Professional Certificate in Education (Positive Education)

Course PR-EDPOSED (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 25 credit points taken over 6 months part time.


Dr Dianne Vella-Brodrick


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Currently enrolled and future students:

Course Overview:

This course is specifically aimed at educators and serves as an introduction to the principles and practices of positive psychology, which is focused on the facilitation of optimal functioning and thriving. Contemporary science-based methods for enhancing the wellbeing and performance of school staff and students will be presented for critical discussion.

The course provides a foundation in the science of positive psychology, with a specific focus on educational contexts.

The course content includes a range of evidence-based applications to improve positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment for people of all ages, and allows participants to undertake assessments that focus on developing and evaluating an intervention program.

Learning Outcomes:

Students completing the course should:

  • have knowledge of current thinking and research in the field of positive psychology, and its application to educational and other relevant contexts;
  • have an understanding of how positive psychology may be used to facilitate the learning process, particularly for young / teenage learners;
  • have developed an understanding of the varied strengths and approaches to learning demonstrated by young people;
  • understand a variety of approaches to creating a learning environment that fosters creativity, innovation and social responsibility amongst learners of all ages;
  • be familiar with a range of asset based approaches to learning, and how to mobilise these assets in a way that promotes learning;
  • have the opportunity to explore the relevance and application of positive education to their professional practice;
  • have knowledge of strength-based, evidence-based, and values-based interventions;
  • have an ongoing and deepening commitment to the study and practice of education, and in particular positive education;
  • adopt reflective practices with regards to their teaching practices;
  • have a sound basis for further studies in Education at the Masters level.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Two compulsory subjects.

  • EDUC90806 Introduction to Positive Education
  • EDUC90807 Building Positive Education Communities
Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
January, February, August
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• either
– an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline and an additional one year teaching qualification, or
– a four-year teaching degree, or
– an undergraduate degree with a minimum of three years of teaching experience.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic qualification and performance; and, if relevant
• teaching experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Further Study:

Successful completion of this course may provide credit towards the Master of Education at Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and may assist with entry to the Masters of Positive Psychology, but cannot be included as credit towards that program.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduate Attributes

The Professional Certificate will enable graduates to achieve the following University of Melbourne Graduate Attributes:

  • Academically excellent: graduates will develop in-depth research and evidence-based knowledge of positive psychology and in particular positive education. They will demonstrate a high level of achievement in writing, problem-solving and communication. Graduates will be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning and be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies.
  • Knowledgeable across disciplines: graduates will examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines, particularly those with relevance to their education setting. They will expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences and have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems. As a result of completing the Professional Certificate they will have a set of skills that will allow multi-disciplinary approaches to student learning, engagement, and wellbeing to be implemented.
  • Leaders in communities: Graduates of the Professional Certificate will be prepared to assume leadership roles in their classrooms, schools, or other educational settings through having developed a thorough knowledge of positive education and leading individual, group, and collective change as a result. They will be able to initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces.
  • Attuned to cultural diversity: Graduates of the Professional Certificate will be working within organisations characterised by cultural and other forms of diversity. This is reflected in such overarching documents as the Australian Charter for the Teaching Profession, the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young People and the various national professional teaching standards and curriculum documents used in schools and other education settings. Graduates will value different cultures and be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work.
  • Active global citizens: As educators knowledgeable in positive education, graduates of the Professional Certificate will contribute and lead social and community change in helping their organisations to flourish. They will recognise that education is the best means we have of opening the doors of opportunity for people and of ameliorating the effects of inequity and disadvantage.
Professional Accreditation:


Generic Skills:

Graduates will develop the following generic skills:

  • Problem solving skills, including engaging with, researching and identifying strategies to solve unfamiliar problems and bring about positive change;
  • Analytical skills and the ability to construct and express logical arguments;
  • To learn to critically investigate, modify and adapt new ideas and approaches;
  • Verbal and written communication skills;
  • Change management skills;
  • Reflective practices;
  • Use of evidence and data.
Links to further information:

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