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Put yourself at the forefront of this developing discipline by joining a strand of applied psychology only offered at a few universities across the world. Discover and discuss the nature of happiness, what helps people thrive and make a difference to everyday lives.
Positive psychology is life changing. Our course helps you investigate the science behind how we can prepare for more successful lives and better well-being, through challenging existing cognitive and emotional patterns and encouraging positivity with evidence-based activities.
You’ll be introduced to research and interventions around topics like positive and negative emotions, character strengths, motivation, resilience, creativity, wisdom and other conditions shown to make a difference to the lives of individuals, groups and organisations. You’ll constantly test your skills and apply them to real-life situations, coming to understand which tools and strategies to use in delivering meaningful, high-impact interventions.
You’ll be able to use your new skills to shape businesses, education and communities. Our wide choice of modules means that, whether you work in coaching, business, education or health, you can tailor your studies to your career goals. Our course will also suit you if you have a BSc in psychology and want to further your knowledge.
Our course is taught via blended learning, a mixture of both distance learning and face-to-face delivery in Cambridge and France. In France, teaching takes place approximately 40 minutes from the centre of Paris by train, giving you the advantage of cheaper accommodation as well as the chance to make a quick visit to the capital. In Cambridge, teaching takes place at our East Road campus, where you’ll also have access to the psychology laboratories in our Science Centre.
You’ll complete four intensive week-long modules, followed by online research methods teaching and supervision for your major project. In-between modules you’ll undertake self-directed study.
Our tutors are leaders in the field of positive psychology. They include:
- Dr Ilona Boniwell, CEO of Positran
- Dr Richard Piech, cognitive neuroscientist
- Sarah Lewis, Managing Director at Appreciating Change
- Bridget Grenville-Cleave, Director of WorkMad
- Dr Dora Gudmundsdottir, President, European Network of Positive Psychology
- Jean-Christophe Barralis and Jean Pages, Directors of the French Institute of Appreciative Inquiry
- Dr Evie Rosset, Director of MAAC Lab
Successful applicants wishing to take up a place on the course should register no later than the Friday before the Introduction Module. This is to ensure you’re ready to attend the first week of teaching. If you are unable to register by this date, you may not be able to study the course until the following intake.
You could find yourself using positive psychology within training, government, an organisation or even in life coaching. You might want to use the sustainable well-being and development skills you gain in the charity, social enterprise or health sectors. Or you could even use the methods to transform a business or help develop and optimise the potential of a group, community or institution.
If you’re a qualified clinical psychologist, counsellor or psychotherapist, you’ll find positive psychology theory, research and applications will benefit your clinical work. Teachers, youth workers and educators also use positive psychology expertise in their work. You’re also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Psychology PhD.
MODULES & ASSESSMENT
Introduction to Positive Psychology (Cambridge for September starters or Paris for January starters)Positive psychology is defined as the study of the life that is worth living, with a focus on positive subjective experience (such as positive emotions), positive individual traits (such as strengths and virtues) and positive institutions. This module aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the study of well-being and optimal human functioning, including the latest research findings and thinking around the topics of happiness, flow, character strengths and other relevant areas. Students will learn about the correlates and biological, social, and economic predictors of happiness and well-being across various cultures; cognitive, motivational, and interpersonal predictors of positive emotions and emotional intelligence. They will be encouraged to critically evaluate existing research on optimism, flow, post-traumatic growth, character strengths, etc. Psychological processes that have implications for facilitating positive individual change will also be highlighted (e.g., recent foci in several forms of therapy on ‘mindfulness meditation’, facilitating forgiveness and gratitude; articulating personal goals and values; bolstering selfefficacy and resilience). The module will examine theoretical and philosophical assumptions, as well as criticisms of the positive psychology movement.
Research Methods for Psychology (online)This module develops your understanding of the principles of undertaking empirical research. Delivered online, you will develop the research skill-set required to understand, conduct and communicate empirical research and provide you with the necessary tools you require to undertake your major project.
Major Psychology Project (online)You will chose an independent research topic from an area of expertise within our department, and will conduct a significant research project in that area which may involve a literature review, data collection, analysis and a dissertation write-up.
ASSESSMENT100% of your assessment will be through coursework. This could include essays, blogs, a reflective portfolio, self-reflective log, handouts, video presentation, mind maps, reports, a research proposal and a major project. You’ll also get the chance to carry out an applied project in either a personal or professional setting, to give you experience of how positive psychology can be implemented in practice.
You’ll choose three modules from the list of 12 available across Cambridge and Paris. In addition you will complete an Introduction to Positive Psychology module (Paris or Cambridge), the ‘Research Methods for Psychology (online)’ module and a major project.