Professional Certificate in Positive Psychology

Course PR-POSPSYC (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.


Associate Professor Lindsay Oades


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Currently enrolled and future students:

Course Overview:

This course is specifically aimed at graduates in the workplace 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 well-being, performance and motivation of staff and clients will be presented for critical discussion.

The course provides a foundation in the science of positive psychology, with examples including health, business and organisational 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, particularly in organisational contexts.

Learning Outcomes:

Students completing the course should:

  1. have knowledge of current thinking and research in the field of positive psychology, and its application to health, business and other relevant contexts;
  2. have an understanding of how positive psychology may be used to facilitate well-being, performance and motivation, particularly in organisational settings;
  3. have the opportunity to explore the relevance and application of positive psychology to their professional practice;
  4. have knowledge of strength-based, evidence-based, and values-based interventions;
  5. have an ongoing and deepening commitment to the study and practice positive psychology
  6. adopt reflective practices with regards to their applications of positive psychology;
  7. have a sound basis for further studies in positive psychology at the Masters level.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

There are two compulsory 12.5cps subjects.

Subject Options:

Compulsory subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed;

  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in any discipline and;
  • 2 years professional experience

2. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

3. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and
  • prior work 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. The minimum English language requirements for this course are Band 6.5.

Core Participation Requirements:

Professional Certificate in Positive Psychology welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and degree 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 degree.

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives 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 course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:

Further Study:

Successful completion of this course will assist with entry to the Masters of Positive Psychology, but cannot be included as credit towards that program.

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.
Generic Skills:

Graduates should develop the following generic skills:

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

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