Ref: C3841685

Parents tell their children "that they just want them to be happy." The American Constitution speaks of "The pursuit of happiness" but what do these statements mean? Is happiness a character trait, fortunate circumstance, emotional response or simply pleasure? Is happiness to be found in moderation as Aristotle suggests or pleasurable sensations in line with a Utilitarian perspective? What do developments in neuro psychology tell us about how emotions operate? We examine ideas, evidence and trends. The course is mainly taught with opportunity for discussion in class and simple practical exercises out of class. It is suitable for those who wish to have a broad general understanding of the subject. Whilst it may offer practices which are helpful to individual well-being this is not the primary aim. The course discussion sessions do not require self disclosure. Meditation techniques and practices are used in this course as well as taught sessions and group discussion.

Course aim

An enquiry into happiness. We look at historical, philosophical, cultural and social perspectives asking "What is happiness and how can it be increased?"

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand historical and cultural perspectives on happiness
  • Identify social and relational perspectives on happiness
  • Identify a number of practices which research suggests support the development of happiness
  • Develop an action plan to support further learning in this area and/or greater happiness

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • notebook and a pen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full Course information sheet


Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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