Lotus - Positive Psychology and Wellbeing

Positive Psychology and Wellbeing

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £6,500
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £36
International full time annual tuition fee: £14,450

Course type



Natural Sciences and Psychology

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

Learn how to promote and preserve human virtues, strengths and skills that are at the heart of happiness, wellbeing and a meaningful and socially engaged life.

  • Theory-led and evidence-based approach to promoting wellbeing covering the breadth of Positive Psychology
  • Taught by leading experts in the field
  • Provides opportunities to deeply engage with a positive psychology topic of your choice
  • Offers a strong practice-based perspective
  • Encourages the development of sustained mindfulness meditation practice
  • Supports you in gaining strengths-based workplace skills

The focus on mindfulness-based strengths practice makes this course a unique postgraduate offer

​Peter Malinowski, Programme Leader

This masters is at the forefront of the most recent developments in psychology. True to the spirit of positive psychology, it puts character strengths at the heart of teaching and learning

​Peter Malinowski, Programme Leader

Introduction to the School

​The School is based in LJMU’s 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.

Research excellence

96% of research from LJMU submitted to the REF 2014 for the Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience category is considered world-leading or internationally important. This research helps ensure that all of our degrees deliver a curriculum that reflects the latest developments in the field. 

Staff in the school produce quality research in a range of areas in psychology and applied psychology, including positive psychology and wellbeing, health psychology, eating behaviour, human factors, cognition, neuroscience, public health psychology, personality and social psychology and substance abuse.

Excellent facilities

During your studies, you will have access to a range of specialised software and facilities.

Software includes tools for quantitative and qualitative data analysis, reference manager, experimental software for the delivery of psychological experiments in the lab or online, and tools for developing and running online surveys and questionnaires.

Specialist facilities for experimental work include 10 psychology testing booths, three psychophysiology laboratories, driving simulator and an appetite research laboratory.

You will furthermore be able to use a broad range of psychometric tools (such as questionnaires or psychological tests). In your empirical project you can take an applied approach that embeds your research in applied settings of your choice.

Why study this course at LJMU?

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. Guest speakers from external agencies will support the bridge between academia and real world applications.

Small group teaching will mean you can expect a high level of academic and pastoral support within a friendly and informal atmosphere.

Programme outline and structure

For full-time students scheduled teaching and learning activities will usually take place on two days per week. For part-time students scheduled teaching and learning activities will usually be limited to one day 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 LJMU’s virtual learning environment Canvas. 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. Opportunities for applying your developing positive psychology skills will be provided throughout the programme.

What you will study on this degree

  • Concepts in Positive Psychology
    Provides a historical overview of positive psychology, emphasising key philosophical, conceptual and theoretical positions. Establishes an appropriate framework for the in-depth engagement with positive psychology in other modules.
  • Pathways to Wellbeing
    Provides 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.
  • 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.

  • Research Skills for Positive Psychology
    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
    Develops 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.
  • Empirical Project
    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.

Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

How will I be assessed?

​Assessment methods 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.

Staff research interests

The academic team teaching on the programme are members of the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology and are part of the Health Psychology, Forensic Psychology and Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience Research Groups. 

The course Programme Leader, Peter Malinowski, is Director of the Centre’s Meditation Research Lab. Peter is a Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience and his research is focused on investigating the psychological and neuroscientific processes of meditation and how they lead to positive mental and physical effects.​


Entry requirements (Home)

You will need:

  • a second class honours degree in Psychology, including an upper second class mark (2.1) in your undergraduate dissertation


  • an upper second class degree in related fields (e.g. Social Science, Counselling, Educational Studies, Business Studies, and Social Enterprise Studies) in combination with an upper second class mark (2.1) in your undergraduate dissertation (or similar work) will be required


  • equivalent professional qualifications and experience

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.​

Entry requirements (International)

 ​LJMU welcomes applications from international students. You will need a good degree in Psychology or a related field.

In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example you will be required to have an IELTS score of 6.5 (with 5.5 in each component) or equivalent.

Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU's International Admissions Team.​

Application and selection

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.

Will I be interviewed?



6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

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.

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.

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.

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

LJMU offers scholarships for international students. The provision and range of these scholarships can change from year to year so it is important that you always check the website for the most up-to-date information. The University also accepts a range of external funding, should you be awarded a scholarship or sponsorship from elsewhere.

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international  students. For more details on the International Study Centre, go to www.ljmuisc.com/

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU, although specific course requirements may differ depending on the programme you want to study.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country, please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Please contact the International Study Centre and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fee deposits

International students are liable to pay a minimum deposit of 50% of their tuition fees before their CAS can be issued. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of the given enrolment date.

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that students studying outside London must have £1,015 per month for a maximum of nine months to cover their living costs.

We estimate that a single student living in LJMU-approved accommodation is likely to need an average of £5,000 to cover just their rent for a full academic year.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. It is important to note that, if required, an ATAS certificate must be obtained before your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies can be released to you.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

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.

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