FutureLearn provides free online courses from top universities and specialist organisations. In February 2016, the University of Warwick will commence a six-week course on ‘Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing’, Trinity College Dublin will present a five-week course on ‘Strategies for Successful Ageing’, and the University of Cape Town will present on ‘Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare’.

Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing
Starts 1 February 2016 | 6 weeks 

This course led by Dr Paula Byrne and Professor Jonathan Bate of the University of Warwick will explore how enjoying literature can help us to endure life.

The great 18th century writer Dr Samuel Johnson, who suffered from severe bouts of depression, said ‘the only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life or better to endure it.’ Taking Johnson’s phrase as a starting point, the course will consider how poems, plays and novels can help us understand and cope with times of deep emotional strain.

Along the way, participants will hear from doctors, who offer a medical perspective on the conditions discussed in the course, as well as from a range people who have turned to literature at moments of crisis, including such well-known figures as Melvyn Bragg and Stephen Fry. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their own experiences, discover new texts, and take part in activities that explore the relationship between reading and wellbeing.

This course is open to anyone with an interest in literature or mental health. No previous experience or qualifications are required.

For details on this course visit www.futurelearn.com/courses/literature

Strategies for Successful Ageing
Starts 8 February 2016 | 5 weeks 

How do you feel about ageing? What choices are you making to stay happy, healthy, socially-connected and active as you age?

During this five-week course, distinguished academics and physicians at Trinity College Dublin will present world-leading research in successful ageing, which may challenge many of the assumptions you have about growing old.

Week 5 is all about creative ageing, in which the talents and contributions of older adults will be explored and you will have the opportunity to share your accomplishments with the world.

This course is relevant for adults who wish to acquire strategies for successful ageing. No previous experience or qualifications are required.

For details on this course visit www.futurelearn.com/courses/successful-ageing

Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare
Starts 29 February 2016 | 6 weeks 

The University of Cape Town will lead this course exploring the intersection of medicine, medical anthropology and the creative arts. Through each of its six weeks, participants will visit a new aspect of human life and consider it from the perspectives of people working in health sciences, social sciences and the arts.

Contributors to the course will include a psychologist, heart surgeon, pathologist, oncologist, geneticist, sociologist, poet and visual artist. The course will encourage participants to discuss their ideas with learners all over the world, and reflect on the ways in which bodies, health, social life, culture and the imagination intersect in their local setting.

By the end of the course, you’ll understand multiple, complex perspectives on health, illness and healing, and be able to create alternative responses to important health challenges.

For details on this course visit www.futurelearn.com/courses/medicine-and-the-arts



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