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Diploma in Positive Psychology

(new 2023 version now available)

Total recommended period of study: approx. 6 months or less.

Continuous enrolment - enrol any time.

Time limit for course completion - 12 months.

Cost: £255.00

One FREE textbook will be included for students from the UK.

Method of study

Textbook study- distance learning. Written assignments based on textbooks and exercises. Assignment questions are provided in our PDF course manual email and students return their written work by email. Results and feedback are issued by email.

Course overview

Positive psychology has been called “The science of wellbeing and human strengths” (from subtitle of course textbook). The history of clinical psychology shows a preoccupation with mental illness and disability and treatments for psychological problems. Positive Psychology is a new direction in psychology that looks at how we can feel positive emotions such as happiness and hope, and how we can foster creativity and wisdom. This course uses a key textbook, now in its 3rd edition, that surveys this exciting new area and the theories that have emerged. Key concepts are explained and there are guides to further reading both of an academic and a self-help nature. Students are encouraged to answer self-reflective questions, to try self-help exercises and to appreciate academic knowledge. Examples are given of how psychologists apply these principles and there are recommendations for how positive psychology can change clinical practice and ultimately help to change society for the better.
The course covers theory of wellbeing; psychology and neuroscience of positive emotions; psychology of happiness; goals and strengths; values and character strengths; gratitude and optimism; flow and mindfulness; effectiveness and contraindications of mindfulness; emotional intelligence in children and adults; creativity and giftedness; wisdom and personality; the positive self and coping strategies; forgiveness; positive relationships including couple relationships, parent-child relationships and positive psychology parenting; types of positive psychology intervention.
Throughout the text, different life circumstances, mental health problems and lifestyles/occupations are discussed in the context of positive psychology. Controversies in the field are discussed to provide balanced views and critical thinking.  Self-help books are recommended.

A university-level textbook is required as the main book for the course. Further reading is optional though comprehensive reading lists and lists of websites are given, enabling you to pursue further studies at your leisure.

Entry criteria and suitability 

This course is geared towards therapists, counsellors, coaches, psychology students and other helping professionals and may also be taken for personal interest. No particular qualifications are required for entry but the ability to study from university-level textbooks is essential: this is not a "self-help"-style course though some exercises are included. Some familiarity with psychology or psychotherapy will be an advantage.


Successful graduates will receive the Diploma in Positive Psychology awarded by UK College of Holistic Training which is a private UK qualification. Course graduates may use the postnominal designation Dip. Pos. Psych.

Please note that this course is privately accredited and not accredited by any government-recognised authority. It not a preparation for entry to university and is not a path towards UK Chartered Psychologist status. It is a private qualification aimed at the helping professional in private practice, those who already have the core qualifications for their career, or those interested in the subject.  The course by itself is not a qualification in counselling or psychotherapy.

Course accreditation by ACCPH. 

We reserve the right to change the syllabus and other details of any course at any time.

Course textbook:

Carr, Alan. Positive Psychology, Third Edition. Routledge, 2022.   Book supplied free to UK students only.

Upgrade from previous version of the course
Have you taken our previous course in Positive Psychology?  This edition has a wealth of new material.  Previous Positive Psychology students can take this course at a discount to upgrade their knowledge – please contact us for details, mentioning when you received your first Diploma. You will receive a Certificate of Professional Development in Positive Psychology to add to your previous Diploma. Upgrade students do not receive a free textbook but will have to purchase the latest edition.


You may start at any time of year

Click this link to go to our Application page


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