Beach scene

Explore the concept of happiness and design and test a variety of measures to improve happiness in your own life

Module details

  • Offered to 2nd Years
  • Mondays 16.00-18.00
  • South Kensington Campus
  • 2-term module worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

Work alongside other students studying sustainability and smart living, to explore the concept of happiness. Using a variety of ‘theories’ of happiness, think about what happiness means to you in your life and community. Develop your own theory of happiness and a tool for measuring how happy people are in a range of situations. Can ‘happier’ living be promoted? Develop a range of ideas to increase happiness and test your favourite in the real world.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be better able to:

  • Examine key theories relating to ‘happiness’ in the world
  • Define how ‘happiness’ can be promoted, supported and measured
  • Create a personal definition or theory of happiness
  • Create a personalized brief – analyzing your own life to identify opportunities to increase happiness
  • Develop a rationale for assessing the needs, benefits and successes of implementing such a change
  • Design and test a targeted happiness initiative in your own life
  • Evaluate the impact of the initiative

Indicative core content

This course will create an overarching critique of the concept of happiness and how it applies to you. You will begin by examining a range of theories of happiness, and develop you own theoretical understanding of the concept. You will then create your own design briefs using video or photo diaries and rotate through a series of creativity and design exercises before picking one idea to develop, test and evaluate.


  • Practical: Personal Happiness Footprint Poster (10%)
  • Coursework: Video/Photo Diary Brief and Analysis (30%)
  • Practical: Design Process Assessment (20%)
  • Practical: Final Design Portfolio (40%)

Key information

  • Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
  • Sufficient time will be set aside for all assessments to be completed in-class.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 5 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]

My Journey

You can focus your project on any area of happiness that you want to explore, but to give you some ideas of what students have tackled previously, take a look at these topics:

  • The impact of social interactions on happiness
  • Creating balance between academic success, helping others and doing this just because they are fun
  • Trying to identify the optimistic view of every situation and acting upon that perspective
  • Finding out how many different ways there are to think about happiness

Project submissions can be really creative and can include any component you feel express your experience of completing the project. So far students have submitted:

  • Project reports and narratives
  • Video diaries
  • Short films
  • Podcasts
  • Websites
  • Newsletters
  • Posters
  • Handwritten journals
  • Hand made and digital artwork
  • Apps