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MSc Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology (Distance learning)

Course overview

Start date

September 2019

Subject area






Distance Learning

Course summary

NEW CHANGES FOR SEPTEMBER 2019*: The Distance Learning course now has the option of a full-time mode of study lasting 12 months. Our part-time mode will now last 24 months. 

The University of East London was one of the very first in the world to launch MSc courses in Coaching Psychology and Applied Positive Psychology, both of which have been running with huge success for eight years on campus and by distance learning. Now we are breaking new ground by creating a unique synthesis of the two elements in what is the first MSc course of its kind in the world - the MSc Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology, which fully integrates positive psychology and coaching psychology to create an innovative training programme for those promoting wellbeing.

There is a growing recognition within the world’s coaching and positive psychology community that such integration is an important step forward, providing clients with a more open-minded approach to their mental health. From the point of view of positive psychology, the course will have a strong foundation in cutting-edge theory and research relating to wellbeing. The coaching element will feature advanced training in working with clients and groups in professional capacities.

Our aim is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be able to help people and organisations to flourish. It combines the study of cutting-edge empirical research and theory on wellbeing with the practical skills and competencies you need to apply this expertise in the real world. The result is a course designed to empower students to truly make a positive difference in the world.

*pending revalidation confirmation

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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University in the world to run this course

We are the first university in the world to offer this explicitly integrated course, which is aimed at those wishing to promote wellbeing in organisations, education establishments and businesses worldwide.

Built for demand

This broad and flexible course has been put together in response to a growing demand within the coaching and positive psychology community. There is a rapidly expanding market for the range of skills you will learn.

Tailor your course to what you want to do

You course is offered by distance learning which means can study when and where it suits you, as long as your submit your work by the advertised submission dates. 

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What we're researching

Psychology at UEL was ranked equal first in the country in terms of the impact of its research, beating Oxford and Cambridge.

The Research Excellence Framework is a six-yearly national review by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

In 2014 it rated 43 per cent of our research as ‘internationally excellent’ and a further 25 per cent as ‘world-leading’ – the highest accolade. It added that UEL’s School of Psychology was one of only four in the country whose research had a ‘100 per cent impact’ at the highest level.

The combined figure of 68 per cent from the top two tiers dwarfs the previous figure of 20 per cent from the previous national review in 2008.

Research subjects in recent years have included electronic cigarettes, infant development and neuropsychology.

We have produced world-renowned research in the fields of listening to children and pupil involvement, behaviour management, school leadership, systems analysis, management, educational psychology training, conciliation and mediation in special needs and teacher stress.

Professor Rachel Tribe was awarded the British Psychological Society’s Ethics Committee’s 2013 award for promoting Equality of Opportunity.

Her clinical interests focus on all aspects of trauma, culture and mental health, professional and ethical practice, working with interpreters in mental health, migration and mental health and organisational development.

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

Fees and funding

£10,280 to fund your Masters Programme under the Postgraduate Loans (PGL) scheme

Postgraduate Loans (PGL)

The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) provide non means-tested loans of up to £10,906 to taught and research masters students.  It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

Applications are made directly through Student Finance England


Whether you qualify depends on:
•    if you’ve studied on a postgraduate course before
•    your course
•    your age
•    your nationality or residency status

Full eligibility can be found here 

Please take a look at the Postgraduate Loans for an overview of the new funding.

Below are some ideas on how to fund your postgraduate study:
  •     Apply for a Postgraduate Loan 
  •     Take advantage of UEL scholarships and bursaries
  •     Ask your employer to sponsor your study
  •     Study part-time so you can work at the same time
  •     Look at Research Council Awards

How we can help you

Did you know that with a postgraduate qualification you can expect to earn more than someone who only holds an undergraduate degree?

If you want to build new skills, change career paths, or further your career prospects, a postgraduate degree can help you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries will make financing your education that much easier. Below is some of the funding available to support you in your studies:

Terms and conditions apply.

There are a number of ways you can pay your fees to UEL
•    Online payment facilities
•    By telephone
•    In person at our Docklands or Stratford campus
•    Bank transfer
Full information on making payments can be found here
If you wish to discuss payments to the University, please contact our Income Team on 020 8223 2974 or you can email

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.


Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees

Per 30 credit module

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.
Deposits and paying by instalments

International students are required to pay a deposit prior to being issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Your remaining balance will be paid in five monthly instalments over your first term. The first of these instalments must be paid when completing your enrolment on arrival at UEL. Please follow the payment instructions here.

After the required payment has been made, you will be asked to complete the online International Student Reply Form to confirm your acceptance of our offer and of our terms of admittance and fees policy.

Our International team at UEL are available for advice and guidance on studying in London, fees, scholarships and visa requirements.


Tuition fees

Per 30 credit module

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.1 honours degree, preferably in Social Sciences.
We would normally expect you to have Grade 4 / C in GCSE English and Maths. All suitable applicants are required to attend an interview.


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

If you don’t quite meet the academic requirements for this course, you can apply with an additional foundation year. Read more about the International Foundation Programme.

We will also consider a minimum 2:2 Honours degree with relevant work experience.
Overall IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course. Find out more here.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre.

What you'll study

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

All modules are core and must be completed during the course.

  • Perspectives on Wellbeing
  • Multidimensional Flourishing
  • The Search for Something Higher
  • The Practice of Evidence-based Coaching
  • Coaching in Professional Contexts 1
  • Developing a Professional Coaching Practice
  • Research Methods and Dissertation 1
  • Research Methods and Dissertation 2

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, designed to capture the multidimensional skills and understanding that you will develop on the course. These include a personal portfolio, which will reflect on positive psychology interventions that you will try out on yourself, a consultancy project for an external organisation, essays, a research proposal and a journal article. You'll also be asked to carry out a certain number of coaching sessions and submit a video and a transcription and write a critical coaching log and personal professional development plans.

Course specification INFORMATION PACK

How you'll learn

This course is delivered by distance learning so will not require any on campus attendance.  

The course is run by our School of Psychology, a large and exciting community with a global reputation for the high quality of its teaching and research.

This innovative course is based on cutting-edge research already being produced by members of the academic team who are shaping their respective fields in collaboration with colleagues around the world.

Your capacity as a coach will be developed by our guidance on how to build a coaching partnership through the use of reflective questions leading to enhanced self-awareness. You will also develop a helpful blend of techniques to challenge and support clients.

During your induction, the ethos and rationale of an integration of coaching and positive psychology will be fully explained.

You will then be encouraged to start thinking about an integrative topic for your research module.

In each of the core modules, the benefits of integration will be explicitly highlighted, and our academic team will incorporate examples and case studies from both fields.

What you'll learn

Positive psychology (PP) has been defined as “the science and practice of improving wellbeing”. The field encompasses many different topics, including happiness, positive emotions, resilience, hope, strengths, flourishing and psychological development.

Coaching, rather than drawing on the medical model of counselling and working with clients in need of help, develops self-confidence and focuses on the future.

Coaches encourage clients to work towards specific goals.

The course features six substantive modules – three in positive psychology, and three in coaching – plus two further research methods modules.

Key areas of study include the psychological principles involved in goal-setting, motivation and cognition.

You will draw from a wide range of traditions including counselling, career guidance, adult learning, occupational and positive psychology.

Your core modules will review key theory in positive psychology and coaching psychology. 

You will also examine the scope and remit of these two fields of operation, and how they can overlap.

The course can be completed full-time or part-time on campus, or by distance learning (part-time only).

Your future career

When you graduate from this course you will operate as a more flexible consultant or practitioner in a rapidly developing and increasingly sought-after field.

You will be well versed in relevant scientific literature, with the confidence to apply it in your professional practice.

This may involve working with individuals on a one-to-one basis through executive coaching, or working at organisational level using positive organisational scholarship. 

There is a significant demand for the skills that this integrated course develops.

The field of coaching, for instance, is growing dramatically judging by the amount of research output and the degree of recognition it is now receiving from employers as well as educational and governmental institutions. 

Recent evidence showed that 80 per cent of UK organisations now use coaching in some form.

Members of our academic team have consulted informally with industry specialists, appropriate professional associations and academics in other institutions, and there has been consistently positive feedback for this innovative course. 

There are relatively few postgraduate courses specialising in either positive psychology or coaching psychology, and none which integrates the two in the way UEL has done.

So, we expect graduates of this to be in a prime position to further their professional careers in a wide range of settings.

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Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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