Curricular Approaches to Wellbeing in Higher Education


This seminar presented an overview of current policy, research and practice relating to student wellbeing in higher education and how the curriculum can be leveraged to enhance wellbeing. It showcased a range of innovative curricular wellbeing initiatives in UCC and MTU.

Benefit of this resource and how to make the best use of it

Concern for the increased levels of student mental ill health, mental distress and low wellbeing has been recognised nationally and internationally (Higher Education Authority, 2020; Worsley, Pennington & Corcoran, 2020; Thorley, 2017; USI, 2019), not least because it is known that three-quarters of all mental illnesses begin by the mid-20s (Kessler et al., 2005 as cited in Higher Education Authority, 2020). Poor mental health and wellbeing can affect students’ academic performance and desire to remain in higher education (Duffy et al., 2019). Against this backdrop, primary prevention and promotion of positive mental health is now widely accepted (Work Research Centre/LSE, 2017).
Hughes (2019) makes the case that the curriculum is the only guaranteed point of contact between a university and its students. As such, curricular approaches to wellbeing should be considered (Houghton & Anderson, 2017; Hill, Farrelly, Clarke & Cannon, 2020), while acknowledging that this is complex (Ecclestone, 2019). Staff (Hughes, Panjwani, Tulcida & Byrom, 2018) and students’ perspectives (Baik, Larcombe & Brooker, 2019) should inform such developments.

It is intended that the sharing of resources and information between HEIs, arising from this seminar, will lead to increased knowledge of curricular approaches to student wellbeing and in turn lead to improved mental health promotion and prevention across higher education.

Related OER

This workbook takes the student on a conceptual journey aiding their understanding of what is meant by the quantitative-qualitative research process in contemporary legal empirical research. Although, of interest to social science students, the particular worked examples relate to how to do research on law, legal policy and review.

This lecture addresses core issues in choosing a research topic for undergraduate and first time researchers to consider. Often final year undergraduate students find this task a difficult one. Step by step the the lecture connects the student to core concepts, pressure points and key readings to foster their idea and focus their decision.

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