Introduction to Positive Psychology

Subject PSYC90093 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 12-Feb-2016 to 18-Mar-2016
Assessment Period End 15-Apr-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 19-Feb-2016
Census Date 26-Feb-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 18-Mar-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours (3 x 8 hour workshop days)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

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 subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:


Assoc Prof Lindsay Oades


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces the science of positive psychology. Key concepts of positive psychology and well-being will be introduced. The theories will include hope theory, strengths theory self-determination theory, well-being theory, and broaden and build theory. Key concepts covered include optimism, gratitude, strengths, flow, meaning in life and well-being itself. Important research evidence from studies related to well-being and what impacts on well-being will be explored. Key ways to measure well-being and positive psychology constructs will be introduced. Using experiential learning cycles, students will be supported to make sense of this theory and evidence in using their work contexts and personal lives as opportunities for learning.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subject, students should be able to;

  1. Apply contemporary scientific theories of positive psychology to understand issues of well-being in applied settings.
  2. Reflect on current trends in positive psychology research.
  3. Describe and critique key positive psychological constructs and their measurement.
  4. Conceptualise personal and work related experiences using positive psychological concepts.
  1. Theory Essay (1000 words) due two weeks after the first workshop day - 25%
  2. Reflective Journal (personal and work) (formal academic writing 1500 words plus 1500 words reflective journaling) due one week prior to final workshop day - 50%
  3. Reseaerch Evidence Verbal Presentation (15 mins) and Report (1000 words). Presentation on final workshop day. Written report due one week after the final workshop day - 25%
Prescribed Texts:

Boniwell, I. (2008). Positive Psychology in a Nutshell, PWBC Publishing.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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:
Related Course(s): Professional Certificate in Positive Psychology

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