Institute of Applied Health Sciences and Health Promotion, Juhász Gyula Faculty of Education, University of Szeged

Tarkó Klára Leader: Dr. habil. Tarkó Klára PhD., college professor

 Contact:, Telephone: +36 62 544-737, direct extension: 6279, mobile: +36 70 953 5295

 Address: 6. Boldogasszony ave. Szeged Hungary 6725





Main profile

Dating back to 1992 the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and Health Promotion, and its legal predecessors, at the University of Szeged, Juhász Gyula Faculty of Education trains professionals who perform health promotion, health education and mental health promotion tasks. The founder of the Institute - Prof. Dr. Zsuzsanna Benkő PhD., Professor Emerita -, and the head of the institute - Dr. habil. Klára Tarkó PhD., together with the staff members of the institute set the goal of establishing and launching trainings of professionals who are able to help people gain more influence over the natural and social environment determining their health and well-being in the communities and organizations that influence everyday life the most, as well as motivating them to exercise changes for the sake of their health by shaping their lifestyles and habits.

The Institute has extensive educational experience in the field of health promotion, mental health promotion and mental hygiene understood on the basis of the holistic health concept, in undergraduate, master's, teacher master's, postgraduate training courses and especially in specialist in-service teacher trainings. In addition to education, the multidisciplinary staff of sociologists, psychologists and educators puts a great emphasis on publication activities in connection with their research and teaching material development activities, as well as on health promotion praxis connected to national and international grant activities. The international embeddedness of the Institute is well-indicated by its international scientific memberships, positions, grant activities and relations.

Main (research) activity

  • Lifestyle research in accordance with the holistic health concept and its connections with Antonovsky's sense of coherence in the Diocese of Szeged-Csanád.
  • Preparing for conscious childbearing (EFOP-3.6.1-16-2016-00008)
  • Creation of mentor houses and mentor network for premature babies and their parents in the Southern Great Plains Region – interviews with parents raising premature babies (EFOP-1.2.10-16)
  • Tradition and modernity in the lifestyle of families in the „Visegrad Countries”, transnational research
  • Mental health promotion research considering Antonovsky’s understanding of health (empirical research in Hódmezővásárhely; in County Csongrád; at the University of Szeged (TÁMOP-6.1.5-14-2015-0004))
  • Healthy lifestyle research among 5. – 12. grade pupils (empirical research in the Southern Great-Plains region);
  • PhD researches:
    • The connection between reading, learning and metacognition in schoolyears.
    • Exploring the psychological factors that determine consumer decisions, with particular reference to the role of time perspective and self-control in consumer choices.
    • Family image of the early 20th century in public education documents.
    • Investigation into the connections between childhood attachment traumas and antisociality, with special regard to the attachment patterns and problems of those who grow up taken out of their families.
    • Problematic internet use, online aggression, and their prevention possibilities.
    • Examining the health status and lifestyle of those working in higher education and highlighting at the importance of workplace health promotion.
    • Examination of health and mental health in the context of family-work interference.
    • The idea of equilibrium in reform pedagogy, as an idealtypical conceptual framework.
    • Research of balance parameters.

Educational activity

Education (foundation, launching), education of multiplicators

  • 1991 – 30 hours health education course (Juhász Gyula Teacher Training College)
  • 1992 – National Teacher Further Training Academy (1 week, 300 participants)
  • 1992 – Health promoter – mental health promoter postgraduate education (2008 graduates until 2005)
  • 1996 – full-time, college level Health sciences teacher
  • –          30 hours regional trainings for helping professionals (10 settlements, 416 people trained)
  • 1998 – Health education – mental health promotion 120 hours further training for educators
  • 1999 – Health promoter – mental health promoter teachers’ special exam
  • 2001 – university level Health sciences teacher
  • 2004 – Minority coordinator teachers’ special exam
  • 2006 – Recreation organisation and health promotion bachelor (with Recreation organiser, Health promoter and Minority health coordinator specializations)
  • 2008 – Health promotion teacher master
  • 2010 – Health promoter – mental health promoter in-service education
  • 2010 – Health promoter – mental health promoter teachers’ special exam
  • 2011 – Health promoting minority coordinator in-service education
  • 2011 – Health promoting minority coordinator teachers’ special exam
  • 2019 – Mental Health in Relations and Community Development master
  • Style Communicator in-service education
  • More information on our current courses in Hungarian:


Consultancy activity

  • Since 2017 „Health promoting, mental health promoting networking in the public education institutes of the Szeged-Csanád Diocese” project. The project includes practice-oriented, multi-layered, successive teacher training, teaching material development, research, and networking activities. Professional head of the project is Prof. Dr. Benkő Zsuzsanna, PhD.
  • Review of PhD dissertations, opponent work.
  • Supervising in doctoral schools: University of Szeged, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Doctoral School of Education; University of Pécs, Education and Society Doctoral School of Education.
  • Supervising TDK, OTDK, UNKP student projects
  • Editing work in journals: Egészségfejlesztés (Health Promotion) Journal
  • Editorial Board memberships: Népegészségügy (Public Health Sciences) Journal, International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure.
  • International Sociological Association RC13 Sociology of Leisure. 2014-2018: Dr. habil. Tarkó Klára PhD. vice-president at large, then 2018 – 2022 Board member
  • Founding member of Health Sciences Platform at the University of Szeged. Vice-President: Prof. Dr. Benkő Zsuzsanna PhD.
  • Empathy Mental Health Promoting Association. President: Dr. Lippai László Lajos PhD.



25. 10. 2001. – 01. 10. 2004. - SOCRATES/COMENIUS 2.1 programme - leading an international project consortium in the field of initial and in-service teacher training. Integrated programmes for lower primary teacher training, reference number: 94320-CP-1-2001-1-HU-Comenius-C21. Partners: Escola Superior de Educacao de Lisboa (PT); Pädagogische Akademie des Bundes in Wien, (A).

01. 10. 2002. – 01. 10. 2005. - SOCRATES/COMENIUS 2.1 programme - leading an international project consortium in the field of initial and in-service teacher training. CANDOR - Changing the Attitude of teachers through Normal and Distance learning for Open human Relationships, Reference No.: 106198-CP-1-2002-1-HU-Comenius-C21. Partners: Manchester Metropolitan University, MMU Cheshire (UK); Universitat Lueneburg (D)

01. 10. 2002. – 31. 03. 2004. - HU 0008-02 “Supporting the transition from education to work” Phare programme, leading the project called “Working out the educational programme of the Minority Coordinator teachers’ special exam” (HU0008-02-01-0047).

2004 – 2007 – Tradition and modernity in the lifestyle of families in the „Visegrad Countries”, Leading the transnational research consortia. Partners: Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa v Nitra, Slovakia; Uniwersytet Ślaski Katowice, Poland; Univerzita Hradec Králové, Czech Republic; Accompanied grant: International Visegrad Fund Standard Grant No. 10049-2006-IVF

2005-2006 - In the implementation of the tender “Health Promotion Education in the framework of teacher training and specialized in-service training for teachers” related to the National Public Health Program, the Institute, together with the Faculty of General Medicine of the University of Szeged and other departments of the Juhász Gyula Faculty of Education developed a health promotion course.

24.11.2011. – 02.2015. - „Family and Lifestyle in the Visegrad Countries (I. and II.). Visegrad University Studies Grant No. 61000015. Leading the transnational project. Course development and operation. Partners: Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa v Nitra, SK;          Uniwersytet Ślaski Katowice, PL; Univerzita Hradec Králové, CZ;

15.06.2012. – 19.08.2012. – Conference Ambassador Programme, Making Hungary as a possible conference site popular. Result: 18-20.09.2013. – Organising the ’Leisure, health and well-being’ international conference.

17.06.2015. – 30.11.2015. „One step towards our health – Complex health promotion programme of County Csongrád” within the framework of grant No. TÁMOP-6.1.5-14-2015-0004, Mental health promotion research among secondary school pupils, university students and adults in County Csongrád. Participant.

01.04.2015. – 30.11. Creation of a health sciences and health industry innovation network in the Southern Great Plains region to establish translational medicine, grant No. TÁMOP-4.2.6-14/1. Sub-topic 1.2: Individual and community lifestyle research. Participant.

01.06.2017. – 31.05.2021. EFOP-3.4.3-16-2016-00014 „Innovative development of the educational and service performance of the University of Szeged in reflection of preparing for the challenges of the labour market and the international competition.” Professional coordination and participation.

01.03.2017. – 28.02.2021. EFOP-3.6.1-16-2016-00008 „Institutional development in service of intelligent professionalisation: Development of intelligent life sciences technologies, methodology, and innovative services based on the knowledge base of Szeged” Subproject: Working out multidisciplinary screening and diagnostic examinations to ensure the physical-mental wellbeing of the pregnant woman and the foetus also, and this way contribute to the birth of healthy children. Participant.



Publications of the Institute can be viewed at Publications of staff members are presented in MTMT (Hungarian Scientific Bibliography).

Newsletter of the Institute (Intézeti Hírmondó (since 2013) - those interested can read about the education and student activities at the institute. The articles are written by our students mainly.

Field-practice Review (Terep-szemle) - The institute’s publication presenting the results of student and teacher field practice and workshops.




The most important news, events, and results of the last two years:

  • 21.11.2019. On the occasion of Celebrating Hungarian Science the conference titled „The duality of the holistic health concept and the coherence theory” was organised jointly by the Institute and the Health Promotion Working Committee of the Medical Sciences Specialized Committee of the Szeged Branch of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • In the academic year of 2019/2020, the Mental Health in Relations and Community Development master course was launched. (
  • 03.05.2019. The Institute’s Style Communicator In-Service Training Course has organised its student conference titled „From HAUTE COUTURE’s dream world to FAST FASHION”. In the conference the changes in fashion trends from the 2nd half of the 20th century till nowadays were reviewed.

The most important events of the next year:

  • 01.09.2020. – the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and Healthy Promotion celebrates its 25th anniversary. The beginning of a series of jubilee programs, closed by an international conference to be held in May 2021.


The Institute maintains a long-term, many-years working relationship with the following universities: Universitat Bielefeld, Facultat Gesundheitswissenschaften, Bielefeld, D; Escola Superior de Educacao de Lisboa, Lisboa, PT; Turun Yliopisto, Turku, SF; Manchester Metropolitan University, MMU Cheshire, Crewe, UK; Fachhochschule JOANNEUM Geselischaft mbH, Bad Gleichenberg, A; University College Sealand, Soroe, DK; Brunel University West London, UK; Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal (FH), D; Liverpool John Moore’s University, UK; Leuphana Universitat, Lueneburg, D; University of Silesia, Katowice, PL;, Jagellonian University, Krakow, PL. University of Hradec Králové, CZ., Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, SK.


The scientific public activity of the professionals at the Institute is underlined by the fact that in 1999 the Health Promotion Working Committee of the Medical Sciences Specialized Committee of the Szeged Branch of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (now the Szeged Regional Committee) was established. The working committee organizes scientific conferences to present the works of nationally and internationally renowned experts and the current research results of the institute. Since 1999, 20 such events have taken place. The staff members of the Institute are active members of the following scientific societies: National Association of Public Health Education and Research Centers, European Public Health Association, International Sociological Association RC 13 Sociology of Leisure; STARS: Society for Theory and Research on Salutogenesis.