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.


Course Format

Most of our students are adult learners with busy lives.

They are looking for flexible, online, professional courses that will enrich their love of learning and prepare them for practicing in an area of Positive Psychology. Many are also looking to understand the scientific and philosophical aspects of Positive Psychology, and challenge themselves to think critically here. 

Our course content is delivered online in a user-friendly format and a tutor is assigned at the start of each course. You will access your course material through our online learning platform, the Positive Psychology Academy, where you may create a personal profile and connect virtually with other students on your course and other courses. Your tutor support will be via email and on request, video calls.

At the start of your course, you will attend an 8-week group learning cycle. During this time, you will attend weekly Zoom calls that introduce to you to different aspects of your course. These calls take place on Wednesdays. After completing your cycle, you will work your way through the course content and assignments at your own pace.

You will also attend open webinar lectures on topics such as hope, resilience, authenticity, courage, and confidence. These take place monthly on Thursdays and are open to all of our students.

For further details on the course content, please read on!

Entry Criteria

Please note that this is a level 5-ranked qualification.

This is equivalent to a foundation degree in the UK and means you will be expected to produce written academic assignments at an undergraduate level.

You must hold a level 4 qualification or above (or the equivalent, e.g. A-levels plus relevant work experience) and be willing to engage in level 5 studies that are delivered through a blend of online group learning (live) and self-paced studies. Tutor support is provided.

The academic content of this course is balanced with a rewarding personal development journey. The course may be challenging at times but we aim to make this a growth-based challenge that is worthwhile!

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 9-12 months.

If you need to pause your studies for personal or professional reasons, it 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 for a while. Should this happen, 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. If you wish to continue after this period, a formal request will need to be submitted and an extension fee may apply.


2. Course Outline

Our Professional UK Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Fundamentals is designed for people who wish to gain a scientific and philosophical understanding of Positive Psychology while furthering their understanding of themselves and the world around them.

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

You may also plan to study this course as a stepping stone to our Level 7 Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology Research, where you will acquire knowledge in research methods, design, delivery, and evaluation.


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 each of these areas. You will learn broader concepts in Psychology and Philosophy that are relevant to understanding the growth and development of Positive Psychology as a subject in itself and an inter-disciplinary field. You will also be encouraged to reflect on relevant links to culture and society, and how the field of Positive Psychology is evolving.

This learning will form the knowledge base and self-awareness required for your future training if you wish to continue with Positive Psychology Practitioner training at a later date. It will also introduce you to basic research skills which will be activated during the construction of your assignments.

This diploma challenges many of our students 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 read and discuss 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 in a professional setting, you may progress to practitioner training. This qualification will serve as your first step here.


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 diploma takes 9-12 months to complete, depending on your pace.

You will attend an online 8-week Group Learning Cycle with 8 weekly calls (1 hour each). During this time, you will be introduced to key teaching points on each of the 5 unit areas. You will also learn how to read and discuss scientific research articles related to this unit areas with our tutors and other students on the course. After this, you will engage in self-paced guided learning and study each of the 5 unit areas in more depth.

You will complete 5 assignments, including a literature review, reflective log, critical review, self-intervention, and oral presentation (recorded by video, audio, or PowerPoint with audio). The combination of these assignments will develop your knowledge base in Positive Psychology, cultivate your research and critical thinking skills, and support your personal development. At the end of the course, you will share your learning journey through an academic poster presentation with the assessment panel (via Zoom).


3. Certification

This certificate is accredited by the Positive Psychology Guild (PPG). 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 scientific understanding of this exciting discipline. It will prepare you for practitioner training and/or further academic studies.

This diploma also serves as Module 1 in our Level 5 Positive Psychology in Practice Diplomas:

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. 

For further information, please click on the above course links or 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. On completion of this course, 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 if you wish to gain an understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods, and conduct your own research study.

Please see our Course Prospectus here for further information.


4. Course Costs

The diploma course cost is £1650. This includes:

  • Access to your self-paced study material via the Positive Psychology Academy
  • 8 x group teaching calls and regular tutor email support for assignment feedback
  • Option to request tutor support via video calls to overcome any learning difficulties
  • Access to an online academy learning group and student peer exchange
  • Access to past and upcoming open webinar lectures (also recorded)
  • Assessments for all unit assignments
  • Certification on successful completion of the course within 1 year*

You will also receive certification on successful completion of the course within 2 years* and 1 year of complimentary PPG Affiliate Membership on graduation.

The fee may be paid in full during enrolment with a £100 discount (£1550) or through a Personal Payment Plan with a deposit of £650 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 10 x £100; Option 2: 5 x £200).

The course will provide you with written and oral teaching points, and links to open access journal articles and other online resources that are freely available. You will also be taught how to find these resources yourself.

We recognise that some students may wish to purchase textbooks on Positive Psychology to supplement their learning resources. If you wish to budget in advance for this, we recommend setting aside a further £50-£100.

*Please note the course fee must be fully paid prior to certification. Should you need to extend your study period beyond 1 year, course extension fees may apply. 


Common Questions

How many hours of studying a week should I expect?

We estimate 8-10 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 block out time on weekends or set several study intensives (e.g. 1 week during time off work).

Will this course prepare me for a MAPP degree?

This course is set at Level 5. A Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) 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 conduct Positive Psychology self-interventions, and write literature reviews, critical reviews, and reflective logs. You will be challenged to think critically with depth and breadth. These academic skills are useful on a MAPP degree. You will also learn about links between Positive Psychology, other schools of thought in Psychology, and Philosophy.

If you wish to study research methods with PPG and engage in an independent research project, you may apply for the Level 7 Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology after graduation. This certificate is launching in May 2022.

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

You may enrol in this course at various points throughout the year including:

  • Thursday 27th January 2022 
  • Thursday 26th May 2022
  • Thursday 29th September 2022

The course begins the following Tuesday (induction) and Wednesday (group learning cycle).

You will receive access to your course learning material on your enrolment date.

Application deadlines are 2 weeks prior to the enrolment date.

  • Course fee (or deposit) payments must be completed 1 week prior to enrolment. 
  • Spaces are limited so we recommend applying early to secure your place.
  • Enrolment dates may be subject to change.

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

You may also download an application form here: PPG Positive Psychology Application Form


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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