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Module PPP-4030:
Positive Psychology Practice

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Judith Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to provide the student with tangible experience of applying psychology theory to practice. Rather than focus on psychopathology, the module focuses on utilising established positive psychology approaches in supporting psychological growth, well-being and resilience. During the first half of the module, students will study the theoretical underpinnings of positive psychology and will work in small groups to design a positive psychology well-being intervention. During the final half of the module, the well-being intervention will be delivered to fellow undergraduate student across all years. Skills gained in this module will support future applications for assistant psychology posts in addition to other support roles with the aim of pursuing a career as a psychologist. Skills gained in this module are also applicable to other established careers such as social work, nursing, occupational therapy or further academic study (e.g. PhD). The module is a unique opportunity to gain practical experience within an academic setting.

Course content

The taught component will include the following topics: The philosophical and historical roots of positive psychology; Happiness, flow and optimism; Emotional intelligence; Positive self and positive relationships; Clinical applications of well-being approaches; Developing and delivering group interventions - putting the theory into practice.

Assessment Criteria


A- to A* - Report, presentation and reflective journal: The student demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of the topic material, in addition to extensive background study which goes beyond the reading specified. There is a high degree of focus in the work with well defended arguments where necessary. The student demonstrates a critical evaluative approach with elements of original interpretation. The work has a clear structure with a logical flow of ideas. Excellent presentation and accurate communication.


B- to B+ - Report, presentation and reflective journal: The student demonstrates a strong knowledge of the topic material in addition to showing evidence of background study. The work is focussed on the topic and a coherent argument where necessary. The student demonstrates knowledge of the links between topics and of existing methods and approaches. Some limited original interpretation is demonstrated. The work has a good structure, accurate communication and is mostly free from errors.


C- to C+ - Report, presentation and reflective journal: The student demonstrates a general knowledge of the key areas and principles and an understanding of the main subject area. There is limited evidence of background study. The work focuses on the task but also includes irrelevant material and there are weaknesses in structure. Arguments are presented but lack coherence. The work is presented poorly and there are inaccuracies. There is no original interpretation and only major links between topics are described with limited problem solving.

Learning outcomes

  1. To demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts underpinning positive psychology and apply these to the development of a novel wellbeing intervention.

  2. To be able to demonstrate effective group working, by managing own needs and abilities in collaboration with those of the rest of the group.

  3. To critically evaluate the evidence-base of positive psychology approaches to practice and outcomes.

  4. To develop an awareness of self and self-reflection skills whilst developing an intervention and in the delivery of that intervention.

  5. To be able to critically evaluate the evidence for and apply that evidence to the design and delivery of a positive wellbeing intervention.

  6. To understand the importance of and demonstrate the ability to reflect 'in' and 'on' action.

  7. To demonstrate good oral communication skills, demonstrable through an assessed presentation and the delivery of a wellbeing intervention.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Students will design a 6 week positive well-being intervention in groups of 5 across weeks 1-6 of the module. During this assessment students will give a 10 minute group presentation to the other students on the module and the module organiser demonstrating their intervention. This is so the students can receive feedback on the intervention and have an opportunity to practice their ideas before delivering the intervention to a wider audience. Students will receive individual grades.

REPORT Intervention Design and Delivery

In addition to giving a group presentation, students will write a 1000 word individual report detailing the rationale and evidence base for the content of the intervention they have designed. The report will include a review of the background literature in addition to an overview and specific plan for the implementation phase of the intervention.

LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Process Notes and Reflection

The final logbook will include process notes related to the delivery of the intervention which will include personal reflections on the process. The logbook will critically evaluate the process and outcomes of the intervention in relation to the wider literature. Limitations of the intervention and future directions will also be considered. The logbook will also require the student to identify the skills they have developed throughout the process.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


For the first 5 weeks of the module their will be weekly 2 hour lectures covering theories and topics related to positive psychology.

Individual Project

For the final 5 weeks of the module, students will deliver their intervention to undergraduate students who will have the opportunity to sign up for this in the first few weeks of the semester in which the intervention will run. The total hours includes 5 x 1 hour weekly group sessions and 5 x 1 hour preparation time.


2 hour workshops will be held weekly for the first 5 weeks where the student groups will design their positive well-being intervention. A final workshop in the last week of teaching will focus on preparing for the final assessment.

Private study

Students will be expected to engage in self directed learning through engaging in further and additional reading, writing reflective process notes in preparation for the final logbook, working in groups outside the allocated time in order to design the intervention, and engaging with the module organiser through the provision of regular drop-in times in order to support self-directed learning.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.

Be able to demonstrate skills related to the application of psychological theory to practice.


Resource implications for students

The course text-book for the module is available as an e-book.

Reading list

Carr, A. (2003). Positive psychology : the science of happiness and human strengths. Retrieved from (Core Text).

Courses including this module