MSc Positive Psychology and Wellbeing
About this course
LJMU's Positive Psychology and Wellbeing MSc promotes the human virtues, strengths and skills at the heart of happiness, wellbeing and a meaningful, engaged life.
- Benefit from a theory-led and evidence-based approach to promoting wellbeing covering the breadth of Positive Psychology
- Learn from leading experts in the field
- Deeply engage with a positive psychology topic of your choice
- Enjoy a strong practice-based perspective
- Develop sustained mindfulness meditation practice
- Gain strengths-based workplace skills
Positive psychology is a rapidly evolving field, which enriches the psychological work in a broad range of applied areas.
Put yourself at the forefront of these exciting developments by studying a programme, which is one of only a few available worldwide. You will learn about happiness, wellbeing, flourishing and human traits, strengths and skills that contribute to a fulfilled and engaged life.
Topics will include happiness, character strengths, meditation, mindfulness, positive neuroscience and wellbeing across the lifespan and various social structures. You will get to know the main theories of positive human development and link these to a range of interventions. A unique feature of the programme is a focus on mindfulness meditation through the inclusion of a practice-based module.
You will be taught by internationally leading, research-active academics in positive psychology, wellbeing, meditation and mindfulness and related fields. Our teaching team has a wealth of experience in applying positive psychology principles with different target groups. Their research-led teaching will allow you to develop an evidence-based approach that translates underlying principles into different applied contexts.
Peter Malinowski, Programme Leader
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
This qualification advances your ability to apply positive psychology principles in an effective, knowledgeable and evidence-based way.
For psychology graduates it can be a route towards a career in applied psychological practice or a next step towards a career in clinical psychology or talking therapies. You may choose to continue in education or research, even taking your studies to doctoral level.
Professionals in fields such as health and wellbeing, coaching, health promotion, occupational psychology, education, counselling and psychotherapy or personnel development will be able to broaden their expertise and incorporate positive psychology approaches into their professional development.
The programme will also support you in developing your personal, sustained mindfulness meditation practice. This will be particularly useful for those who wish to embark on a mindfulness teacher training programme.
The student experience
Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.
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Discover the building blocks of your programme
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules and an empirical project as detailed below.
This module provides the opportunity to gain practical experience of empirical research. You will gain a deeper understanding of conceptual, methodological and logistical problems that may be encountered when conducting research.
Concepts in Positive Psychology
This module provides a historical overview of positive psychology, emphasising key philosophical, conceptual and theoretical positions. It establishes an appropriate framework for the in-depth engagement with positive psychology in other modules.
Research Skills for Positive Psychology
This module provides the research skills necessary to conduct and critically evaluate research in the field of positive psychology. It also develops knowledge of the variety and limitations of methodologies used in positive psychology, and the ethical issues related to research in positive psychology.
Analysis for Positive Psychology
This module enables you to develop knowledge and skills in qualitative and statistical analysis, interpretation and reporting - supporting empirical project work and critical evaluation of research in the field of positive psychology.
Meditation and Mindfulness
This practice focused, experiental module covers strengths-based meditation and mindfulness practice and provides an overview of different mindfulness-based approaches. Regular engagement with mindfulness meditation practice is encouraged.
Pathways to Wellbeing
This module provides an in-depth grounding in knowledge of the psychological, biological, social and spiritual mechanisms that underpin the promotion and preservation of psychological health, happiness and wellbeing.
Promoting and Preserving Wellbeing
Developing from the knowledge gained in the Pathways to Wellbeing module, this module explores and appraises a range of applied approaches and interventions that promote and support wellbeing through the life course.
An insight into teaching on your course
For full-time students, scheduled teaching and learning activities will usually take place on two days per week.
The programme is designed to develop your knowledge and practical skills for applying positive psychology principles in different settings. Teaching takes place in small groups and is supported by strong online support through LJMUs virtual learning environment.
Seminars and workshops provide you with opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors, while tutor support during the coursework preparation provide you with further formative feedback. You will also take part in practical sessions which encourage experiential learning and allow students to develop skills in applying positive psychology practice.
Students wanting to embark on a research career with a particular interest in positive human functioning or mindfulness will benefit from our research-led teaching that builds on the extensive research expertise of our staff.
Our personal tutor system will support you in identifying your particular strengths and areas for development and guide you towards the broad range of study skill support available at LJMU.
By engaging with our growing network of external partners, you will gain insights into different fields of applied positive psychology and learn how to translate your knowledge and skills into workplace settings. This will support you in building relationships with the professional world of positive psychology. Opportunities for applying your developing positive psychology skills will be provided throughout the programme.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.
Assessment methods on the programme include: essays, written exams, critiques, reports, reflective portfolios and practical presentations. The dissertation will be an original piece of research on a topic of your choice in discussion with your dissertation supervisor.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Peter Malinowski
Dr Peter Malinowski
Peter studied a PhD in Psychology at the University of Konstanz in Germany and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at the University of Liverpool.He joined LJMU in 2003 and is now a Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Meditation Research Lab at LJMUs Research Centre for Brain and Behaviour. He serves on the Board of Directors for the international association Consciousness Mindfulness Compassion and is an Associate Editor for the scientific journal Mindfulness.Peters research is primarily focused on investigating the psychological and neuroscientific processes involved in meditation practice and how they lead to mental and physical effects. The aim, he says, is to use this understanding to develop and fine-tune meditation and mindfulness programmes.
The most rewarding aspect of my work is the fact my research into meditation and my positive psychology teaching contribute to the development of greater inner freedom for our students.
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
The School is based in LJMUs City Campus at the Byrom Street site, which is located in the heart of Liverpool city Centre. We offer postgraduates excellent laboratory and research facilities, including appetite laboratories, psychology testing labs and neuroscience labs in our award-winning Tom Reilly Building.
You will need:
- a second class honours degree in Psychology, including an upper second class mark (2.1) in your undergraduate dissertation
- a 2:1 in related fields (e.g. Social Science, Counselling, Educational Studies, Business Studies, and Social Enterprise Studies) in combination with a 2:1 in your undergraduate dissertation (or similar work)
- equivalent professional qualifications and experience
- IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
Other international requirements
- International students applying to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU should check if they require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate
- International students entering on a Student visa cannot study part-time
- Extra Requirements
- RPL is accepted on this programme
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.
Applications are considered by the Programme Leader and at least one course tutor. They are assessed on: your application form, personal statement, transcripts and your personal reference.
You will need to:
- demonstrate sufficient knowledge to embark on the programme
- describe your motivation to study on this programme
- demonstrate the ability and commitment to work at postgraduate level
In addition, non-standard applicants will need to demonstrate their relevant professional experience through suitable evidence of accomplishment such as description of their professional experience, publications, written reports, CPD activities, etc.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.