FSS 1150 A00: University Skills and Strategies. The science of happiness.

Femme souriante sous la pluie

This course examines the science of happiness and success and teaches students practical strategies proven to foster academic achievement and lifelong well-being. The course was developed by Dr. Santor, a clinical psychologist within the faculty of social science, who has over 20 years of experience lecturing at the university and working in clinical practice.  The goal of the course is to assist students in developing effective study habits and a long-lasting positive mindset about themselves. 

Register now to course in uoZone

Key features of the course

Interactive self-assessments tools
Interactive online surveys and screening tools are an integral part of  each lecture. These brief self-assessment tools  allow students to identify  their personal strengths, learning habits, and potential mental  health difficulties.

Acquisition of practical learning skills.
Lectures and readings are supplemented with practical exercises to help students acquire the necessary learning and time management skills that can lead to better grades. In fact,  90% of students said that they did better in their other classes after taking this course. And 75% of students said they  continued to use most of the skills they learned long after finishing the course

Habit building exercises
With the help of online tools, students practice building and maintaining a range of mental health and learning habits (e.g., relaxation breathing, scheduling).

Step-by-step tutorials on how to write a paper (i.e, choose a topic, organize ideas, write the first draft, edit the final version).

Option to retake exams and rewrite assignments.
Students can opt to retake their exams and  rewrite their paper  in order to improve their grades in the course


The list of topics and lectures

  • The science of happiness and success
  • Five pillars of the good life
  • How to take notes fast and efficiently
  • How sleep can hinder and enhance performance
  • Scheduling: The art of making it all fit
  • Active recall: How to beat the forgetting curve
  • Knowing and using your character strengths
  • Challenging doubt, worry & negative thoughts
  • Relaxation breathing & mindfulness on demand
  • How to do well on tests & write great papers
  • How to set and achieve your goals
  • Turning setback and failure into success
  • Building grit and perseverance
  • Dealing with procrastination and boredom
  • Mental illness:  Are you at the tipping point?
  • Knowing how and when to ask for help
  • The surprising benefit of saying how you feel
  • Fulfilling your unmet needs
  • How to make and keep friends
  • Managing the expectations of others :
  • Enhancing relationships
  • Knowing  how to make and keep friends
  • Dealing with unfairness and discrimination

The Friday Afternoon Seminar on Well Being

Reserve your place by registering at www.eventbright.ca
The seminar is free for students at the University of Ottawa

Fall 2021 Dates
Seminar 1: The five pillars of wellbeing. Five ways to maximize your happiness. September 24
Seminar  2: Relaxation breathing and mindfulness – On demand) October 1
Seminar  3: Fact-checking your doubts, worries, and what-ifs. Tracking accomplishments October 8
Seminar  4: The extraordinary benefit of sleep for learning and wellbeing October 15
Seminar  5: Scheduling: The science and art of making it all fit October 22
Seminar  6: Goal setting, building habits & GRIT. Tackling procrastination and boredom November 5
Seminar  7: Mental illness: Do I have it and what to do about it November 12


What students said about the course


“I've been getting good grades because of the skills learned. And I've been having less stress.”

“Everything about the course helped me prepare for the university -- taking notes, scheduling, using the Pomodoro technique to manage time, etc. I really recommend this class to any student.”

“I have been able to apply the skills to other classes and have been able to use the skills on fact-checking and mindfulness in other situations that cause me anxiety outside of class and exams.”

“Being able to redo assignments and tests gave me the opportunity to really learn how to do my best.”

“I definitely think this is my favourite class so far, in terms of how organized and confident I feel. The material is extremely helpful for everyday life and the speed that we are moving at is perfect to me.”

Back to top