Project considers wellbeing in university course design

The project, led by the University of Derby, will review how university courses could be designed to support student mental health

A new project will review how courses can be designed to help student mental health.

The project, called Education for Mental Health: Enhancing Student Mental Health through Curriculum and Pedagogy, will find ways teaching and assessments could be designed to support wellbeing. It will also consider the role of non-typical learning spaces, like field trips and work placements.

The report will consider how assessments, teaching and courses could be changed to help student mental heath – Rosie Tressler

The project, led by the University of Derby, is in collaboration with Aston University, King’s College London, Advance HE and Student Minds. The Office for Students (OfS) has backed the £2m project with £750,000.

Gareth Hughes, research and innovation lead for student wellbeing at the University of Derby, said: “Our focus is on the curriculum, as it is the only point of guaranteed contact between a university and its students. Evidence from research has shown that how students are taught and assessed can have both positive and negative impacts on both their mental health and learning.”

Rosie Tressler, chief executive of Student Minds, said: “Across the UK, students talk to us about assessment processes, course design and their placements as having both positive and negative impact on their wellbeing.

“Following the success of our research partnership with Derby and King’s College London to explore the experience of academics last year, we’re thrilled to now be able to co-develop work which will help us find out what works.

“We aim to develop tools that will help all academics across the UK to create and provide curriculum, pedagogy and assessments that facilitate better student mental health and educational outcomes.”


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