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, such as the Masters of Positive Psychology (MAPP), 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 a 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 is 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 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.

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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 organizations, 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,-.

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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 well-being, 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 organizations. 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 organizations seek to hire a positive psychology practitioner (i.e. a MAPP graduate). They mostly include; colleges, universities, charities, and organizations that specialize in healthcare and wellbeing.

For example, I am an experienced performance coach with more than twelve years of experience working with various individuals and organizations. 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.), well-being (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. Mariah Nielsen

    Hi there, do you know of any Universities that offer a Masters Degree in Positive Psychology (MAPP) that is taught online? I have checked the list above including Anglia Ruskin University, but no one seems to be offering the degree online. Maybe you can help? I’m based in Denmark and not able to study abroad. Thanks a lot!
    Mariah

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Hi Mariah,

      At this moment, there is no 100% distance learning MAPP that I am aware of. The one at Melbourne and UEL come closest, but still require regular on-site attendance. Both of them offer a 1-year and a 2-year track, so that you can choose the intensity yourself. Since you are from Denmark, I can recommend you to consider the UEL MAPP. I would love to get you in touch with either the teaching staff or with students who have just finished the MAPP over there, if that helps. Let me know!

      • Jagoda Risteska

        Hi Seph,
        I am interested to apply for masters at UEL, particularly MSc Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology. Because my formal education is bachelors in business management, I was wondering if there is limitation for particular bachelors in order to be eligible to start MAPP? I do have experience and non-formal education by participation at different trainings and later I started with couching, organizing workshops for personal development, but I was wondering about the limitation that my education might be in the process. Do you have any information regarding this?

    • Melanie

      Hi Mariah, I posted this elsewhere because I couldn’t find your comment but just came across it-there is fully online options! I have been doing mine through UEL, the lecturers are wonderful but the administration is beyond horrendous. I’m leaving at Grad Cert level because I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. This is not a unique experience unfortunately.

      When we were going through the worst of the ‘administration issues’ this course came up on our cohort’s fb page as an option, which I believe is also Link

      I don’t know anyone who’s done it so can’t comment on it, but I’m fairly neutral on the UEL one- I wouldn’t recommend it because of the level of issues, but also wouldn’t discourage anyone from going ahead if they’re equipped for the fight. Hopefully our cohort has brought the issues to attention and they may actually fix some things, but I do recall reading a lot of ‘don’t do it’ online when I was originally looking at UEL, and thought ‘how bad can it be?’ Silly question.

  2. asmita

    I would like to know if you have MAPP in india

  3. Jeff

    I have observed that there is now a Master of Applied Positive Psychology course offered by Melbourne University, Victoria, Australia

  4. Sheryl Neville

    Are there MAPP opportunities in Canada or must I study abroad

  5. Manal

    I’m looking into a program of Positive psychology in Detroit MI , or completely online program if found . please provide me with clear direction if possible!

  6. Jagoda Risteska

    Hi! I am interested in studying Positive Psychology somewhere in Europe, probably Netherlands or countries that offer scholarships. Would you please give information about Universities in European countries with PP masters program? I can see UK has 3 universities and also Maastricht in Netherlands, but apart from that where else this course is taught? Thank you!!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Hi there Jagoda. Did you check out the EMAPP program at Lisbon University yet ( Link)? Hope their program suits your needs!

      • Jagoda Risteska

        Yes, I checked EMAPP program at Lisbon University, but they still do not offer the complete program taught in English.

  7. Jess

    Hi! I am trying to choose where to study the MAPP, and I found that UPenn is far more expensive than UEL. Is the difference in education/opportunities as substancial as the difference in prices? Can any of you help me through the process of decision? (Like, what are the main variables that I should be comparing) Thanks!

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Good question Jess. For one thing, the program at UPenn is not that easy to get into. I believe that the qualifications are stricter and there is a waiting list (of 2 years or so) as well. However, it is the most extensive and highest quality MAPP program that’s out there. If you want to know more about the MAPP at UEL, I suggest you get in touch with Kristen Truempy (see our team page) or Reza Zolfagharifard (reza@positivepsychologyprogram.com). They will gladly provide you with more in depth info about this program.

  8. Pallavi

    Hello,
    I’ve completed my Masters in Educational Psychology from India (Fergusson and MSU, Baroda). I’ve always been a very sensitive person and did not want to focus on disorders. I therefore have always loved reading about developmental psychology as I believe in the saying “prevention is better than cure”.
    Having said that, I’m currently working as a school counselor and only deal with disorders!
    Will a course in Positive Psychology help me in creating a module where I can teach PP through activities at the school level?
    I’d also like to know if I can pursue a PhD in Music/Dance and PP OR Buddhism and Modern psychology.
    Another topic I’m interested in is “Parenting”.
    I’m extremely excited and plan to read more about Positive Psychology.

    Thank You 🙂

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Hi there Pallavi – it seems you’re very passionate about positive psychology and all that it has to offer. I’ll gladly inform you about all of the different possibilities for (online) courses or programs in positive psychology. Expect an e-mail soon.

  9. Charlayne

    Ooops…forgot to mention I am in Alexandria VA. Currently work full-time and have a M.Ed in Counseling.

  10. Charlayne

    I am interested in becoming a Life Coach after retirement (in about 10 yrs). I believe obtaining a MAPP degree would fit right in with my goal. What do you think? Thanks.

  11. Lucy

    Hello,

    I am trying to determine the difference between Transpersonal Psychology, Positive Psychology, and Consciousness. I am seeking a masters level, online, program which accommodates non dualism.

    Thanks.

  12. Mind

    Hi Seph, is there a MAPP degree in Los Angeles? Thanks

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Not that I know of. If you join our Link, you can ask the people there. Cheers!

  13. teju

    Am from India and would want to do MAPP. Could you please guide me on the steps and process please.

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Sure thing Teju! Tell you what: why don’t you drop us an email explaining what it is that you’re looking for in a MAPP program, so that we can then point you in the right direction. Cheers!

  14. Reza Zolfagharifard

    Hi Constantina. It’s nice to know that you are interested to study MAPP. The whole purpose of our website is to help positive psychology enthusiasts by providing as much information as we can. I’m afraid that the scope of our support or assistance is limited to information. It would be helpful if you ask specific questions that you think are not answered in the articles, then we try to the best of our abilities to answer that question. Anyway, I wish you all the best for the future and look forward to hearing from you again.

  15. constantina panagiotou

    Hi i want to study positive Psychology.can you help me.