Positive Psychology Fundamentals Diploma (Level 5)

Certificates / Diplomas / Positive Psychology / 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.

Study the science of Positive Psychology for personal, academic, and professional development…

As a graduate from our Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals, you will understand the research and evidence base for Positive Psychology in five key areas: Character Strengths and Virtues, Authenticity, Resilience, Positive Emotions, and Motivation. You will have engaged in academic and personal development and be ready to progress to one our Level 5 Positive Psychology in Practice Diplomas (coaching, training, or facilitation) and/or our Level 7 Applied Positive Psychology Research Diploma.

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

The Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals will provide you with a scientific understanding of some of the main subjects in Positive Psychology today. It is a professional course with academic content and space for personal development and growth. You will learn the psychology of strengths, authenticity, resilience, positive emotions, and motivation. The psychology of wellbeing runs throughout the course.


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 personal tutor is assigned at the start of the course. You will access this material through our online learning platform, the Positive Psychology Academy, where you may create a personal profile and connect virtually with other students on our various courses.

All of our tutors are qualified Positive Psychology Practitioners with relevant professional and academic experience. You will meet with your tutor on a regular basis via online video calls and be able to contact them by email throughout your course.


Entry Criteria

Please note that this is a level 5-ranked qualification. This means you will be expected to produce written academic assignments at an undergraduate level.

Your tutor will support you as much as possible in meeting this criteria during the course through one-to-one and group video calls. With this support, we are confident that most students who do not have a prior academic background in psychology will succeed, if they are willing to persevere.

The academic content of this course is balanced with a rewarding personal development journey.

We welcome both mature students and people with different learning needs. Our tutors are trained to lend additional support in this regard. If you do not have an academic background or you require special learning assistance, please contact us for further information at: training@ppnetwork.org


Completion Time

Depending on the pace of studies you set yourself, you may complete your diploma within 6-9 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 1 year from the date of enrolment. Should you wish to continue after this period, a formal request will need to be submitted and an extension fee will apply.



2. Course Outline

Our Professional UK Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals is designed for people who wish to gain a scientific understanding of Positive Psychology and engage in a personal development journey.

You may not be thinking of practicing Positive Psychology just yet but wish to understand what is happening in this field. Or you may wish to explore the subject before committing to practitioner training or plan to progress directly to further academic studies (e.g. a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology, or MAPP).

You may also wish to study this course as a stepping stone to the Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology Research.


Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals

This diploma will ground you in the Psychology of Strengths, Authenticity, Resilience, Positive Emotions, and Motivation.

You will be introduced to research, theory, and practice in these areas. This will form the knowledge base and self-awareness required for your future training. Your personal tutor, a Positive Psychology Practitioner with a Masters degree in Psychology or Philosophy, will guide you through this process.

This diploma challenges many of our students, academically and/or personally in a positive way.

We will challenge you to go beyond a surface-level understanding of Positive Psychology to reach a point where you can critically evaluate the research and theory behind Positive Psychology. You will complete academic and personal development assignments, and will be encouraged by your tutor to select unit assignment topics that motivate and inspire you. If you wish to apply your knowledge, you may progress to practitioner training.


You will study:

Unit 1: The Psychology of Strengths

Unit 2: The Psychology of Authenticity

Unit 3: The Psychology of Resilience

Unit 4: The Psychology of Positive Emotions

Unit 5: The Psychology of Motivation


The certificate takes approximately 6-9 months to complete, depending on your pace.

You will complete 10 assignments, including 4 literature reviews, an academic poster based on a literature review and self-intervention, and 5 personal reflective logs. This phase of your learning will develop your knowledge base in and beyond Positive Psychology, your research and critical thinking skills, and support your personal development.


Learning Delivery & Tutor Support

At the start of each unit, you will receive access to the online course material available at the Positive Psychology Academy and work through this at your own pace. When you are ready, you will meet online with your tutor to discuss your learning process and assignment preparation. You will engage in regular tutor video calls via Zoom (up to 8 calls in total) and may contact your tutor freely by email with related questions.


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 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals and be eligible for Affiliate Membership.

Please note that this course is academically rigorous and gives graduates a scientifically understanding of this exciting discipline. It will prepare you to continue studying to become a practitioner and for further academic work.

This diploma also serves as Module 1 in our Level 5 Positive Psychology in Practice Diplomas (coaching, training, facilitation pathways). If you wish to practice Positive Psychology as a coach, trainer, or facilitator, and become a Professional Member who is registered to practice, you will need to continue with Modules 2 and 3 of your chosen pathway. If you hold a recognised qualification in coaching, training, or facilitation, you may apply for an accelerated route. Please

For further information, please download our 2020/2021 Course Prospectus here.


Affiliate Membership

Graduates of the Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals will be able to join the Positive Psychology Guild as an Affiliate Member.

You may use the PPG Affiliate Member Approval logo on your own materials and website. If you meet the criteria for professional practice (e.g. you also hold a recognised qualification in coaching, training, or facilitation in level 3+), you may apply for Associate or Professional Membership and be invited to join the annual review process for the PPG Register of Practitioners.

Associate and Professional 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 Autism Centre or Positive Psychology Centre.



If you wish to progress to one of the Level 5 Diplomas in Positive Psychology Practice, this course will count as Module 1. You may progress directly to Modules 2 and 3 of your chosen practitioner pathway diploma (coaching, training, or facilitation).

You may also progress to our Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology Research. Please see our Course Prospectus here for further information.



4. Course Costs

The diploma course cost is £1250. This includes online access to your study material, 8 tutor calls, tutor email support, and certification on successful completion of the course within 2 years.

The fee may be paid in full during enrolment or through a Personal Payment Plan with a deposit of £450 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 8 x £100; Option 2: 4 x £200). Please note the course costs must be completed prior to certification.

Should you need to extend your studies beyond 1 year, please note an extension fee of £100 per month applies. This fee is to cover additional administration and tutor support not accounted for in the course fee.


How to Study

This is a self-paced course. It is taught through online lectures, online study content, and online tutor support.

You will set your own study and assignment pace with your tutor’s support. You may complete the course in as little as 6 months or as long as 12 months. A comfortable pace to aim for is a target of 9 months.

This style of learning is designed to help you balance your studies with work, family, and other responsibilities and interests. It offers ample time for you to discover and explore the areas of Positive Psychology that most interest and motivate you.

Self-paced studies can be a joy and a challenge at the same time. You may worry about your motivation levels, and not being told when your assignments are due. As you engage in the course content and with your tutor, you will learn how to be self-directed in your learning process and be accountable to yourself on any target dates you set for completing your studies and assignments. We also have a student support and wellbeing focal point.

To help you overcome any challenges associated with self-pacing and self-directed learning, you will create a study plan and assignment timeline at the start of your course during unit 1. This document will provide a roadmap for your course completion and both yourself and your tutor will refer to it to keep you on track. As you are in charge of your timeline, you’re welcome to amend your assignment target dates and course timeline as needed.

As this course is self-paced, you may enrol any time of the year and begin your studies during the next orientation. Orientations for new students typically take place every couple of months.


Common Questions

How many hours of studying a week should I expect?

We estimate 5-7 hours a week with additional hours during assignment phases. Having said that, there are many ways to study. Some of our students prefer little and often (e.g. 1 hour a day) while others prefer to set study intensives (e.g. 1 week during time off work).

As the course is self-paced, you have flexibility to decide on your study rhythm. Based on observations, we would say that no matter where your starting point is (new to Psychology or well-versed), engaging in the course and tackling any challenges early on with your tutor within the 1-3 months will build the confidence you need to engage in self-paced studies.

Will this course prepare me for a MAPP degree?

This course is set at Level 5. A MAPP degree is equivalent to Level 7.

The course will prepare you to progress onto a MAPP degree. For example, you will read research articles on Positive Psychology and learn how to write literature reviews and reflective logs. These academic skills are typically required or useful on a MAPP degree. You will also learn about links between Positive Psychology, other schools of thought in Psychology, and Philosophy.

You will not study formal research methods on this course or engage in an academic research project, which is typically part of a MAPP degree. If you wish to study research methods with PPG and engage in an independent research project, you may apply for the Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology after graduation.

If you wish to apply for a MAPP degree after your course, you may request an academic reference and set of transcripts from PPG to support your application. Please keep in mind that universities have a separate and independent admissions process.


Next Steps

If you require further information, or to request a course application form, please contact: training@ppnetwork.org

If you would like to read more on this course and Positive Psychology in Practice, please visit the below blog links:


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. The Positive Psychology Network (PPN) is the social wing of PPG.

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 First Aid & 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: info@ppnetwork.org

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