Studying our MSc Applied Positive Psychology programme can be life-changing. Our course aims to equip you to master positive psychology skills that will help you to flourish. Discover the nature of happiness and what makes people thrive. Whatever work you do, whether you're a teacher, counsellor, coach, or team leader, Applied Positive Psychology can help you find ways to improve your own wellbeing and performance, as well as that of others.
We don't assume our students have a background in Psychology but we will ask you what goals you have for undertaking the programme and how you wish to use the subject in your life. If you can answer these questions and also have energy and focus in what you study, we'll then be able to give you the grounding and skills you need to apply your knowledge in a critically reflective way.
Previous students have said what a positive impact the course has had on their lives and described the experience as one of personal growth and transformation that influences personal as well as career opportunities.
What will this course cover?
Applied Positive Psychology focuses on the scientific study of happiness, wellbeing, purpose, and strength. Looking at these areas, we study how different methods, techniques and ways of working improve performance in a range of settings from education to coaching. You'll learn how to analyse and interpret data and understand the application of research to individuals and organisations.
You'll discover how psychological research has explored the uses of Applied Positive Psychology and how theory has developed over time. You'll also look at the realities of the journey of change and positive psychology processes and methods that support and create this.
In year two you'll complete a dissertation in your area of interest. Past students have developed interventions to improve wellbeing, studied aspects of resilience and researched within schools and organisations. It is also possible to undertake the dissertation in a third year.
This course is approved by the British Psychological Society for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
As one of the few universities that offer this course, Bucks has strong expertise in this area. Taught by lecturers, visiting experts and practitioners, you'll learn about personal strengths, coaching and positive emotions. Their experiences will shape your learning and inspire you to apply the theories of Applied Positive Psychology.
We value your aspirations and goals and seek to work with you as you achieve them. We'll make sure you develop your expertise in your areas of interest and can get the most out of the course.
Interactive learning experience
As well as lectures, you will also have material online on our virtual learning environment. So, no matter where you are, you can access useful materials to help you on the course from podcasts to readings. You are also encouraged to interact with other students and tutors on online discussion forums in between teaching.
Bucks offers flexible learning, allowing you to study alongside employment and fit your lifestyle whether you are training to build your skills in your current role or change your career path. We offer optional monthly weekend workshops to support your learning. You may also undertake the course fully via distance learning.
The full MSc Applied Psychology takes two years to complete on a part-time basis, however you can choose to study over three years and dedicate the last year to your dissertation. There is also the choice of completing the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma that does not involve completing a dissertation project. The Postgraduate Certificate runs from October to May and is a popular option with students who would like to gain the fundamentals of positive psychology and what makes life most worth living, without committing to the full master’s programme.
Workshop dates for 2019-2020:
10-11 Oct 2020 – Missenden Abbey
7-8 Nov – Missenden Abbey
5-6 Dec – High Wycombe
16-17 Jan 2021 – Missenden Abbey
6-7 Feb – Missenden Abbey
13-14 Mar – High Wycombe
10-11 Apr – Missenden Abbey
8-9 May – Missenden Abbey
Personal teaching approach
At Bucks, our teaching approach is centred around you. We want to support you by showing you how to apply Positive Psychology to your life and career. We teach in small groups to make sure you get the support you need on the course.
We invite students to choose assignments on these subjects that reflect their own goals and interests. In this way the course becomes heavily tailored to your specific goals. As a course team our wish is to relate to the goals and aspirations of individuals and to support them in that journey.
Recent feedback from students describe a flexible and supportive learning environment in which you can build bonds with colleagues, and the subjects within positive psychology. They have described the experience as one of personal growth and transformation that influences personal as well as career opportunities.
What are the course entry requirements?
Students on this course typically have achieved a 2:1 degree or have the equivalent professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience.
We encourage anyone interested in the course to come to our Postgraduate and Professional Open Evening to meet with our specialist course team.
If you’re unable to make it to our High Wycombe Campus, we offer an online session as part of these evenings. Please email us for more information. Alternatively, contact us and we can arrange for you to have an informal discussion about the course with the course leader.
Whilst the official deadline for applying for this programme has now passed for September 2019 entry, we are still very happy to consider late applications. Contact us on 0330 123 2023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Students who have completed ‘Post Graduate Diploma in Positive Psychology’ from the University of Iceland will automatically qualify to enter with advanced standing and must complete the following modules: Applied Research Skills, Data Analysis and Interpretation, Post Graduate Dissertation.
Not sure if Positive Psychology is for you?
Are you interested in studying Positive Psychology at Bucks New University, but haven't quite made up your mind, or you're not quite sure if it's for you?
Then you may be interested in a two-day Introduction to Positive Psychology course, endorsed by Bucks New University and run by two graduates from our first cohort of the MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) programme. Dan Collinson and Lesley Lyle are Directors of Positive Psychology Learning and also Associate Lecturers on Bucks' MSc Applied Positive Psychology programme.
On the Introduction to Positive Psychology course, you will get an overview of the main subjects covered on the MSc Applied Positive Psychology programme. As former Bucks students, Dan and Lesley are also able to give you an insight into the MSc from a student's perspective and answer any questions you may have regarding work/life balance as a part time student.
Delegates who attend the Introduction to Positive Psychology course and are subsequently accepted onto one of the Positive Psychology courses at Bucks for September 2019 entry, will qualify for a 10 per cent discount off their University course fees.
Positive Psychology Learning also offer a special discount of more than 50 per cent for a limited number of places booked on the Introduction to Positive Psychology courses during 2019.
Year 1 Modules
- Introduction to Positive Psychology: Happiness, Well-being and Flourishing
- Strengths-based Development and Engagement
- Positive Subjective Emotion and Experience
- The Psychology of Hope and Resilience
Year 2 Modules
- The Journey of Change
- Positive Psychology in Practice
- Applied Research Skills
- Data Analysis and Interpretation
- PG Dissertation
How much does it cost
Flexible Distributed Learning Home and EU, Academic Year 2020-2021: £3,350 for Year 1; £6,350 for Year 2
Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks
Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.
In 2016 I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Positive Psychology from the University of Iceland. One of the reasons why I chose Buckinghamshire New University to obtain my MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), apart from its excellent reputation, is that it allowed me to enter with advanced standing.
I work as a management consultant and trainer for my own company in Iceland, and after I finished the MAPP in 2018, I have been giving training courses and applied positive psychology principles to increase individual, business and collective well-being. I find that organisations increasingly realise the value of positive psychology to exceptional workplace performance. Apart from my work, I have also applied positive psychology principles in my personal life to increase my well-being.
The MAPP was very beneficial for me, both personally and professionally, and delivered comprehensive, university-level content in practical and applied contexts. It equipped me with a wealth of knowledge, skills and competence as well as practical tools. The supervisors were inspiring and offered positive guidance, useful feedback and encouragement throughout the course. They also provided a safe and human learning environment and were extremely open to any questions we had. Looking back, finishing the MAPP at Bucks was an extraordinarily engaging and fulfilling experience.
To say that this course in positive psychology has changed my life would not be overstating!
As a mature student with Autism, I found the course quite frightening and draining at first but soon felt safe and supported in the learning environment enabling me to learn and grow as a person. So much so, that I am now bringing the subjects of Autism and Positive Psychology together for a PhD.
I currently work as a CPD accredited speaker, giving talks and lectures on positive psychology to companies. The appetite to learn more about positive psychology within the corporate world has surprised me!
If you’re thinking about doing this course be prepared to be stretched, challenged, enthralled, to experience growth, and make new life-long connections. It won't be easy - nothing worthwhile ever is. Just trust the process and do it!