Recent figures highlight that officers from 27 UK police forces took more than a million sick days over the last three years because of psychological distress (ITV news, 2016). This report suggests that not only are these sickness days due to the stress and psychological distress caused by the critical incidents that they deal with, such as death, trauma, violence and abuse; but also by the behaviours they engage in to cope; such as alcohol use. What is known is that job stress and negative affect (such as depression) are significantly linked with maladaptive behaviours such as alcohol abuse in police officers (Kohan & O'Connor, 2002). It is also noteworthy that there is a 10-fold increase of suicidal ideation in police officers who have elevated levels of stress and alcohol use (Violanti, 2004).
Conversely, there is a protective nature of physical activity behaviour on psychological wellbeing, with more active individuals showing lower levels of stress and depression and a greater satisfaction with life (Penedo & Dahn, 2005). It has long been discussed that poor mental health (depression, anxiety, stress) is significantly linked to illness and disease, particularly in front line staff (Hegg-Deloye et al., 2014). In contrast, evidence confirms that those who hold a positive outlook on life will have a significantly longer life expectancy than those who focus on the negative (Danner et al., 2001) and are less likely to be immunosuppressed (Cohen et al., 2003), making them less susceptible to viral infections such as colds and flu.
Using a mixed methods approach (qualitative, quantitative and experimental design), this programme of research aims to identify health-related risk factors and those of a protective nature in the local police force. Using an online data collection tool, it will identify the level of subjective wellbeing (affect, stress, satisfaction with life), self-efficacy beliefs, and their link with health preventive behaviours, namely physical activity, diet, alcohol use, smoking behaviour and sleep patterns and physical health risk factors (such as obesity) across the Bedfordshire Police force. As a feasibility assessment for a future intervention, it will further test two brief Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs), with the intention to enhance subjective wellbeing, and thus reduce levels of stress and negative health behaviours. Qualitative interviews will be used to support these findings.
This studentship will cover fees for a full year-long MSc by Research alongside costs towards the dissemination of the findings (i.e. conference attendance, publication fees).
Application deadline is 25th September 2017
Applicants should be available for an October 16th 2017 start-date.
Applicants to be available for interview week commencing 2nd October 2017
The successful candidate and the experienced supervisory team of Dr Angel Chater ([email protected]), Dr Julia Fruer ([email protected]) and Dr Daniel Bailey ([email protected]) will be responsible for developing the final project outline.
*Subject to satisfactory progress on PP1 and PP2.
This programme considers the relationships between various creative disciplines to provide a framework of advanced study where you can develop practical and academic interest in the visual arts and architectural and environmental practice.
The programme attracts a multidisciplinary group, primarily of artists, architects and designers, who wish to develop interdisciplinary skills in response to complex environmental issues.
A major objective of the programme is to expand your personal development by introducing new modes of practice through direct engagement with site-specific projects and installations. Its principal focus is site-informed spatial exploration and project development, where you will be provided with a project base from which to address varying scales of contemporary issues, from embodied and sensory values, site and place making and cultural landscapes, to carbon innovation and environmental change.
The programme is primarily studio-based, with students benefiting from one-to-one teaching and small group critiques. Inter-related project and reflective courses provide a correlation between practice and theory, while encouraging you to professionally integrate research, creative practice and contemporary cultural theory as a pathway for individual development.
Through regular group seminars each student is compelled to position their personal approach in respect of the broad multidisciplinary expertise of the group, reinforcing individual, disciplinary perspectives through enriched understanding. Your creative process will be documented through a portfolio that presents a range of professionally aligned contextual assignments.
Programme tutors are practising artists, architects and landscape architects, complemented by a wide range of disciplinary input from across the humanities and social and physical sciences, including the contribution of distinguished visiting guest speakers. Travel is encouraged for research purposes, as a means of maintaining awareness of current issues. We have excellent relationships with a wide range of institutions from the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation to the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, and with scientific centres across the University through the Biological Architecture Lab.
The locus and form of set projects will change annually according to available opportunities. The learning outcomes of individual modules are constant within these different contexts.
Outcomes of project work are shown in exhibitions and presentations which are co-organised by the students.
Through our range of excellent contextual projects each student can develop a portfolio of advanced practical work that addresses a range of contemporary issues while being underpinned with theoretical insights.
This programme carries a high degree of prestige based on our reputation to educate a new generation on the values and skills of interdisciplinary practice currently in demand across the creative industries.
The portfolio and expertise developed through this programme will demonstrate a significant breadth and depth of creative skills to bring new and informed conceptual thinking to any space, site or landscape.