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Urban living is on the rise: more than 50 percent of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to rise to 66 percent by 2050. Urban environments are characterised by features that make city life not only economically attractive and exciting, but also more challenging and stressful than rural environments (‘urban stress’), which influences mental health. The Centre for Urban Mental Health aims to unravel new pathways to improve urban mental health, that considers the full complexities and dynamics of mental health problems and mental health disorders in an urban environment.

In this honours course, we will explore the broad topic of mental health in an urban context and demonstrate why a complexity science approach is warranted to promote the scientific advancement of this field. Secondly, we will explore several urban factors and their interplay with various aspects of mental health. Third, we will provide examples of interdisciplinary approaches that will help better understand urban mental health. 

This course will be taught using the Problem Based Learning approach, an interactive way of learning based on problems identified by the group.Throughout the course, students are encouraged to integrate and debate previously unconnected theories and sources. These discussions should identify new leverage points for interventions and policy making. Students are encouraged to develop their own questions or urban challenges and approaches to resolve them.

Lectures from a range of interdisciplinary scientists are provided (social sciences, natural sciences, complexity science and medicine). Multiple task-driven projects are given to students, who will receive an individual grade at the end of the course.


All lectures will take place on-campus and we assume you can be physically present during the scheduled hours. You can find the timetable on Datanose.


Registration is possible for 2nd year (or higher) students participating in an Honours programme. The registration for the Honours courses will start on December 1, 10 am -  December 5, 11 pm, You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS(registration is NOT through SIS or GLASS).

Please note: There is no guarantee for placement if you register after 5 December, so make sure you register on time. You will hear which course(s) you are registered for before 20 december. For questions about registration, please contact us at

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