A Master of Arts in Positive Psychology will be presented in 2014 by the North-West University on the Potchefstroom Campus in collaboration between the Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle campuses.

This programme consists of tuition and research and will be presented in four weekly sessions per year on campus. The aim is to equip participants to apply knowledge from Positive Psychology in various contexts to enhance the well-being and quality of life for people. It is a specialized degree in Positive Psychology and not a clinical qualification, and does not provide registration at the HPCSA.

The purpose of this programme is to offer students an advanced knowledge base of and research competence into the nature, development and enhancement of psychosocial well-being and health in various contexts, developmental phases, cultural groups, etc.

Phenomena include amongst others positive emotions, the experience of meaning, resilience, character strengths, optimism, enabling social contexts and positive institutions. A basic premise of positive psychology is that human flourishing cannot be achieved simply through curing pathology and eliminating behavioural and emotional problems, but requires building and capitalising on strengths and capabilities.

A Master of Arts degree in Positive Psychology can offer a logical career progression from the existing undergraduate and honours programme in Psychology. Secondly, it can be an attractive alternative to the popular clinical and counselling programmes. Students can combine postgraduate studies with employment. Thirdly, it is expected that a large number of applications will be from mature applicants already in professional employment (within the health sector, education, business or public sectors), wishing to enhance their personal development and career progression opportunities.

The programme should lead to a wide range of employment opportunities. Graduates are likely to develop careers in health and educational sectors, as well as organisational or business consultancies through their knowledge of tools for promoting health and well-being, and transforming business, institutions and social practices. Business executives, human resource personnel and managers are likely to enhance their career prospects, whilst self-employment is another possible pathway for the programme graduates.

The Master of Arts degree in Positive Psychology will also be useful for qualified clinical psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, nurses and doctors that intend to use positive psychology theory, research and applications in their clinical work. Teachers too can use positive psychology expertise to inform their practice. The programme would be of benefit to other existing and aspiring youth workers and educators, from the primary school throughout to the University level.


Closing dates for applications for 2014: 28 October, 2013.

Contact: Prof. Mari√® Wissing, [email protected], 018 299 1721

Mrs. Heleen Coetzee, [email protected], 018 299 1387

Prof. Chrizanne van Eeden, [email protected], 016 910 3419

Article issued by NWU Pukke