• Study mode: Part Time
  • Location: High Wycombe Campus / Missenden Abbey
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2019

Course Overview

How does science define happiness? What does it mean to flourish? Would you be able to name your 'strengths' or those of others? These are all questions you will explore and answer while studying Applied Positive Psychology. 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.

The course encourages you to build on your existing skills and experience while exploring how you can use Positive Psychology in your day-to- day life.

We don't assume our students have a background in Psychology. We'll give you the grounding and skills you need to apply your knowledge in a critically reflective way.

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).

Course Details

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.

Flexible learning
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.

Provisional workshop dates for 2019-2020:

5-6 Oct 2019 (High Wycombe)
2-3 November 2019 (Missenden Abbey)
7-8 Dec 2019 (Missenden Abbey)
11-12 Jan 2020 (Missenden Abbey)
8-9 Feb 2020 (Missenden Abbey)
7-8 Mar 2020 (High Wycombe)
4-5 April 2020 (Missenden Abbey)
9-10 May 2020 (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.

Bucks offers you the opportunity to gain skills that will make you stand out from the crowd and change your approach to many situations you face. We'll teach you a range of transferable skills and give you an insight to achieving a fulfilling life, whether it's on a personal level or in the workplace.

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.

The deadline for applying for this programme is 1 July of the year of entry. Late applications may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

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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 2018 or 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 2018.

Course Modules

Year 1 Modules

  • Introduction to Positive Psychology: Happiness, Well-being and Flourishing
  • Positive Subjective Emotion and Experience
  • Strengths-based Development and Engagement
  • The Psychology of Hope and Resilience

Year 2 Modules

  • The Journey of Change
  • Applied Research Skills
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Positive Psychology in Practice
  • Postgraduate Dissertation


How much does it cost

Part Time Home and EU 2018/19: Year one: £3,080; Year two £6,170 for year two

Please note that these fees are for 2018-19 entry.

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.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow

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Student Testimonials

Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.

Image of Monique Zahavi

Monique Zahavi

"Studying the MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at Bucks New University has without doubt been the most meaningful and valuable experience, from both an academic and personal viewpoint. The subject matter is broad, engaging and offers the ability to not only develop a wide understanding of the developing field of positive psychology, but also to investigate those areas of positive psychology which feel like they ‘speak to you’ the most.

Having access to materials online allows for a degree of reflection and working at a pace that fits in with the rest of life, whilst attending weekend workshops with fellow MAPP students enabled an incredible level of experiential learning, engagement and immersion in a field of study which is all about finding ways for us all to do better, whilst acknowledging life’s challenges.

Embarking on the MAPP course straight after graduating in psychology as a mature student was one of the best life decisions I have made. I have made wonderful connections with likeminded people and received some genuinely supportive and caring input and wisdom from the course tutors. I highly recommend the programme, not only for its academic value, but as a life changing way of learning more about human behaviour."

Image of Dean Weller

Dean Weller

The course leaders, lectures and visiting speakers bring the course to life with enthusiasm and dedication to their students. I have been given time, direction and support to explore the frontiers of this exciting branch of psychology and to share my experiences with my colleagues.

We have developed mastery through experience, research and collaboration. I’ve connected with like-minded people who care deeply about me, my work and my future. I would highly recommend the course to those interested in studying human behaviour and how we might help others strive for a meaningful life.􀁢 Without doubt this is the best investment I’ve made in myself.


What are my career prospects

Applied Positive Psychology can be used in a wide variety of job roles. Many of our students take advantage of flexible learning and stay in their current role. You'll immediately be able to apply what you learn. You'll see how Positive Psychology can make a huge difference, whether you need to boost morale in your workplace or improve productivity.

Some of our graduates choose to continue their education by completing a PhD. Continuing your education gives you the opportunity to develop your skills further and research your area of interest.

Other graduates have used their new skills to set a business. Positive Psychology Learning (PPL) was set up by two graduates and offers positive psychology courses, consultancy and coaching.

How will you help me prepare for my future career?
Positive Psychology will change the way you look at the world. From a personal perspective you'll understand your happiness and strengths in a different way.

This Applied Positive Psychology course will provide you with a confident skill set that will support you in any career. You'll immediately be able to apply your knowledge to day-
to-day life.

As well as learning theory and application, you will also learn to analyse and interpret a range of types of data and develop a critically reflective approach to your learning.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.