Nature, Greenspace and Health

How does access to nature and to greenspaces impact on human health? This course takes a living labs approach to studying the ways in which gardens, parks, flora, fauna, and biodiversity more generally may impact on the health of humans and human communities. Using a social justice lens in our study, the course examines how access and engagement with nature and the outdoors is unequally distributed within communities and how environmental injustice may contribute to the observed correlation between social inequality and health inequality.

In 2018-2019 we will work on a problem brought to us by the University’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability.  The University is developing a biodiversity policy and one of the pillars of that policy is well-being.  The class will work together to help SRS better understand the contribution biodiversity makes to well-being in general and on University campuses specifically.  The class will engage in hands-on research alongside reviewing the literature on the subject.  Class findings will be presented to SRS.  In this way you will have the opportunity to earn credits while impacting on the community through contributing to the development of a policy on biodiversity and health that will influence University developments in the future.

While open to all students across the University, this course is part of the MA in Health, Science and Society,  a new 4-year undergraduate degree programme that offers an opportunity to build a robust understanding of the complexity of human experience in the area of health, illness and the social arrangements for care.  Health, Science and Society combines current thinking from diverse disciplines (including geography, sociology, psychology, counselling, ethics and nursing studies) to explore three broad themes: societies and communities; individuals, personhood and experience; and healthcare, social care and professional development.  More information can be found at:

Contact: Alette Willis

More information

PATH description of the course