Master of Arts in Well-Being and Health Behavior Tallinn University
Are you eager to learn about people and their concerns and emotions? Would you like to know how to approach and measure a person's well-being in a science-based way? Are you ready to find solutions in the future to help people live healthier lives and prevent premature illness? Come and learn new valuable knowledge that contributes to your current specialty, and with relevant knowledge and experience, it is possible to influence the individuals and health situation in your community through health promotion processes and team leadership.
Well-being and its management is a growing industry based on evidence-based theories of healthy living and disease prevention. Knowledge of the bases of people's well-being and how it is achieved is an important area to work on, contributing to the functioning of a society that supports human development and well-being.
Our previous president of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has emphasized in her speeches that it is time for Estonia to become a caring welfare state. This is proved by the government's efforts to alleviate poverty, reduce social exclusion and support an active civil society; to ensure that every individual receives free education according to their ability and to support interpersonal tolerance and protection of human rights; to encourage people to cooperate for a satisfying and dignified life, and to follow the principles of caring and helping the weakest in social policy.
Why should you come to study?
Estonia's activities in promoting its population’s health, carrying out health research, and providing more than 20 years of systematic community-based health promotion with health services, as well as relying on the widespread use of e-services, allow us to share our experiences with citizens of other countries. Mostly people from countries with similar social structures and economic development come to learn about the processes we have carried out. We can also see our achievements: the average life expectancy of Estonian people has increased by almost 10 years (from 69 to 78) in 20 years.
The science-based design of environments that help improve workplace wellness and workplace happiness is increasingly being addressed in Estonia and across Europe; in the same way, we can design wellness in teams or in groups of other people working together in the community. On a service basis, it is possible to share recent experiences (both in Estonia and in the EU) with companies in other countries where modern workplace culture is emerging and knowledge of working in a multicultural work environment needs improvement.
We believe that our program contributes to your current specialty, and with relevant knowledge and experience, it is possible to influence the individuals and health situation in your community through health promotion processes and team leadership.
Who are we looking for?
Our target group is specialists with a Bachelor's degree in the field of education, social sciences, business and administration, natural and exact sciences, health, and well-being.
As the Master's thesis and the entire study program are science-based, it is expected that the candidates have produced a thesis for a Bachelor's degree that involved an empirical part. Therefore, students with a Bachelor's degree in humanities and specialties that do not include a science-based approach to empirical research (finance, history, law, languages, culture, art, etc.) are not suitable for this study program. Our studies are based on international practice, where Master's theses in the well-being and health behavior study program require empirical research or the use of large databases in various areas of well-being and health behavior (from individual to social policy level).
The study program focuses on the non-medical (not based on a treatment by doctors) approach to health: lifestyle, attitudes, work capacity, environment, personality, habits, ethics, research, evaluation, and implementation of interventions. As a target group, we see students from Estonia and other countries who want to gain learning experience in the field of health and well-being in Europe. Citizens from developing countries can primarily benefit from these studies and apply the knowledge acquired to further the well-being of their country.
Form of studies
Learning takes the form of regular learning, as we assume it is the primary activity for most learners. In order to ensure the maximum and effective engagement of the students in their studies, we are prepared to find flexible solutions in the timetable.
Mandatory subject-specific and general courses
The study program concept is based on:
The need for knowledge of theories and concepts in various areas of well-being, such as:
- economic well-being, social well-being, emotional well-being, eudaimonic well-being, mental well-being, physical well-being, spiritual well-being;
- the need for knowledge of theories and concepts of health behavior and health promotion;
- the need for knowledge of social, political, and psychological strategies for influencing several areas of well-being;
- detailed knowledge of research methods for participating in research projects and acting as experts, incl. starting doctoral studies.
The bases of the study program are contemporary well-known concepts and areas of well-being. The fundamental paradigm underlying the study program is humanistic psychology and positive psychology. For a variety of reasons, these fields have a holistic approach to topics related to well-being (including health). Different age groups (for example, child welfare, and elderly well-being) and groups of the sick or disabled are also considered. The courses describe socio-political, economic, and psychological methods that would increase people's well-being and shape their health behavior. This is the basis for a professional activity or relevant competence.
The Study Programme is formally organized into two modules: compulsory subjects and elective courses. Specialty subjects are according to their content divided into four modules.
- Research Methods (four compulsory and one elective course)
- Theories and Models of Well-Being and Health Behaviour (four compulsories and no elective courses)
- Social and Psychological Approaches to Well-Being and Health Behaviour (four compulsory and two elective courses)
- Biological and Medical Approaches to Well-Being and Health Behaviour (three compulsory and three elective courses)
Graduate career options
Our graduates will find employment in a variety of fields, such as education, health services, and healthcare organizations.
As the specialty is forward-looking, it is not directly related to existing routine jobs, however, some possible jobs include:
- Health behavior and well-being counselors, e.g. institutions providing health and wellness services, either using an individual or a community-based approach.
- Leaders in a variety of areas (ensuring organizational well-being and team functioning), implementing their everyday work in a broader context of well-being.
- Specialists in planning, implementing, and evaluating community-based interventions for public institution staff well-being, provided that in addition to a Master's degree they have acquired a specialty in a field that supports the launch and management of public activities or programs (public administration, recreation).
- Specialists in non-governmental and civil society organizations dedicated to well-being and intercultural integration and conflict prevention. Researchers and applied analysts prepare community-based policies or other measures or interventions (e.g. structural modeling, methods, and measurement).
Further study options
The graduates have the opportunity to pursue doctoral studies (for example, in the study program offered by Tallinn University Health Behaviour and Wellbeing) and carry out their own research or write a research paper at the university whilst working as a lecturer.