Home England Course Spotlight: The Science of Well-Being in London

Course Spotlight: The Science of Well-Being in London

by AIFS Abroad
Young woman mindfully meditating with London in the background

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by AIFS Abroad

The concept of well-being and overall wellness is a popular topic at the moment — it seems like everywhere you turn on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll find someone trying to sell you on the idea of “living well.” But what exactly does that mean, and what’s the actual science behind the concept? Psychology students interested in learning more about this topic will love a course we offer at our Global Education Center during fall, spring and summer semesters to our study abroad participants in London, England: The Science of Well-Being. 

If you’re looking to study psychology in London or are generally interested in this topic, read on to learn more about taking The Science of Well-Being. 


AIFS Abroad students in London who take this course dive into the world of well-being from different angles like science, biology, psychology, culture, and society — and how they all relate to one another. This course explores the science of what makes people and communities feel good and how it all fits together, as well as how the idea of well-being has evolved over time, especially in fields like psychology and brain science. 

Plus, you’ll be able to study how things like art and mindfulness can boost your mood and even improve your physical and mental health. We’ll show you some tools that experts use to measure well-being, and you’ll get a chance to try them out in different real-life situations. In addition, the course covers what governments in the United States and United Kingdom are doing about well-being for a cross-cultural perspective. 

You’ll be part of lively discussions, debates, and group projects along the way. Sounds exciting, right? 

Instructional Format

At its core, this is an experiential learning course, so high-impact learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. The way each lesson is presented is tailored to the topic at hand — some will be lecture-based, while others will be discussion-based or in the form of an in-class activity. Faculty work to incorporate guest speakers and site visits, as well. 


Well-being is such a pertinent topic in psychology today, and there are endless themes our study abroad students in London could dive into. Ultimately, we end up exploring modules like: 

  • Concepts of Well-being
  • Applied Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychological Measurements & Research
  • Mind, Body, and Home
  • Cognition, Change and Identity
  • Emotion, Meaning, and Well-being in Art
  • Culture, Relationships, Diversity and Context
  • … and more!

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the historical evolution of well-being, its various dimensions, and current debates.
  • Critically apply key well-being concepts to individuals’ lives and society as a whole.
  • Use evidence-based approaches to enhance mental and physical health while reflecting on personal values related to well-being.
  • Develop basic skills in applying well-being research methods with autonomy, technical competence, and critical thinking.
  • Analyze and compare British and American well-being policies.

Impact of this Psychology Course in London

Professor Ruth Hughes, who has been the esteemed teacher of this course, loves exploring this topic with students. She shares, “It’s such a privilege to accompany our students on a journey of discovery that not only stretches and challenges them academically, but has a profound positive impact on their mindset, improves their personal wellbeing and is also great fun! At the end of my most recent semester, several of my students sent me messages. Here are some which moved me profoundly:  

When you get messages like this, and also reference requests from students applying to related Masters’ courses, who tell you how much the course has inspired them and helped their critical thinking as well as their wellbeing, it makes teaching truly joyful and worthwhile. I’m always excited to meet new students, and curious to see them grow, develop and incorporate the activities, visits and learning into their lives and outlook.” 

When asked what the most valuable aspect of the course was, one of our students shared, “The ability to really engage and connect — we weren’t just talked at, we were talked with — and the hands-on aspect made it very helpful to absorb lessons.”  

Another stated, “Professor Ruth was delightful. [I loved] the open environment in the classroom, along with the engagement activities and day trips.” 

Take psychology courses when you study abroad in London, and so much more.

AIFS Abroad is proud to offer high-impact and meaningful course options in a variety of fields at our Global Education Center in London.

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