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MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP)

Key Features | Career Prospects | Programme Structure | Tuition Fees | Teaching | Student Testimonies | Contact Details | About the programme

Key Features

  • The part-time, based-on-intensive-study-days structure makes the programme ideal for students from the UK or Europe in full-time employment.
  • A professional cohort of students from multidisciplinary backgrounds enriches their experience and enables them to learn not only from their lecturers but also from one another.
  • A particular emphasis of MAPP is on skills development, including facilitation, intervention and research skills.
  • The programme is taught by the pioneers of positive psychology in Europe.
  • Students benefit from being a part of a modern and forward-looking University that has many areas of excellence. The founder of positive psychology, Professor Martin Seligman holds an Honorary Doctorate from UEL.

Career Prospects

The programme should lead to a wide range of career and employment opportunities, including those in newly emerging centres dedicated to positive psychology and wellbeing.

MAPP is also useful for qualified clinical psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, nurses and doctors that intend to use positive psychology theory, research and applications in their clinical work.

Teachers, youth workers and educators from the primary school to the University level can also use positive psychology expertise to inform their practice. A number of graduates are likely to develop specialisation in positive psychology within a research career and can use the programme as a stepping stone towards a PhD or professional doctorate.

Furthermore, there are various well-being centres in the UK, which focus on the applications and research in positive psychology, such as the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology, the Well-being Institue in Cambridge, the Centre for Confidence and Well-being in Scotland, and finally, the Centre for Well-being — New Economics Foundation (NEF).

Lastly, the programme aims to contribute to the development of community, political and business leaders, whose capacity to adopt a grounded well-being framework could shape the progress of society.

Programme Structure

This is a two-year part-time programme with a September start. The programme follows an executive education model, in which teaching takes place through intensive learning days approximately once a month(various combinations of Friday, Saturday and Sunday). In the first year in Semester A, Semester B and Summer part-time students take the following modules: Foundations of Positive Psychology (double) and Research Methods and Dissertation 1. A double Advanced Positive Psychology: Theory and Practice module and Research Methods and Dissertation 2 take place in the second year.

Year 1

  • Semester A and B: Foundations of Positive Psychology
    The double module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the research, theory and intellectual position of positive psychology, including areas such as subjective wellbeing, emotional intelligence, flow, self-esteem, hope, self-efficacy, wisdom, goal theories, humour, positive relationships, positive ageing, etc. In addition, the module aims to enhance students’ knowledge of the theory, application and evaluation of a variety of interventions specifically designed to enhance quality of life and wellbeing. It focuses primarily on the interventions that can be used in the one-to-one or online context. A final aim is to explore the assessment of positive psychology constructs such as happiness, positive emotions, character strengths and locus of control.

  • Summer Semester: Research Methods and Dissertation Part 1
    This module aims to develop the understanding, skills and critical awareness necessary for conducting original research, to enhance students’ knowledge of a range of research approaches appropriate to the study of positive psychology and develop practical skills in using statistical software packages and qualitative data analysis.

Year 2

  • Semester A and B: Advanced Positive Psychology: Theory and Practice
    This double module focuses on the development and enhancement of the field by viewing it in the larger context of its historical and philosophical roots, questioning its fundamental assumptions, examining controversies within the positive psychology movement and its criticisms, as well as developing new and more effective interventions. It also allows students an opportunity to review recent research and findings on a topic of their particular interest. In addition, the module aims to introduce participants to the ways positive psychology can be applied in real-world settings, such as organisations, education, health and charity settings. The emphasis is on the group- and organisation-based approaches, including positive education curricula, facilitation and training skills, and consultancy. A final aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the recent developments in positive organisational scholarship — an area of knowledge concerned with studying and facilitating processes underlying positive functioning of institutions.

  • Summer Semester: Research Methods and Dissertation Part 2
    The aim of this module is to provide expert support for the students during their dissertation. The student will be presented with M-level workshops on research design incorporating philosophy of science and the practical aspects of preparing for and conducting research. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches will be considered alongside practical application of such.

Intermediate awards of either PG Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology (two modules) or PG Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology (four modules) will be awarded to those who decide not to proceed towards the award of Masters in Applied Positive Psychology.

Tuition Fees

Please note that all module fees are not fixed but are normally subject to annual increases, click on this link for further information about tuition fees.

Our Students Money Advice and Rights Team provide information about postgraduate funding, career development loans and other funds may be obtained from our Students Money Advice and Rights Team. You may also want to talk to one of their advisors on +44 (0)20 8223 6200 about your circumstances.


The programme is led and taught by pioneers in the field of positive psychology in Europe, who are consultancy and research active. UEL academics involved in the delivery of the programme include Dr Kate Hefferon, Dr Itai Ivtzan, Dr Joan Painter, Dr Tim Lomas, Dr Nash PopovicDr Aneta Tunariu, Dr John Turner, Gordon Jinks.

The programme provides a blend of teaching and learning approaches, including traditional lectures, seminars and workshop activities; online discussions and electronic support; group and individual tutorial sessions; a viva workshop; group exercises and peer study groups/action learning sets. Teaching and learning will draw on the experiences, knowledge and professional backgrounds of participants, encouraging a critical reflection.

Students are offered personal tutor support to address learning queries and discuss any issues affecting progress. Each student will have a dissertation supervisor who is familiar with his or her topic area and will support them during the specialist research stage.

Student Testimonies

I have always found the subject of Psychology interesting. However, I wasn’t particularly keen on studying theories from traditional psychology which focused on what can go wrong with the mind, what causes psychological distress and how one can repair it. Positive Psychology was far more appealing and I felt that studying what can be done to help people thrive and flourish in their personal and professional lives would be far more enjoyable and satisfying. However, I guess like any Psychology Masters course, it can be challenging and one still has to do things like assess the psychometric properties of assessment instruments and critically evaluate empirical research evidence. Nevertheless, we research, study and apply interventions that are fundamentally about increasing wellbeing and facilitating optimal functioning. What is also interesting is that you can easily apply the interventions to your own personal and professional life. The quality of the lecturing on this course is superb and you get a sense that the lecturers have a real passion for their subject. It’s a really enjoyable course in a really exciting and relatively new field of Psychology.

Brian Albuquerque
Regeneration Manager, Economic Development

  To date, it has taken me over ten years, and hundred of workshops to establish what it is that gives my life purpose and meaning and allows me and those around me to function at our optimal best… then along comes the MAPP course. Nowhere in my search for greater personal understanding has such a comprehensive, transformative, enlightening and most importantly, research-based approach to sorting the wheat from the chaff been available to me in one place. The MAPP programme is fearless in its approach, honest in its boundaries and bold in its challenge to broaden the applications of positive psychology to ourselves and our world. MAPP is a place where I have access to world-class practitioners who expand my beliefs about what is possible and amaze me with their own enthusiasm for applying it in so many different settings. I am so grateful and fortunate that this course has come my way, with respect to both how it has influenced by personal life as well as the direction of my career. Who, I ask, would not benefit from knowing themselves better? MAPP is simply life changing.

Denise Mortimer
NHS Manager

  The MAPP programme has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life, and I would recommend the course highly.

Positive psychology harnesses the best of both theoretical and applied psychology. We have learned from some of the some of the best-known psychologists in the field, as well as those who are using positive psychology successfully at the cutting edge of social policy, organisational change or coaching practice. The course focuses directly on applied positive psychology, and graduates are equipped with a range of tools and techniques that are valuable in many different professions. We have also learned about some of the most interesting and powerful theories and methods of psychology.

The MAPP programme has a wide range of students, including policy makers, coaches and trainers, psychologists, business people, social workers and many others. We are brought together by a shared interest in how to harness and develop what's best in people, and we have become close as we learn and grow together. We are taught new ways of thinking deeply and critically, which enriches our professional life and improves our work. There's also a professional advantage in being an early graduate in a subject that is becoming more and more central to applied psychology.

Francesca Elston
Consultant and coach

  The MAPP at UEL has given a voice to the years of searching that I had seemed to be going through. Frustrated with the endless stream of popular psychology books, the MAPP provided a structured approach with academic rigour.

As an antidote to the malaise affecting modern life, positive psychology is a science that studies human nature at its best. It does not deny our dark side or the negative afflictions we negotiate in life, but acknowledges and celebrates the good life too and the various approaches to achieving and sustaining optimal functioning, psychological wellbeing and just, perhaps, the route to happiness.

As a part-time programme, the MAPP has fitted in well with two boisterous children, two energetic dogs, my wife who is undertaking a BSc herself part time and that wonderful institution, work. Undoubtedly, the course requires extensive reading and ongoing written submissions. However, every journal or book opened is pregnant with keys to those locks of life. There is hope in the words of every page that might help you scratch a little deeper into you own psychology; a series of studies that guide you to a better understanding of who you are and the life that you want to lead. MAPP is not just a course in psychology; it is permission to enter a dance with yourself in the theatre of life. You can make it as energetic as you like, but remember to enjoy it!

Clive Nayler
Director, Lion Associates Ltd

  What has MAPP meant to me? After fifteen years of training and coaching business people across Europe in high performance, the MAPP course provided with me a scientific ‘comfort blanket’ if you like, a sense that my approach was now grounded in academic rigour — highly challenging, yet attractive and useful for me and my clients. From the start you’re aware that this is still a new science, which provokes you as a student to take a more innovative stance than you might do with other courses. You can’t follow what’s gone before in many cases, it doesn’t exist! It also opened my mind to new opportunities and diverse fields of application, such as education, which is still proving to be a rich learning experience. Yet it was much more than this. For at the heart of this course for me was the opportunity to spend my time debating with, learning from and studying alongside a group of wonderful, talented people from diverse backgrounds. They made this journey two of the most stimulating years of my life!

Lucy Ryan
Director, Mindspring Consultancy

  I come from a low socioeconomic background, where there often seems very little to be happy about (well, that’s what I used to think!) Every day there is so much to be grateful for, things we too often take for granted, like being given a seat on the crowded bus, or someone smiling at you. I am very blessed to be on such an amazing Masters programme. The programme is packed with amazing scientific research and world class visiting lecturers. The programme will enhance anyone’s wellbeing and provide you with the knowledge to help others on their way to a better existence. My future goal is to work bottom up in poor areas, helping people like myself escape from the benefit trap. There’s no magic wand, we each hold the key to our happiness, it’s just finding that key and using it!

Sue Brown
UEL graduate

Contact Details

For further information, please contact:

Psychology Field Administration Team
Tel: +44 (0)20 8223 4609

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