EDF4599 - Positive psychology in professional practice - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Mr Nicholas Gamble


Dr Kelly-Ann Allen (Semester 2)

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Successful completion of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited major sequence in psychology.


Enrolment in D5002 Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology.


This unit will introduce students to the theoretical orientation and application of positive psychology as it applies to individuals, groups and organisations in professional psychological practice. Positive psychology is the scientific investigation of conditions and processes that facilitate optimal functioning and flourishing. Students will critically reflect on and examine a number of these conditions and processes including gratitude, flow, character strengths and mindfulness alongside positive emotions such as joy, optimism and contentment. Critical examination will extend to measurement tools and assessment approaches.

Examining how psychologists apply the principles of positive psychology, including in combination with other therapeutic approaches, within clinical settings, education, and organisations will be a central focus of this unit. Students will choose an area of interest and conduct a scientific investigation examining the effects and limitations of positive psychology interventions.

Students will also have opportunity for personal engagement with evidence based positive psychology tools and practices for enhancing wellbeing. Students will self-administer positive psychology tools and participate in short daily practices. Opportunities for students to reflect - individually and collectively - on what they learned from the experience will also be provided.

Teaching approaches will include lectures, case studies, pre-class reading and activities, embodied learning and reflection, and modelling of positive psychology practices.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Critically consider the underlying principles of positive psychology.
  2. Comprehensively understand, explain and demonstrate competence in administering and applying a range of positive psychological tools and techniques.
  3. Apply empirically supported positive psychology practices to their personal life and critically reflect on personal benefits and challenges.
  4. Critically evaluate relevance and applicability of positive psychology tools and practices for clients in a range of professional practice settings.
  5. Communicate to clients and organisations the opportunities for positive psychology to facilitate optimal functioning and flourishing.


Weekly reflective journal (2000 words, 50%)

Critical Essay (2000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • 2 hour lecture per week
  2. Additional requirements
    • 10 hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study