One of the reasons positive psychology is an appealing field is the variety of settings in which it can be applied, from schools to workplaces and at home.

This adaptability means positive psychology can also be applied in a variety of places around the world, which has lead to various courses that provide positive psychology enthusiasts with ample opportunities to learn about this fast-growing branch of psychology in a variety of places worldwide. 

This list of institutions offers a comprehensive but not exhaustive resource for anyone interested in formally studying positive psychology. Surprisingly, there are no BSc courses and regrettably, none of the existing courses are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). However, training programmes leading to post-graduate certificate in psychological well-being offered by many universities lead to accreditation status by BPS. The situation of positive psychology courses, regarding accreditation, type and availability are almost the same in the USA and Europe.

Bucks New University (UK)

buck university mapp program positive psychology program

Bucks New University in Buckinghamshire (England) offers a two-year, part-time MAPP course with a somewhat unique curriculum. They also offer stand-alone short courses on positive psychology that lead to a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) which comprises of all MAPP modules except the dissertation.

The MAPP program starts every September and takes two years to complete. Students can either undertake the writing of their dissertation in their second year or in a separate third year. Anyone interested in the program can preview it with a two-day introductory course.

Since Bucks University offers the opportunity to write the dissertation as part of year two learning or during its own year, this makes it the most flexible option time-wise. For anyone who needs an extra year to complete a program or thinks they might, this is the best option.

Bucks has a fairly rigid course schedule which is as follows:

  • Introduction to Positive Psychology: Happiness, Well-being and Flourishing
  • Strengths-based Development and Engagement
  • Positive Subjective Emotion and Experience
  • The Psychology of Hope and Resilience

  • The Journey of Change
  • Positive Psychology in Practice
  • Applied Research Skills
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Postgraduate Dissertation (Either during Year Two or during Year Three)

Entry Requirement: 2:1 in a social science degree or relevant work experience. Where: Bucks University. Dates: September. Duration:2 years. Price: £8,750 1 year.

Visit the website.

Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University mapp program positive psychology program

Anglia Ruskin University is the latest in the UK to offer the MAPP course which can be studied in one to three years depending on the mode of study.

The starting time for their MAPP course is in September or January of each year and can choose to study online, or onsite at either the Cambridge or Paris campus. Anglia Ruskin University’s MAPP program has a flexible curriculum. There are three core classes (including the capstone project) and students can select from a wide range of additional modules. The Core Modules are: Introduction to Positive Psychology, Research Methods for Psychology and Major Psychology Project.

Elective Modules:

  • Positive Relationships
  • Positive Education
  • Positive Psychology Coaching
  • Neuroscience of Well-being
  • Positive Performance
  • Positive Organisations and Appreciative Inquiry
  • Positive Psychology for Practitioners
  • Well-being: Economic, Social and Behavioural Causes
  • Positive Child Development
  • Positive Society

Applicants can have an undergraduate degree in any discipline, though certain grade requirements apply depending on where one got their degree. Anglia Ruskin’s MAPP program is best for people who live in Europe and have no problem traveling between Cambridge and Paris, as well as people who are looking to personalize their learning with a flexible curriculum. 

Entry Requirement: undergraduate degree Where: Cambridge and Paris. Dates: September or January. Duration: 1-3 years Price: £10,200 ft and £5,100 pt. 

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University of East London (UK)

university of east london mapp program

University of East London (UEL) was the first in the UK to offer a postgraduate programme (MSc) in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP).

The course is taught by pioneers in the field and the department is a leading institution in research on positive psychology.

The UEL used to offer a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology as well as a Masters in Coaching Psychology. They have now combined these two degrees because they feel that coaching psychology is so deeply steeped in positive psychology.

The program offers two intermediate awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate
  • Postgraduate Diploma.

However, most students in this course aim for the master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP). Degree-seekers can begin in either January or September, and anyone interested can apply online.

The requirements to apply are an undergraduate degree in a social science as well as specific grade qualifications depending on the country your undergraduate degree is from.

This program is the best option for anyone who wishes to learn positive psychology as part of a coaching practice, as it explicitly intertwines coaching psychology and positive psychology, unlike many of the other courses. It is also an attractive option because of its flexibility, as it can either be undertaken as a full-time program for people who want to complete it quickly, and a part-time program for people who want to take it alongside other commitments. 

Entry Requirement: Minimum 2.1 honours degree, preferably in Social Sciences. Where: University of East London. Dates: September or January. Duration: 1,5 or 2,5 year. Price: £9,660 fulltime.

Visit the website.

UPenn (United States)

penn positive psychology center

The University of Pennsylvania (Dr Martin Seligman) was the first in the world to establish a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP).

Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology began the Positive Psychology Centre at UPenn in hopes of promoting education and research in the field. This is the most famous centre for the training of Positive Psychology and the related research, particularly in education and for the US Army.

The UPenn MAPP program aims to increase the use of positive interventions worldwide and attracts applicants from a variety of professions stimulating a dynamic and diverse learning experience. The MAPP is also a foundational post graduate qualification for those aspiring to pursue a Ph.D. It consists of 3 semesters covering 9 modules:

  • Introduction to Positive Psychology
  • Research Methods and Evaluation
  • Foundations of Positive Interventions
  • Approaches to the Good Life
  • Applied Positive Interventions
  • Positive Psychology and Individuals
  • Positive Psychology and Organisations
  • Humanities and Human Flourishing

Each module is presented in one intensive on-site learning weekend a month. In between students apply, practice and engage in a variety of online learning platforms. This structure supports those working full time as lessons can be applied to real life.

In the final semester, students take part in the Capstone Project where they can apply the new knowledge with their particular profession.

Entry Requirement: bachelor degree min 3.0 grade point average. Where: Philadelphia. Dates: September. Duration: 1 year. Price: $60,837.

Visit the website.

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Life University

life university mapp program positive psychology program

Life University is a private university in Atlanta that offers a number of undergraduate and post-graduate programmes including a MAPP.

Life University’s MAPPuniquely offers three different approaches on the way to the degree. These tracks are defined as General, Coaching Psychology, and Secular Ethics and Contemplative Science.

All three tracks teach an:

  • Introduction to Positive Psychology,
  • Research Methods
  • and Statistics course,

but then they specialize depending on the focus. The coaching and general tracks are offered online, though there are also a few components which require being physically present on campus, so they cannot be done completely remotely.

The Secular Ethics and Contemplative Science track appears to be offered only on-campus and requires roughly two years of study, while the Coaching and General online tracks require roughly one year of study.

Life University’s MAPP program is best for people who wish to specialize in a certain type of positive psychology rather than learning about the field at large.

The fact that two of its three tracks can be completed in a year may also be attractive to people who wish to complete their degree in a shorter amount of time at a more-intensive rate.

Entry Requirement: / Where: on-campus, online. Dates: several dates. Duration: 1 year or 2 years. Price: different prices.

Visit the website.

University of Melbourne

university of melbourne mapp program positive psychology program

The University of Melbourne offers a comprehensive MAPP course, which is well established and offers a multidisciplinary platform for learning. The course focuses on the principles and applications of positive psychology, with a strong research component. It also enhances its learners experience with a specific module on positive leadership and organisations, which makes this MAPP stand out.

Starting in February of each year, this MAPP program, has a flexible time frame ranging from 1 year (full time) to 2 years (part-time). The program includes three 2 day intensive onsite sessions over the whole duration of the course, making it easily accessible from anywhere in the world.

The curriculum consists of 4 core subjects (including a capstone project). Assessment and learning will take place through case studies, role plays, debates, research activities and so on. As a student you will be encouraged to apply the principles of positive psychology to your own life. The themes are:

  • Principles of Positive Psychology
  • Applications of Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychology and Organisations

The University of Melbourne’s is the best option for people who already have extensive experience as it has fairly strict entry requirements. They request not only an undergraduate degree but also either professional experience, postgraduate study, or some combination of the two.

Entry Requirement: Undergraduate degree + relevant prof experience or postgraduate study. Where: University of Melbourne. Dates: February. Duration: 1 year or 2 years. Price: /.

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North-West University

north west university mapp program

The North-West University was established in January 2004 through the merger of two other universities, but these days it is considered as one of the best-managed and most innovative universities in South Africa.

This Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at North-West University on the Potchefstroom Campus in South Africa, strives to uphold the conviction that recognizing one’s strengths and potential is essential to facilitating human growth.

The MAPP program at North-West University focuses on assessment methods and data analyses so that graduates of the program are well-equipped to start designing and carrying out their own experiments within the field.

The program is “presented in four weekly sessions per year on campus”, and the website stresses that the degree is “a specialized degree in Positive Psychology and not a clinical qualification”.

The program examines key areas of interest in positive psychology such as positive emotions, the experience of meaning, optimism, and resilience.

The University also offers the first positive psychology conference within the continent of Africa. For this reason, The MAPP at North-West University is the best option for people who wish to extend their learning and apply it within the African continent.

Entry Requirement: / Where: Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. Dates: / Duration: / Price: /.

Visit the website.

Universitat Jaume I (Spain)

universitat jaume I mapp program

Universitat Jaume I in Castello is the first in Spain to offer a Master in Applied Positive Psychology. This MAPP program is supported by the Spanish Society of Positive Psychology (SEPP).

You can follow this program both on-campus as online. The starting time of the MAPP course is in October and it takes 1 year to complete.

The program is focused on the latest developments in the positive psychology field. It also aims to teach you how to apply positive psychology in your life and work.

The program includes 10 compulsory courses, a seminar on entrepreneurship and creativity, a practice based course and a final project. The 10 compulsory modules are:

  • Introduction to positive psychology
  • Psychological well-being and happiness
  • Psychological strengths
  • Conceptualization of positive psychology
  • Positive organizations
  • Positive psychology and mindfulness
  • Positive psychology and clinical psychology
  • Positive psychology and socio-emotional intelligence
  • Positive psychology and coaching
  • Positive psychology and education

Entry Requirement: university graduates. Where: Universitat Jaume I de Castellón. Dates: October. Duration: 1 year. Price: €2200,-.

Visit the website.

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What is the MAPP all about?

MAPP is the best way for positive psychology enthusiasts to explore the theory and practice behind this new field of psychology and study wellbeing, strengths and meaning in life. MAPP graduates gain a respectable qualification in the latest psychological discipline that is dubbed as the science of flourishing, both for individuals and organisations. More and more, we get to see clinical psychologists, nurses, counsellors, psychotherapists, physicians, teachers, youth workers and social workers take MAPP and use positive psychology theories, research and interventions in their practice.

Other MAPP graduates usually develop their careers in coaching or consultancy where they use theories and techniques of positive psychology to help executives, businesses and their employees move to a higher level of productivity and performance. All sorts of other organisations seek to hire a positive psychology practitioner (i.e. a MAPP graduate). They mostly include; colleges, universities, charities and organisations that specialise in healthcare and wellbeing.

For example, I am an experienced performance coach with more than twelve years of experience working with various individuals and organisations. I started reading positive psychology books and using positive psychology theories about six years ago. Fortunately, last year I’ve got the chance to formally study positive psychology (MAPP) and it has already made a big difference in my performance. I believe positive psychology is the closest scientific topic to coaching than any other discipline.

Just think about what a coach would say when asked about his/her work. “I work with people to help them feel better, perform more effectively, and live a better life enhance with purpose and meaning”. It’s as if you ask a positive psychology practitioner to define positive psychology. At the moment, I am thinking about doing a Ph.D. in positive psychology.

MAPP Topics

MAPP curriculum covers an extensive range of topics consisting of; strengths and virtues (including; courage, wisdom, open-mindedness, curiosity, etc.), positive emotions (including; happiness, hope, serenity, love, etc.), wellbeing (hedonic and eudaimonic), fulfilment, purpose and meaning, positive relationships, resilience, consciousness and spirituality. This list, which is not exhaustive at all, clearly shows how incredibly wide the scope of the course is and hence how wide-ranging the practical applications of it.

Be sure to check out our page of positive psychology degrees as well!

Please update us if you know of a new MAPP course that is not shown here. You can do so by leaving a comment below. This way we can keep the page accurate and up-to-date and let positive psychology enthusiasts make a more informed decision.  Thank you.

  1. Javier Cañete

    Hello guys
    A new MAPPA master in Spain at Universitat Jaume I of Castello held (link), this is lead by Marisa Salanova and Merche Ventura .
    This is a presential and online course, so we are people from Spain and also from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
    Great stuff, please update!

  2. Tara Schofield

    Hi Seph,
    There is an exciting new series of MSc APP courses underway in Singapore, via Anglia Ruskin University and The School of Positive Psychology. The first is Asia!!

    • Stephanie Diepering

      Hello Tara, thanks for letting us know. We will be sure to add them to the list. Glad that Asia is part of finally part of the MAPPiverse.

  3. Teresa Coffey

    Hello I was hoping to apply to the University of Melbourne who offer MAPP.

    My question is regarding whether this masters is recognised in australia (and aliike) by APA?

    My main objective is become an allied health professional (requiring registration). I just wouldnt want to waste my time in applying. I cant’ seem to get any answers….

    Teresa

  4. India

    Hi!

    I am applying at the moment to the MAPPCP at UEL. I was wondering if anyone here had done it?

    All the teaching is on weekends (one weekend per month). I am planning to do it full-time so wonder what I would do all the rest of the time?! Is it busy enough to study all the time? Or are you always out researching/ coaching? Also – how do you find people to coach? Do you get a job in an organisation, take a voluntary role or just ask people if you can coach them?!

    Any advice much appreciated, thanks.

    • Kirsti

      Hi India – I am applying to UEL at the moment and wondering the same thing. Calculated by how many hours they say you need per week per course, the full time version sounds too busy to work (I’m assuming that is down to readings, research etc). Did you manage to find out any information regarding your question? I would want to work at the same time so I’m thinking to do it part time… Bur then it is only one day of lectures per month. Thank you 🙂

      • Gráinne

        Hi Kirsti – I have applied to start in Jan 207 and just came across this feed and am worried now because I can only do the distance learning. Can u give me feedback on whether you found it ok? Any comments greatly appreciated ????

  5. Jana

    Hello! thank you very much for the comments. I am about to enroll at UEL for the MAPP and Psy of Coaching. Does anyone of you has the experience about the coaching module please? I am already trained as a coach and I am wondering whether to go through it again via UEL – what is the added value?
    I am still hesitant as I find the UEL communication very chaotic already and I wonder also about the costs of the studies…
    Thanks in advance for your advise!
    Jana

  6. Galen Townson

    There’s been a MAPP at University of Melbourne since 2014 (link)

  7. Nicky Chapman

    I’m hoping to attend the MAPP at either UEL or Bucks – in the review above you mention Bucks has a ‘somewhat unique curriculum’ – is that in a good way? Also the UEL course seems to have changed a little and incorporates a coaching element now. Any thoughts on which one would be better?

    • Natalie

      I’ve just applied to Bucks. I’m yet to discover whether the “somewhat unique curriculum” is a good or bad thing!! Did you make a decision?

  8. Kirsti

    Hi! I plan to apply to the MAPP programme at UEL for either this September or next year. The entry requirements state that all applicants would need to attend an interview. Could anyone who has done/ is doing the programme tell me what time of year that usually is, and if it could be over Skype? I would be moving to the UK from South Africa for the programme if I were accepted, so before that time would be in SA.
    Thank you!

    • Ben Hudson

      Hi Kirsti,

      I completed the MAPP programm at UEL. From memory the interview was conducted over Skype. FYI, I live in Australia and actually completed the entire program without attending UEL.

      I hope you enjoy it!

      Ben

      • Kirsti Bauer

        Thanks for the info, Ben!

      • Uzma

        Hi Ben…Good to know that you r done. How was ur experience. Can you plz share ur experience with UEL online MAPP in detail.I ‘ll be grateful.

      • Uzma

        Hi Ben…Good to know that you r done. How was ur experience. Can you plz share ur experience with UEL online MAPP in detail.I ‘ll be grateful.

      • Linda

        Hi Ben,
        Like Uzma, I would also really appreciate your feedback as to how you found studying successfully with UEL from Australia. Im in NZ and hoping to do the study Thanks!

  9. John

    University of Missouri has a master s in Ed. in Positive sports psychology with emphasis in Positive Caching. !100% online

  10. Cäcilia Strasen

    Hi there,

    I am also very interested in studying Positive Psychology as a postgraduate degree. I am particularly interested in the one offered at UEL in combination with Coaching Psychology, I am a little worried about the administration issues, but since I will be studying in London and not doing it online, I guess that might help. Due to the fees, I will probably study part time. In order to make the best informed decision, I would really appreciate it, if former or current students could share their experiences about MAPP courses they attended in the UK. Please be so kind and sent me an E-Mail or comment here, that would help so so much!

    I was also wondering if there are any study abroad options, so that I would be able to experience a different University for one term for theses particular programmes.

    Thank you so much 🙂

    • Teresa Collis

      Hi Cacilia,
      I’m doing the MAPPCP at UEL via distance learning part time (I’m based in Australia).
      I’m only a couple of months in, and while I am sure that the academic credentials are brilliant, I’m afraid I have to agree with many others comments here that the admin is an absolute nightmare. The cohort (both DL and OC) seem to be very disengaged – no-one has volunteered to be a student rep and so I despair of any genuine feedback being given.
      The few lecturers I have had contact with have personally been extremely helpful and responsive, and I really feel for them having to deal with all the admin issues that clearly are not their fault. Perhaps the OC students are having a better experience – I hope so!

      I intend to continue – as I said, the academic credentials of the university and the lecturers is excellent – but dealing with all the admin stuff is not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure!

      Good luck 🙂
      Teresa

      • Cäcilia

        Thank you for sharing your impression!

        Is anyone of you guys currently studying the Msc Applied Positive Psychology at Bucks University? If so, what are your experiences? That would be another Master I am interested in!

    • Ciara

      A sincere Thank you to everyone who answered my query about distance learnin. It looks like it is a common complaint across universities. The desire is there but not the resources on the ground. I think I will try to do the course part time but that is quite a logistical nightmare for me but I live in Ireland nearer to London that many others who have to do it online. I wish you the best of luck with your studies and thank you for your honesty and insights. Cheers Ciara

      • Seph Fontane Pennock

        Best of luck to you as well Ciara. I’m sure you’ll figure out what’s best for you. If you ever have any other PP-related questions or just feel like connecting, do stop by!

        All the best,
        Seph

  11. Mireille

    Hi Seph, just wanted to update you re the MAPP course at UEL. They have merged it with the Coaching Psychology course so now it is a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology, the first of its kind. I have applied and am waiting confirmation of a place – very excited to join this growing community!

  12. Ciara Nic Amhlaoibh

    Hello,
    I am hoping to study the MAPP course at UEL by distance learning. However I have heard from other students who have studied this way that it is very difficult and if it was at all possible I should try and study part-time. I would love to get in touch with anyone who has done this course by distance learning if possible.
    Ciara

    • Melanie

      Hi Ciara,
      I have just finished the first year of this and like many am not continuing because of these difficulties. The lecturers are wonderful but the administration of the program is horrendous. It doesn’t sound like much, but things like being unable to access the student site, being accidentally unenrolled the week before major assessment is due, and major deficits in communication really make a big difference and add a huge amounts of stress. If you are able to attend in person (I’m on the other side of the world so relied on email communication) that may help to resolve some issues, but there are also other courses available by distance.

      I hope that is helpful!