Applied Positive Psychology Research Diploma (Level 7)

Diplomas / Online Courses / Training Courses

Positive Psychology is one of the fastest growing and most exciting disciplines within Psychology today.

Its approaches have now been widely adopted by the NHS and favoured as an approach by the CQC and the Care Act (see here). The applications go beyond mental illness towards mental flourishing within business, life, education, health, and relationships.

Positive Psychology transcends the emphasis on mental illness and puts the focus on optimal wellbeing and flourishing. It is one of the most holistic scientific approaches to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Its research includes mastery of fear, courage, resilience, authenticity, hope, and much more.

New research continues to evolve in the inter-disciplinary fields of Positive Education, Positive Health, Positive Neuroscience, and Positive Sport. As an applied science, it has much value to offer to individuals, as well as to families, communities, schools, workplaces, and even national governance.

Take your Positive Psychology Practice to a new level with an advanced diploma in applied research!

As a graduate from our Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology Research,  you will understand how the practice of Positive Psychology can drive research forwards. If you are not already, you will become a Fellow Member of the Positive Psychology Guild and entitled to join the PPG Register of Practitioners, which sets professional standards for the practice of Positive Psychology today.

PPG has a strong relationship with Bucks New university which runs one of the Positive Psychology Courses at Masters degree level in the UK.

The Level 7 Diploma will prepare you to engage in a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) MSc degree course. Should you wish to progress to a MAPP following certification, PPG will provide an academic reference on your behalf. Acceptance will be subject to the usual University checks.

1. Professional Education

This diploma is designed to support the professional development of Positive Psychology Practitioners who wish to gain a meaningful and credible qualification in applied research. It is suited to adult learner needs such as flexibility, self-paced learning, and individual tutor support.

We encourage students to link their applied research studies to an area of their Positive Psychology Practice or an area that is of personal interest and motivation to them.

If you are not a qualified Positive Psychology Practitioner and do not intend to practice, it is possible to follow this diploma with a focus on research only.


Learning Delivery

Most of our students are adult learners with busy lives. They are looking for flexible, online, professional courses that will prepare them for practicing in an area of Positive Psychology.

The course content is delivered online in a user-friendly format and a supervisor is assigned at the start of the course. You will access this material through an approved online learning platform.

All of our supervisors are qualified researchers with relevant professional and academic experience. You will meet with your supervisor during your research project and be able to contact them by email throughout your course for learning support.


Entry Criteria

Please note that this is a level 7-ranked qualification.

This means you will be expected to produce written academic assignments, and conduct research on Positive Psychology at a Masters degree level.

You must have prior research experience of an academic or professional nature and a level 5+ qualification in Positive Psychology in Practice. This qualification should include literature reviews and reflective logs on Positive Psychology-specific topics and practitioner training skills. Exceptions are occasionally made for practitioners of related fields who integrate Positive Psychology into their practice (e.g. counseling).

You will need to possess the self-motivation required to study the unit content independently before moving into your research project phase. Your supervisor will support you during the project design, implementation, and evaluation phases. They will also be available to consult with for support on your studies.

If you would like to complete this diploma but do not have an academic background in Positive Psychology, you may be asked to complete part or all of our Level 5 Certificate in Positive Psychology Fundamentals or the equivalent. For more information on your eligibility, please contact us at:


Completion Time

Depending on the pace of studies you set yourself, and the design of your research project, you may complete your diploma within 6-12 months.

Should you need to pause your studies for personal or professional reasons, this is possible to do so. For example, you may be going through a busy period at work or your family may need to come first. Your revised timeline for studies may be discussed with your tutor.

The maximum period for completing your diploma is 2 years from the date of enrolment. Should you wish to complete after this period, a course extension fee may apply.


2. Course Outline

Our Professional UK Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology Research is designed for people who wish to research a topic within Positive Psychology and apply it to their area of practice. The course is suitable for Positive Psychology Practitioners who are new to research and those who wish to develop an evidence-based practice.

The diploma may also offer a stepping stone into further academic and research studies, for example to a MAPP degree or PhD.


Module 1 – Qualitative Research Methods

Module 1 covers qualitative research methods and skills.

You will be introduced to case study analysis, phenomenology, interpretative phenomenological analysis, grounded theory, narrative enquiry, and ethnography. Your assessment will include a research project proposal based on one (or more) of these research methods.


Module 1 Units

Unit 1: Case Studies

Unit 2: Phenomenology

Unit 3: Grounded Theory

Unit 4: Narrative Enquiry

Unit 5: Ethnography


This module takes on average 2-4 months to complete, depending on your pace. 

You will complete a critical review on the above research methods before designing a research project proposal based on one or more of the methods. You will be introduced to research ethics and the qualitative project design process at the start of your studies.


Module 2 – Quantitative Research Methods

Module 2 covers quantitative research methods and skills.

You will be introduced to survey research, correlational research, causal-comparative research, experimental research, SPSS, and data analysis. Your assessment will include a mixed method research project proposal based on one (or more) of these research methods.


Module 2 Units

Unit 1: SPSS & Data Analysis

Unit 2: Survey Research

Unit 3: Experimental Research

Unit 4: Correlational Research

Unit 5: Causal-Comparative Research


This module takes on average 1-3 months to complete, depending on your pace. 

You will complete a critical review on the above research methods before designing a mixed method research project proposal based on qualitative and quantitative research methods. The proposals for Modules 1 or 2 may be built on during Module 3.


Module 3 – Applied Research Project

Module 3 is where you create your own applied research project.

If you already possess the skills taught in Modules 1 and 2 through formal qualification (e.g. Psychology degree), you may apply to progress directly to this module.

A project supervisor, who is also a Positive Psychology Practitioner and Researcher, will be assigned to support you in the development, implementation, and evaluation of your project.


Module 3 Units

There are no units in Module 3 as this is a self-led project development phase of your learning with supervision  support. You may take as little or as much time as required for this within the time frame of 2 years from the date of your enrolment. The time period must reflect the nature of your research project design and include a 6-month leeway period to tend to any personal or professional needs or other research delays that arise.


This module may take anywhere from 3-12 months, depending on your pace.

The first phase of your learning will be to select your research project area of interest and an appropriate research question and method/s. Once the question is approved, you may proceed to the project design phase. After this is approved, you will proceed to participant recruitment and selection followed by the project implementation.

On conclusion of your research study, you will present your findings in a dissertation, journal paper format, and academic poster. You will emphasise the applied aspects of your research findings or results. You will also be invited to write a practice paper on your project for the PPN Journal, Perspectives in Practice.


3. Certification

This certificate is accredited by the Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) and CPD Group. PPG is a Not for Profit Organisation and a government registered learning provider with a UK Provider Reference Number: 10067939.

On successful completion of your diploma, you will receive a certificate stating that you hold a Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology Research. If you are a qualified Positive Psychology Practitioner, on graduation you may refer to yourself as a Positive Psychology Research Practitioner (PPGDip). You may also apply for Fellow Membership and to join the Guild’s Professional Positive Psychology Researcher Database.

If you are not a qualified Positive Psychology Practitioner and are conducting your applied research project in another field of practice (e.g. counseling), you may refer to yourself as a Positive Psychology Researcher (PPGDip) and apply for Affiliate Membership on graduation.

Please note that this course is academically rigorous and gives graduates a scientifically confident approach to this exciting discipline. It is also a professional course with practical applications for the real world.

For more details, please download our 2020/2021 Course Prospectus here.


Professional Membership

Successful candidates who meet the eligibility criteria for practice will be able to join the Positive Psychology Guild as a Fellow Member.

You may use the PPG Fellow Member Approval logo on your own materials and website. You will also be invited to join the PPG Register of Practitioners.

Professional and fellow members may apply to publish their research within the PPN  Journal, Perspectives in Practice, and practitioner insights on the PPN blog, Reflections on Practice.

Members may also apply to contribute to ongoing research projects, or initiate new projects, run by the Positive Psychology Centre.


4. Course Costs

The course fee is £1,650, payable in full with a £100 discount (£1,550) or through a Personal Payment Plan with a deposit of £650 and monthly installments starting at £100.

If you should need to precede this course with the completion of the Level 5 Certificate in Positive Psychology Fundamentals (usually £950), please note your total course fee will be £2,450 (£1,650 + £800) payable in full with a £100 discount (£2,350) or through a Personal Payment Plan with a deposit of £850 and monthly installments starting at £100.

Please note that the course must be paid in full prior to completion and certification.


Accelerated Route (Level 7+ Researchers)

Researchers who already hold a Masters degree in Positive Psychology (e.g. MAPP) and are qualified in research methods may apply for an accelerated route and complete only Module 3 as an independent research project.

The fee for this option is £650 payable in full during enrolment.

If you hold a Masters degree or PhD in Psychology, Philosophy, or Education, and a Level 5 qualification in Positive Psychology, you may also qualify for an accelerated route. You may be exempt from Module 1 and/or Module 2 if you are already certified in these research methods. If not, you will complete the full diploma.

The fee per module on an accelerated route is £650.


How to Study

This is a self-paced course. You may begin at any time of the year and take up to 2 years to complete your research project.

While we will provide the teaching content and research supervision support, you will manage the long-distance study elements of this course. These require you to follow interactive online course content and engage in scientific and philosophical reading material on a regular basis.

You will be expected to take leadership in directing your own research project and learning process. You will also adhere to PPG’s Professional Guidelines for Positive Psychology Practitioners and Academic Guidelines for Positive Psychology Research.


Next Steps

Enrolment for this course is open. The course launches in September 2021.

If you require further information, or to request a course application form, please contact:

If you would like to read more about Positive Psychology in Practice, please visit our blog links below:


About the Positive Psychology Guild

The Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) is a non-profit think tank, research institution, training provider, awarding body and membership organisation for Positive Psychologists and Practitioners Internationally.

PPG offers a bridge between coaches, mentors, trainers, consultants, entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers who integrate Positive Psychology into their services, and psychologists, counsellors, and psychotherapists engaged in positive therapy. It partners with Bucks New University Positive Psychology Department (MAPP), and collaborates on research, raising standards and building awareness of this emerging and powerful discipline.

PPG also runs online and live courses on Positive Organisational Psychology, Mental Health & Wellbeing, and Autism Awareness for Managers & Practitioners, as well as corporate and non-profit workshops and talks on Positive Psychology and wider Psychology topics.

For more information, please contact:

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