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As a collaboration between the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL, the course will rotate between the two institutions, with the 2024 course being hosted by Harvard. This rotating model will allow the short course to have a more global reach and will assist in building an international community interested in and committed to building the science around linkages between emotional well-being and physical health outcomes. 

Course Schedule

The course will consist of four full days, Monday to Thursday, and a half-day on Friday. There will be a mix of lectures, interactive discussions, practical work, and mentoring sessions. Lectures will usually be one hour-long (40 minutes lecture, 20-minute discussion). Practical activities will consist of group work, analysis demonstrations, student flash talks, and more.​​

Each day of the course will have a different thematic focus exploring the linkages between emotional well-being and physical health. In addition to core sessions, guest speakers will present on topics that are particularly relevant in the field right now. These session topics include: social networks, arts and health, nature and well-being, and cross-cultural understanding of well-being.

We will provide coffee and tea breaks each day, as well as organized opportunities for student interactions and social activities. There will likely be other opportunities to chat with course directors and faculty during the course and in the evenings. 

Daily Breakdown

The following is representative of the typical schedule during previous courses.



State of the Knowledge on Linkages Between Emotional Well-being and Physical Health

Topics include:

  • Orientation

  • State of the knowledge

  • Defining and measuring well-being

  • Cross-cultural understanding of well-being 



Methods & Novel Topics

Topics include:

  • Study design: epidemiological and experimental studies

  • Early life perspectives

  • Nature and well-being




Topics include:

  • Biological mechanisms

  • Behavioral mechanisms

  • Flourishing

  • Social connections and health



Methods and Considering Social Context 

Topics include:

  • The influence of social and cultural activities on health and well-being

  • Methods to enhance causal inference

  • Measuring well-being at the societal level

  • Income and well-being



Topics include:

  • Interventions in patient populations

  • Arts and cultural interventions

  • Well-being and public policy 

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