Nature, Health and Wellbeing

Module titleNature, Health and Wellbeing
Module codeHPDM029
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Dr Mathew White (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module investigates the potential for the natural environment to be harnessed as a resource to improve human health and wellbeing.  The potential mechanisms, moderators and applications for these health benefits will explored, considering large data sets and key studies linking nature and exposure and health, both within the UK and around the world.

No pre-requisites or specialist knowledge are required to undertake this module, which is well suited to interdisciplinary learning.  Delivery is via four focused days of expert-led small group learning, interspersed by personal study undertaken at your own pace and supported by our internet resources.

Module aims - intentions of the module

You will develop a detailed understanding of the evidence base that indicates the potential of utilising the natural environment to improve human health and wellbeing. By the end of the course you will be able to define “Health” and “wellbeing” in the context of natural environments and understand how these factors can be robustly assessed.  You will have the opportunity to explore real case studies as examples of contemporary practice in this field.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain in detail, utilising pertinent examples from the contemporary evidence base, the potential of using natural environments to improve human health and wellbeing
  • 2. Demonstrate a thorough critical understanding of the pathways by which natural environments might promote good health and wellbeing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Critically evaluate and professionally articulate the applied implications of cutting-edge research evidence

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate a balanced critical approach to the rapidly developing contemporary evidence base

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module's precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

Week 1: Overview of relevant literature, definitions, theory and mechanisms + MENE data practical.

Week 2: Introduction to research on physical and mental outcomes and physical activity as a mediator + Walking leaflet practical.

Week 3: Introduction to physiological, psychological and social mechanisms as mediators plus applied guest speaker.

Week 4: Introduction to environmental and sociodemographic moderators plus applied guess speaker.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning & teaching activities20All student small group lecture/seminar/ workshop sessions
Guided independent study30Session preparation and follow up work utilising resources provided on ELE
Guided independent study100Reading and assignment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Class discussions and small group work activitiesEach small group lecture/seminar/ workshop session1-6Facilitator and peer feedback in class

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment – analysis interpretation301000 Words1-4Written
Written assignment – summary for policy makers702000 Words1-4Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignment 1 – analysis interpretation (30%)Written assignment 1 – analysis interpretation (1000 words)1-4During or prior to the August/September Referral/Deferral period
Written assignment 2 – summary for policy makers (70%)Written assignment 2 – summary for policy makers (2000 words)1-4During or prior to the August/September Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes


This module in its entirety is condonable in accordance with TQA 8.6. 




In accordance with TQA 11.2.3; where a student fails part of the assessment on a module, but passes the module as a whole, the module will be deemed to have been passed and referral will not be applicable.





Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Van den Bosch & Bird (2018). Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health: OUP

Hartig, T., Mitchell, R., De Vries, S., & Frumkin, H. (2014). Nature and health. Annual Review of Public Health35, 207-228.

ELE - College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Please see ELE above for up to date electronic resources.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Human health, health, wellbeing, nature, natural environments, environment, blue space, green space, salutogenesis.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date