Positive Psychology & Somatic Practitioner Diploma (Exercise)

Diplomas / Online Courses / Training Courses / Wellbeing

There is now an exciting opportunity to become a Positive Psychology & Somatic Practitioner of Physical Exercise with the Positive Psychology Guild.

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.

Integrate Positive Psychology into Fitness Coaching or Personal Training… and vice versa!

As a graduate from our Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology & Somatic Practice (Exercise),  you will be qualified and insured to deliver Positive Psychology as an exercise training intervention. You will become a Professional Member of the Positive Psychology Guild and entitled to join the PPG Register of Professionals, which sets professional standards for the practice of Positive Psychology today.

PPG partners with universities that teach Positive Psychology at Masters degree level, including Bucks New University in the UK. The Level 5 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 specialist diploma translates the scientific and academic study of Positive Psychology and Somatic Practices to Professional Positive Psychology in Practice. The specialist areas include movement (e.g. dance, yoga, martial arts, and bodywork), exercise (e.g. physical activity, general fitness, athletic training, or strength and conditioning), and sport (e.g. running, swimming, football, and other competitive sports).

Each diploma encourages the student to explore the relationship between psychology and their chosen somatic practice. This diploma page is about the second specialisation area in exercise. 

The course is delivered in partnership with Inner Athletics, a professional coaching, training, and research lab for performance, stress and recovery in life, work, and sport.

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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 an approved online learning platform.

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 or audio calls and be able to contact them by email throughout your course.

You will also be expected to engage in (or observe) your chosen form of physical exercise throughout your studies.

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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. With this one-to-one 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 the application of Positive Psychology in professional practice and a rewarding personal development journey in your chosen approach to physical exercise.

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

You will also be required to have a strong personal or professional background in your chosen approach to physical exercise to be eligible for this course.

We accept applications from professional teachers, coaches, and instructors of exercise, provided they have completed our Level 5 Certificate in Positive Psychology Fundamentals or the equivalent. For more information on your eligibility, please contact us at: training@ppnetwork.org

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Completion Time

Depending on the pace of studies you set yourself, you may complete your diploma within 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 3 years from the date of enrollment. Should you wish to complete after this period, an updated application form will need to be submitted.

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2. Course Outline

Our Professional UK Level 5 Diplomas in Positive Psychology & Somatic Practice are designed for people who wish to practice Positive Psychology in the fields of Movement, Exercise, and Sport. We call these the “3 Specialisation Areas”.

Whichever pathway(s) you choose, your journey will begin with Modules 1 and 2 on the scientific study and personal exploration of emotions and cognition. Module 3 will focus on your specialist area.

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Module 1 – The Psychology of Emotions

Module 1 takes you on a deep journey through the embodied experience of positive and negative emotions.

You will explore what these emotions are and what they feel like at a physical or somatic level. You will learn how emotions cluster together to create positive and negative charge, such as guilt, shame, envy, and greed. You will also study how emotions contribute to positive and negative virtues such as courage, wisdom, malice, and prejudice.

Acquiring emotional intelligence is a key part of this module.

The module also introduces a Positive Psychology Intervention on accepting, moving through, and learning from negative emotional states, and translating them into more positive experiences. Your assessments will include a reflective log, extended literature review, and academic presentation. You will also complete a personal or professional project related to the integration of the Psychology of Emotions into your practice.

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Module 1 Units

Unit 1: Understanding Emotions

Unit 2: Emotional States & Charge

Unit 3: Somatisation of Emotions

Unit 4: Emotions & Virtues

Unit 5: Project Preparation

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This module takes approximately 3-6 months to complete, depending on your pace.

You will complete 5 reflective logs (academic diaries), 4 literature reviews, and 1 academic poster presentation based on a personal or professional applied project. This phase of your learning will develop your knowledge base in and beyond Positive Psychology, strengthen your research and critical thinking skills, and support your personal development as a future Positive Psychology & Somatic Practitioner of Physical Exercise.

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Module 2 – The Psychology of Cognition

Module 2 focuses on the role of cognition in goal setting and achievement, stress management, and positive behavioural change.

You will study the topics of skills acquisition, performance strategies such as imagery and visualisation, the impact of negative stress and ageing on cognitive functioning, cognitive dissonance, biases, and heuristics. You will explore the links between cognition and areas of Positive Psychology, such as authenticity, resilience, motivation, and perspective.

Acquiring cognitive intelligence is a key part of this module.

The module also introduces a Positive Psychology Intervention on Positive Behavioural Change and encourages critical thinking around cognitive performance and emotional wellbeing. Your assessments will include a reflective log, extended literature review, and academic presentation. You will also complete a personal or professional project related to the integration of the Psychology of Cognition into your current practice.

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Module 2 Units

Unit 1: Understanding Cognition

Unit 2: Stress & Cognitive Functioning

Unit 3: Cognitive Dissonance & Biases

Unit 4: Positive Behavioural Change

Unit 5: Project Preparation

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This module takes approximately 3-6 months to complete, depending on your pace.

You will complete 5 reflective logs (academic diaries), 4 literature reviews, and 1 academic poster presentation based on a personal or professional applied project. This phase of your learning will develop your knowledge base in and beyond Positive Psychology, strengthen your research and critical thinking skills, and support your personal development as a future Positive Psychology & Somatic Practitioner of Physical Exercise.

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Module 3 – The Psychology of Exercise

The Psychology of Exercise introduces you to the science of physical activity and exercise practices for emotional wellbeing and cognitive performance.

You will study the psychology and philosophy of Aerobic Exercise, Strength and Conditioning, Endurance Training, Balance and Flexibility, and Recovery Methods. You will critically evaluate the potential benefits of each of these in creating positive states of wellbeing and performance, and link what you learn to your own exercise practice.

The module is assessed through an extended personal or professional project on the design, implementation, and evaluation of a Positive Psychology & Exercise Program for a voluntary group or individual.

You will submit a written case study with a reflective log and supporting audio-visual material with participant consent. You will also translate your experience and findings into a journal entry or seminar presentation. Your tutor will provide support throughout these assignments.

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Module 3 Units

Unit 1: The Psychology of Aerobic Exercise

Unit 2: The Psychology of Strength & Conditioning

Unit 3: The Psychology of Endurance Training

Unit 4: The Psychology of Rest & Recovery

Unit 5: Extended Project Preparation

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This module takes approximately 3-6 months to complete, depending on your pace.

You will complete 4 academic assignments, including 4 literature reviews, an academic poster based on a literature review, and 4 reflective logs (academic diaries). This phase of your learning will develop your knowledge base in and beyond Positive Psychology, strengthen your research and critical thinking skills, and support your personal development as a future Positive Psychology & Somatic Practitioner of Physical Exercise.

You will also complete a personal or professional project. Your project will involve a case study involving 12 hours of practice where you apply your knowledge.

At the end of this project, you will submit a case study report that includes the project development, management, execution, and lessons learned. This phase of your learning is where you begin to apply your knowledge and skills in a professional context. It is designed to help you build the confidence needed to navigate a variety of client or student cases and needs.

You will also be invited to submit a practice paper to the PPN Professional Journal, Perspectives in Practice.

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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 Psychology & Somatic Practice (Sport). You may refer to yourself as a Positive Psychology & Somatic Practitioner of Sport (PPGDip). If you haven’t already done so and are eligible, you may also apply for Professional Membership and to join the Guild’s Register of Positive Psychology Practitioner Professionals.

Please note that this course is academically rigorous and gives graduates a scientifically understanding of this exciting discipline. It is also a professional course with practical applications for the real world. It will prepare you for both practice and further academic work.

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

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Professional Membership

Successful candidates will be able to join the Positive Psychology Guild as a Professional Member. If you hold a Level 7 qualification in another Psychology discipline, you may apply for Fellow Member status.

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

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.

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Ongoing CPD

As a condition of membership, Professional and Fellow Members will be committed to our minimum CPD requirements to demonstrate and maintain Positive Practice Standards. These CPD courses may be taken with PPG or other educational service providers that meet the CPD criteria.

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4. Course Costs

The course fee is £1650, payable in full or with a deposit of £650 and monthly installments starting at £100.

Should you 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 £2450 (£1650 + £800) payable in full or 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.

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How to Study

There are 2 ways to study for this course.

Both options are designed to meet the needs for flexibility, structure, and freedom of adult learners.

While we will provide the teaching content and full tutor 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 non-scientific reading material on a regular basis.

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(1) Self-Paced Option

This option allows you to start the course at any time of the year.

You will set your own study and assignment pace with your tutor’s support. You may complete the course in as little as 12 months or as long as 3 years. A comfortable pace to aim for is a target of 18 months.

This option is ideal if your learning style requires the freedom to explore and breathing space to flourish.

Please note this option will launch on Monday 15th March 2021 for enrollment. Your course may begin on (or any time after) Tuesday 1st June 2021.

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(2) Fixed-Pace Option

This option sets the course pace for you over a period of 18 months.

It includes short breaks between each batch of unit assignments, coursework, and field work, as well as an extended break in August and September.

This option is ideal if your learning style requires time-bound goals, group connections, and external accountability to flourish.

The next starting date for this option is Friday 1st October 2021. Enrollment opens on Thursday 1st July 2021 and closes on Tuesday 7th September 2021.

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Next Steps

Please note that enrollment for this course opens in March 2021. The course will launch in June 2021.

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

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

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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: info@ppnetwork.org