Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us & online events
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  9. Ask a student
  1. Short courses
  2. Courses
Study at City

Positive Psychology: becoming the best version of you Short Course

Key information

Choose a start date
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Course Code:
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Booking Deadline:
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Covid-19 update: The learning doesn't have to stop, join our online community. We will be delivering courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you'll get lots of support from your tutor. Book now.

City’s Positive Psychology short course provides evidence-based techniques to enable you to become the best version of yourself.

Why choose this course?

You will learn many skills that are useful both for professional and personal development. These include:

  • how to build and set effective goals,
  • how to be resilient,
  • how to be happy,
  • how to improve relationships
  • how to identify and use personal strengths.

Through encouragement from the course tutor, students will learn techniques to enable them to realise their full potential and assess their individual experiences within the context of positive psychology.

Course overview

You will learn leading-edge techniques to develop strengths and virtues such as wisdom, self-control, courage and fairness. They will also learn about mindfulness and compassion and how to be more self-compassionate.

Required reading is set between classes. Weekly classes encourage discussion of these ideas and practical exercises are given to aid self-development. You also have the option of giving a short presentation in class.

  • “ Hugely enjoyable course…I liked the informal style, content and group participation. ”

    Sheila B.

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

What Will I Learn
The 10 week course will cover the following and will be discussed in further detail during the first class.
Note: This is indicative of likely content and is subject to change

1.Introduction: Developing the best version of you
This week we will introduce the course themes , looking at
* What is positive psychology?
* What is meant by "the best version of me"
* Personal course goals
* Methods of learning
* Course Overview
* The role of habits including meditation

2.Virtues and Strengths

This week you will learn about the philosophy of virtue and the psychology of strengths and how they are different yet connected.

* The cardinal virtues
* Aristotle's theory of the virtues
* Seligman and Peterson's VIA Strengths classification

You will take an inventory to discover your own top strengths and virtues, which will be discussed and built throughout the course

3.Stoicism and the role of Practical Philosophy

This week you will learn about the ancient Greek and Roman philosophy of Stoicism and how it is relevant to building the best version of you.

* What is Stoicism and how it is not the same as stoicism
* The evidence base for Stoicism
* How to be Stoic

This week we will further explore wisdom, argued by Aristotle and others to be the most important virtue.

* What is wisdom
* Why wisdom is important
* How to develop wisdom

Self-compassion - being a good friend to yourself, yet also being strong and wise as well as kind - is an important quality

* What is self-compassion and how it differs from being too easy on yourself
* The benefits of self-compassion
* Compassionate Mind Training

6.Self-Control & Willpower
Self-Control and will-power usually come out as the least developed of the character strengths for many people, yet they have also been identified as being foundational.

* The psychology of self-control and willpower
* Marshmallows, fallible resources and Ulysses
* Evidence-based ways to increase self-control

7.Courage &  Grit
Courage was identified as a cardinal virtue long ago; the related quality of grit has been advocated by psychologist Angela Duckworth as key to achievement

* Courage and associated qualities - persistence and grit
* How to develop courage
* How to develop grit

This week you will learn about the qualities that constitute the virtue of transcendence, namely
*Appreciation of beauty and excellence; experiencing awe
*Meaning & Purpose
*Humour and playfulness

As usual we will look at the meaning of these and ways in which psychologists have proposed they can be enhanced.

9.Humanity & Justice
*The virtues of humanity are
*Social Intelligence
*The virtues of justice are
As usual we will look at the meaning of these and ways in which psychologists have proposed they can be enhanced, focussing particularly on developing empathy and compassion.

In this week you will get the opportunity to re-take the inventories you took at the start of the course to learn how much change has occurred. Key course themes will be summarised and next steps discussed.



English requirements

Good written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

You should be able to commit to 2 hours’ work between classes.

The two Positive Psychology courses can be taken in either order and no prior knowledge is required.

You will be required to deliver:

  • A short presentation to the class.
  • Answers to weekly assignments.
  • Contributions to class discussions.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

NB: Recommended reading will be sent to students by email each week.


LeBon, T. (2014) Achieve your potential with Positive Psychology  
Niemiec, R. & Wedding, D.  (2014) Positive Psychology at the Movies
Niemiec, R. (2017 ) Character Strengths Interventions: A Field Guide for Practitioners...

Tutor information

  • Tim LeBon

    Tim LeBon gained a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford and an M.Phil in Philosophy at the University of London. He teaches philosophy, personal development and counselling courses and has a particular interest in the way that philosophy and psychology can be of practical use.

    Tim is a qualified as a life coach and a psychotherapist and is the author of Wise Therapy: Philosophy for Counsellors (Sage, 2001) and Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology  (2014)

    Tim has been teaching psychology, philosophy and personal and development courses for over 20 years. As a practising life coach and psychotherapist, Tim is known form making complicated ideas simple and for teaching how to apply these ideas in practice.

Next steps

This Positive Psychology Short Course focuses on the positive. Learn to harness your strengths, a positive mindset and create happiness in your personal and working life.…