Workplace Wellbeing

Module description

Workforces today are threatened by ageing and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are affected by lifestyle choices – including cancer, cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes and mental ill-health. In parallel, demand for human capital is rising as economies grow and mature, and significant talent gaps of up to 45 million employees in Western Europe alone are forecast for 2030. These two trends form a vicious circle of dwindling workforce capacity and productivity.

There is now compelling evidence linking health and well-being to employee engagement, organisational productivity, talent retention and creativity and innovation. We need a broader understanding of promoting wellbeing in the workplace.

This module will start from the assumption of redefining wellbeing – as a state of being that is shaped by engagement and other workplace factors as much as by physical and psychological health, hence making wellbeing central to business strategy, which opens an important new avenue to increasing organisational effectiveness. As the post-recession world economy slowly takes shape, those organisations that choose to follow this path are more likely to boost workforce productivity, drive business performance and realise core strategic goals.

In this module we examine the political agenda that is driving how modern businesses approach employee wellbeing and responsible business practice, the extent to which a biopsychosocial approach is a critical factor in developing strategies to address the challenges of the future

Full module specification

Module title:Workplace Wellbeing
Module code:BEP1060
Module level:1
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of the workplace as a complex system and the fundamentals of how investing in workplace wellbeing and responsible business practices contribute to business success.

You will gain a good understanding of how government policy drives this agenda and why it is has global significance. The module will introduce relevant theory that underpins successful interventions, models to identify the issues which need addressing and equip you with the tools to implement your own programmes.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. understand and explain the policy drivers from the UK Government
  • 2. identify the evidence base and business case for workplace wellbeing
  • 3. develop a global perspective
  • 4. explain the role of the leader in workplace wellbeing
  • 5. apply a biopsychosocial approach to wellbeing at work
  • 6. articulate the concept of the workplace as a ‘whole complex system’ and describe how to identify the needs of the workforce to inform strategies
  • 7. summarise the main causes of absence and ill health amongst working populations
  • 8. examine the future challenges to workplace wellbeing and health
  • 9. examine the models and frameworks that address workplace wellbeing and apply them in practical settings
  • 10. describe the tools available to support leaders to implement successful programmes

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 11. use critical analysis skills to discuss policy decisions
  • 12. apply, as directed relevant models and use data effectively in workplace settings
  • 13. apply the skills learned in a practical session
  • 14. reflect on Personal and Key Transferable. Employment Skills and Knowledge
  • 15. explore the notion of the ‘sustainable self’

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 16. demonstrate basic written communication skills
  • 17. demonstrate problem solving skills
  • 18. demonstrate communication and emotional intelligence skills to effectively manage people

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities20Seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities10Workshops
Independent Study 120Student to manage their own independent and group work commitments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Proposal for Organisational improvement in Workplace Wellbeing800 wordsILOs 10-15Written and verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Assignment603500 worded assignment 1-10Written and verbal
Practical assignment202 hours8-15Written and verbal
Presentation – analysis of workplace wellbeing models20Group work in small groups2,3,5,6,7,8,9,14,15,16,17&18Written and verbal

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Practical assignmentPractical assignment 20%2,3,5,6,7,8,9,14,15,16,17 &18July/August for assignments
Individual assignment Individual assignment 60%1-10July/August for assignments
PresentationReflective essay 20%8-15July/August

Re-assessment notes

A student will be referred in all components if the student fails the module with a mark of below 40% overall.

A student if deferred in a single component will be reassessed in that component only.

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to Workplace Wellbeing
  • Government Policy – the journey so far in the UK and Globally
  • The evidence base and business case
  • Using the biopsychoscocial approach to workplace wellbeing and people management
  • The workplace as a whole system and applying complexity theory and health needs assessment
  • How leadership impacts wellbeing and the role of the leader
  • The main reasons for absence in the UK and globally
  • The future challenges for employers
  • The models and theories for workplace wellbeing
  • Managing wellbeing and health at work
  • Case studies
  • Workplace Health Promotion and successful interventions

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

All students on the programme will have access to additional material in the form of a customised e-book

In addition students will also have access to The European Centre for Environment & Human Health (ECEHH) as this module will be delivered by academics from UofE Medical School, based at the Truro Campus

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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