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MSc Applied Positive Psychology

  • Study Mode: Flexible and Distributed Learning
  • Location: Distance Learning
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

Positive psychology takes a step away from the traditional aspects you’d expect from studying human behaviour and seeks to explore what it is that makes humans flourish, rather than languish.
If you’re fascinated by human behaviour and want to explore exactly what it takes to fulfil our greatest potential in all areas of life, then our Applied Positive Psychology masters is for you. Not only will this course have an incredible impact on your career, you’ll experience a personal life-changing journey for yourself.
Prepare to be stretched, challenged, enthralled, to experience growth, and make new, life-long connections.
Reece Coker
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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Positive Psychology can be used in a wide variety of beneficial ways. You’ll immediately be able to apply what you learn and see how it can make a huge difference both in your professional performance, development and productivity as well as the pursuit of goals and fulfilment in your personal life.

Whether you’re a teacher, counsellor, coach or team leader, our Applied Positive Psychology programme will help you find ways to improve your own wellbeing and performance, as well as that of others. You’ll discover the nature of happiness and what makes people thrive.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

As one of the few universities that offer this course, we have strong expertise in Applied Positive Psychology. Taught by lecturers, visiting experts and practitioners, you’ll learn about personal strengths, coaching and positive emotions.

We value your aspirations and goals and seek to work with you as you achieve them. Our previous students have told us what a positive impact this course has had on their lives and described the experience as one of personal growth and transformation.

Sometimes life can get busy and overwhelming, especially when you’re going through a period of transformation and growth. We’ll always work with you to make sure you’re comfortable and confident in your studies and our expert teaching team of Positive Psychologists will be there to support you every step of the way.

At BNU, 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. As our course gains popularity in a time when wellbeing is thankfully being prioritised more than ever, we continue to value and encourage different ways of learning and teaching to make sure you get the personal support you need.

What facilities can I use?

Learning materials are uploaded monthly onto our virtual learning environment for you to go through at your own pace. No matter where you are, you can access useful resources like podcasts, academic journals, presentations and online lectures.

Our library is packed with all the information you need for your assignments – you’ll have access to hundreds of specialist books, articles, industry publications and specialist online resources. Not to mention there’s plenty of room to knuckle down for some quiet study time.

What will I study?

Applied Positive Psychology focuses on the scientific study of happiness, wellbeing, purpose and strengths. Looking at these areas, we explore how different methods, techniques and ways of working improve performance in a range of settings, from education to organisational development to private 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 it.

We invite students to choose assignments on 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.

This course will take you on a journey to explore important areas in Positive Psychology like happiness, well-being and flourishing, strengths-based development, positive subjective emotions, hope and resilience, as well as important modules about research skills and data analysis.

How will I be taught and assessed?

We don’t assume our students have a background in psychology, but we’ll ask you what goals you have for studying the programme and how you wish to apply the subject in your life. If you can answer these questions and have energy and focus in your studies, we can give you the grounding and skills you need to apply your knowledge in a critically reflective way.

We run this course predominantly online, with monthly virtual webinars where together we explore the important concepts in Positive Psychology, giving you a chance to listen and discuss in a formal teaching environment.

All course materials, resources and reading lists are posted on our virtual learning environment meaning you can work at your own pace across the course of each module.

We also offer optional monthly weekend hybrid (face-to-face and online simultaneously) workshops to support your learning. These weekends are a great way to interact with your tutors and course mates to solidify your learning, get involved in fascinating discussions, present your work (and be presented to by other students), and build an invaluable network with other like-minded Positive Psychologists that will last well beyond the end of the course.

Throughout the course, you’ll be assessed in a number of ways including reflective assignments, poster and oral presentations, online tests, case study reports and research proposals and analysis.

In your final year, you’ll complete a dissertation in an area you feel particularly passionate about. Previous students have developed interventions to improve wellbeing, studied aspects of resilience, happiness and positive emotions, challenged current concepts within Positive Psychology and conducted important research within schools and organisations.

The full MSc takes two years, with some students opting to study on a three-year track meaning they have an additional year to focus solely on their dissertation project. You can also choose to complete just year one and receive a PGCert or two years without dissertation and receive a PGDip.

Please visit our Centre for Positive Psychology webpage for more information.

Useful Information

MSc Applied Positive Psychology Programme Specification


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 Open Day 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 days. Please contact us and we can arrange for you to have an informal discussion about the course with one of the course leaders.

We are currently accepting applications for September 2022 entry; however spaces are filling up fast and we may need to move to a waiting list once the course reaches capacity, so early application is encouraged. Contact us on 0330 123 2023 or email us to find out more.

Students who have completed the ‘Postgraduate Diploma in Positive Psychology’ from the University of Iceland will automatically qualify to enter with advanced standing and must complete the following modules: (PS738) Applied Research Skills,(PS739) Data Analysis and Interpretation, and (PS740) Postgraduate Dissertation.

Not sure if Positive Psychology is for you?

If you are interested in studying Positive Psychology at Bucks New University, but haven't quite made up your mind, or want to know more about the subject first, then you may be interested in a short online courseIntroduction to Positive Psychology endorsed by Bucks New University and delivered via the website Positive Psychology Online Courses

The Introduction to Positive Psychology online course presents an overview of the main subjects covered on the MSc Applied Positive Psychology programme. Topics include a definition of positive psychology, happiness, emotions, gratitude, flourishing, strengths, resilience, growth mindset and hope theory.

The course is presented by Lesley Lyle (MAPP), who was on the first cohort of the MAPP course at Bucks, and Dr Piers Worth, the creator and leader of the MAPP course, now retired. They will be able to give you an insight into how the MAPP course is run and Lesley will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding work/life balance as a part-time student.

On completion of the Introduction to Positive Psychology short course, applicants for the Bucks MAPP course will qualify for a 10% discount on their university course tuition fees. The course must be completed prior to enrolment on the Bucks MAPP course.

Are you looking for a shorter course that can teach you to apply principles of positive psychology to coaching practice?

If so, you might want to consider another short course offered by the university: Positive Psychology in Coaching.

Please visit our Centre of Positive Psychology webpage for more information.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

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 (in either 2nd or a 3rd year)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023



Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023


  • Year 1 fees: £3,500*
  • Year 2 fees: £6,750*

N.B. These fees are for those staring Year 1 in Academic Year 2022 - 23.

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

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

What are my career prospects?

Positive Psychology will change the way you look at the world. The course can provide you with a confident set of skills that will support you in any career. You’ll immediately be able to apply what you learn in your daily life as well as your professional environment.

Some of our graduates choose to continue their education by completing a PhD which will give you the opportunity to develop your skills further whilst researching your area of interest to an even greater depth.

Other graduates have used their degree to start a business, progress further in their current organisation, coach and train others and move into consulting. Our alumni include authors, teachers, entrepreneurs, coaches, academics, HR advisors and therapists.

Course leader

A head and shoulders shot of a smiling Genevieve Cseh wearing glasses
Dr Genevieve Cseh
  • Senior Lecturer
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Dr Ceri Sims
  • Associate Professor
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Dr Matthew Smith
  • Associate Professor
  • Course Leader for MSc Mental Health and Wellbeing in Education
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Dr Piers Worth
  • Visiting Professor
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