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 Organisations) 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

Our students are adult learners who are often balancing life, home, work, and studies.

They are looking for a part-time online qualification that will enrich their love of learning and prepare them to practice Positive Psychology in an existing role or to set up a private practice. At Level 5, they also want a professional qualification that will help them to understand the scientific, philosophical, and social elements of Positive Psychology, and challenge themselves to think critically here in terms of research, theory, and application.

This is a one year qualification delivered by people who are passionate about furthering the field of Positive Psychology.

Our course content is delivered online in a user-friendly format with group tutoring support. 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. You will meet with your group tutor and peers on a regular basis and may email your tutor for additional support.

At the start of your course, you will attend an 8-week Group Learning Cycle (GLC). During this time, you will attend weekly Zoom calls that introduce to you to each of the five units on this course. After completing the GLC, you will transition into bi-weekly group tutor calls with your tutor and peers while you work your way through the rest of the course learning material. These calls will support your ongoing learning and assignment development process.

You will 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. You will also have access to past recordings.

The online Academy also offers social groups where you may connect with other students on topics such as Neurodiversity & Inclusion, Creativity & Innovation, and Violence & Post Traumatic Growth. These groups are linked to Positive Psychology concepts and encourage discussions on research, theory, and practice.

For further details on the course content, please read on or contact us at: training@ppnetwork.org

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 and oral academic assignments at an undergraduate level. It is a rigorous qualification that is delivered over the course of one year.

You must hold a Level 4 qualification or above (or the equivalent, e.g. A-levels which are ranked at Level 3 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. Additional tutor support is available on request.

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 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

This qualification is delivered over 12 months.

It is a fully-paced course meaning that you will need to keep up with the group calls and assignment deadlines throughout the year.

If you happen to fall behind for any reason (e.g. work or life gets in the way), it is possible to request a permission to join the next intake and resume your studies from there. There are typically three intakes per year in September, January, and May.

The maximum period for completing this diploma is 18 months from the date of your enrolment. If 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, philosophical, and social 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 want to understand what is happening in this field. Alternatively, you may wish to explore the subject first in depth before committing to Positive Psychology 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 conduct an independent research project and acquire knowledge and skills 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 study broader concepts in Psychology, Philosophy, and Sociology 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 encourage you to go beyond a surface-level understanding of Positive Psychology to reach a point where you can critically read, discuss, analyse, and synthesise the research and theory behind Positive Psychology. You will complete academic and personal development assignments, and will be encouraged by your group 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 Positive Psychology Practitioner training. This qualification will serve as your first step here.


You will study:

Unit 1: The Psychology of Strengths

This unit focuses on Positive Psychology’s contribution of 6 virtues and 24 character strengths to the broader Psychology landscape. You will complete a literature review assignment on a related topic of choice.

Unit 2: The Psychology of Authenticity

This unit introduces you to the concepts of authenticity, self, values, meaning, and purpose from psychological and philosophical perspectives. You will complete a reflective log assignment on a related topic of choice.

Unit 3: The Psychology of Resilience

This unit introduces you to psychological approaches to wellbeing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth. You will complete a critical review assignment on a related journal article of choice.

Unit 4: The Psychology of Positive Emotions

This unit introduces you to positive and negative emotions, feelings, and states. You will design, implement, and evaluate a positive emotions self-intervention assignment of choice over a 3 week period.

Unit 5: The Psychology of Motivation

This unit introduces you to motivation, behaviour, and change. You will deliver a 15-minute oral presentation (recorded) followed by a 30 minute panel presentation (live) on related topics of choice.


The diploma takes 12 months to complete.

You will attend an online 8-week Group Learning Cycle with 8 weekly calls (~90 mins 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 transition to bi-weekly group tutoring calls and engage in guided learning material on each of the 5 unit areas in more depth while you prepare your unit assignments.

You will complete 6 assignments in total, including a literature review, reflective log, critical review, self-intervention, 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) – this is your sixth and final assignment.

From month 4 of your course onwards, one assignment will be due every couple of months. During the last couple of months, the last 2 assignments will be due. You may request an extension of up to one month should you not be able to make the given assignment deadline. You will discuss and develop your assignment ideas during the group tutor calls. Your group tutor will also be available via email to offer feedback on your assignment drafts.


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 may use the letters PPGDip after your name.

Please note that this course is academically rigorous and gives graduates a scientific understanding of this exciting discipline. It will prepare you for Positive Psychology Practitioner training and/or further academic studies.

This diploma also serves as Module 1 in the below 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 (Coaching, Training, or Organisations). If you hold a recognised qualification in coaching, training, or facilitation, and have practical experience in these domains, you may be eligible to 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.

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.

For more information on membership services, please click here.



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 qualification fee is £1950. This includes:

  • Online access to the Positive Psychology Academy
  • Online access to self-paced interactive study material
  • 8-week Group Learning Cycle at the start of your course
  • Bi-weekly group tutor calls throughout the year (except holidays*)
  • Access to our online Academy learning groups and student peer exchange
  • Access to past and upcoming open webinar lectures (also recorded)
  • Tutor feedback on assignment drafts (on request, by email)
  • Assessments for all unit assignments
  • Certification on successful completion of the course within 1 year**

You will also receive 1 year of complimentary PPG Affiliate Membership on graduation.

The fee may be paid in full during enrolment with a £100 discount (£1850) or through a PPG Payment Plan with a deposit of £950 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 that our Winter holidays take place in December/January (2 weeks). Spring holidays take place in March/April (1 week) and Summer holidays take place in August (2 weeks). During this time there will be no group tutor calls.

**Please note the course fee must be fully paid prior to certification. Should you need to extend your study period beyond 18 months, course extension fees will apply. 


Common Questions

How many hours of studying a week should I expect?

We estimate 7-10 hours a week (this includes group tutor calls) 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, write literature reviews, critical reviews, and reflective logs, and prepare academic posters. 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, Philosophy, and Sociology.

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:

  • 26th May 2022
  • 29th September 2022
  • 26th January 2023

The course begins the following Tuesday (induction). Group Learning Cycle days are as follows for each of the 3 annual intakes: (1) May – Wednesdays at 1pm and 6pm; (2) September – Tuesdays at 1pm and 6pm; (3) January – Mondays at 1pm and 6pm.

All timings are based on UK time zone so if you are based elsewhere, please check the time difference before applying (Winter and Summer times). Dates and timings are subject to change so please check during your application the confirmed dates and times.

You will receive access to the online Academy on your enrolment date.

Application deadlines are 2 weeks prior to the enrolment date.

  • Course fee (or deposit) payments must be completed 2 weeks 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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