part in a ‘citizen science’ challenge, to identify innovative ways to involve citizens in urban challenges.

Study material:

Costs for course material will not exceed 60 euros (max). The course schedule will have information on literature and when the literature has to be studied.

Number of participants:

Max. 25

Recommended prior knowledge:

No prior knowledge is required.

Schedule:

Check Datanose for the exact information.

Registration:

Registration is possible for students participating in an Honours programme via an online registration form which will be made available on December 1, 10 am till December 5, 11 pm on this website. 

Placement will be at random and within two weeks students will hear whether they are placed for a course. 

There is NO guarantee for placement if you register after December 5, so make sure you register on time! 

For questions about registration please email to: Honours-iis@uva.nl 

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in February