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What makes Positive Psychology Coaching at Iron Mill College special?

Our programme places an evidence-based, positive philosophy at the forefront, which starts from a 'what is right with people' perspective, rather than 'what is wrong with people'. This course equips experienced professionals with tools to unlock the full potential of individuals, teams and businesses. Our students will apply positive psychology theory to practice, identifying strengths and creating conditions where success thrives and grows.



Key features

  • Written and designed to meet European Mentoring Coaching Council (EMCC) requirements for practitioner level (but as a new programme, this course is not yet accredited with EMCC)
  • This flexible course is available to study part-time at Iron Mill College in Exeter over 8 weekends
  • This Level 7 programme is validated by University of Worcester
  • A modern programme offering a fresh approach to coaching, backed by the latest research and evidence from the innovative field of positive psychology
  • Combines both classroom skills practice and real-world coaching experience, with opportunities for review, feedback and advancement

Open Events at Iron Mill College

There's no better way of finding out about studying at Iron Mill College than joining them at one of their Open Events.

Open Events at Iron Mill College
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a lower second-class (2:2) Honours degree, or an equivalent professional qualification.
  • Evidence of practice within a relevant professional role. The course will consider applicants either with direct coaching experience or with evidence of relevant and transferable skills gained from related work experience. In all cases, previous experience will be assessed, using a short questionnaire and at interview, against EMCC Competency Criteria (2015).

Other information

In addition, applicants must provide evidence of:

  • Professional accountability to a relevant published code of conduct and ethical framework, checked at interview (applicants who are not yet members of a suitable professional body will be required to gain membership of the EMCC for the year of study: see 'Additional expenses' section under the 'Fees' tab.
  • A reference and proof of identification.
  • A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate, arranged via the University on acceptance of a place, for which a fee is payable (see the 'Additional expenses' section under the 'Fees' tab).
  • An occupational health assessment ('SOMA') arranged via the University on acceptance of a place.
Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

  • IMPP4001 - Perspectives on Positive Psychology Coaching (30 credits)
  • IMPP4002 - Positive Psychology Coaching in Practice (30 credits)
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of experiential learning, reflective practice, lectures, coaching skills practice and interactive group work, all taking place within a lively and supportive learning environment. Experiential learning engages you in activities designed to enhance your understanding of the coaching process, and allows theoretical elements to become further connected with your own personal and professional experience. Reflective practice encourages a deeper level of engagement with application of theory to practice. Coaching skills practice allows you to apply and enhance your skills and knowledge as a coach within a structured and supportive setting, and receive feedback on your practice. Lectures are interactive and actively invite discussion and evaluation of the theoretical aspects of your learning.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions, either as a tutorial group or on an individual basis.

You will further enhance your learning and increase your abilities through the 36 hours of coaching practice required across the year of study, which take place outside of the teaching weekends, and the 24 hours of participation in coaching skills practice on the course.

Contact time

The PG Certificate in Positive Psychology Coaching is a one-year course with 8 attended contact weekends across the year of study. In a typical month you will have around 12 contact hours of teaching, all of which take place on the scheduled weekends.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 5 hours of interactive lectures and experiential workshops
  • 6 hours of structured coaching skills practice
  • 1 hour of tutor-supported group work (e.g. a live supervision of coaching work brought by a student; case discussions; facilitated group work for assessment preparation, or similar).

Throughout the year you will also evidence 36 hours of workplace-based coaching practice, with associated monthly supervision of at least 5 hours across the year, which take place outside of the teaching weekends.

There are additional costs related to this programme, such as professional body membership fees, and supervision costs if not covered by the workplace. For a breakdown of expected additional costs on this programme, please see the 'Fees' tab on the PG Certificate in Positive Psychology Coaching page of the Iron Mill College website.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 15 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing activities relating to formative assignments, reading journal articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research in the library and online, and preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team consists of senior academics that are also professional practitioners with substantial and extensive coaching experience. All lecturers remain in on-going coaching practice and hold memberships of coaching professional bodies. Additionally, all lecturers associated with this programme have a well-established track record of publications relating to coaching and psychology, and hold qualifications in education along with very substantial higher education teaching, learning and assessment experience. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our Staff Profiles on the Iron Mill College website.


The course provides opportunities to assess understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. There are two modules: each module also has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

There are no exams on this course.

Your assessed work consists of:

  • A written case study of your choice demonstrating your coaching practice
  • A practical assessment via presentation, with various options to select from
  • Evidence of 36 hours of safe coaching practice and 5 hours of supervision of your practice


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.


Where could it take you?

Applicants with postgraduate levels of achievement are increasingly being sought, and this contemporary training is likely to boost the employability prospects and possibilities for graduates. It provides opportunity for advancement in a variety of careers within both organisational settings and within the helping professions.

By incorporating EMCC competency indicators and EQA quality standards, this programme offers an excellent platform for graduates seeking employment opportunities and a career path towards senior practitioner level coaching and executive level coaching, as well as membership of a professional body such as EMCC.

Possible career opportunities for coaches in organisations and within the helping profession are varied, numerous and growing. Such opportunities may include:

  • Coaching within Professional Services and Consulting organisations.
  • Coaching as a Human Resources and Learning & Development professional.
  • Coaching as an Organisational Development specialist.
  • Coaching in Private Practice.
  • Coaching within Educational institutions: schools, colleges and Universities.
  • Coaching within Local Authority employee services programmes.
  • Coaching within Charitable agencies.
  • Coaching within Health and Social Care settings.
  • Coaching within Probation and Social Work.

How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

Additional costs

This will vary depending on your own circumstances, but all applicants must make sure they fully understand the additional expense requirements they will need to undertake during this course. Iron Mill College is unable to contribute to any of these additional costs; they are met by the student. 

The Counselling Directory website and the It's Good to Talk website can also help provide you with information on the average costs of supervision.

Costs may include:

  • Travel and boarding costs
  • Purchase of books
  • Supervision: supervision will cost approximately £30-£60 per 1.5 hours for monthly individual supervision and approximately £20 per hour for group supervision
  • Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Certificate (previously known as the Enhanced CRB): £44. This is an entry requirement and students will be contacted by the University about how to make a DBS application after accepting a place on the course
  • Membership of the European Mentoring Coaching Council (EMCC): £100 plus VAT or membership of a similar professional body with a relevant code of conduct (assessed at interview)
  • Realise2 Strengths Profiler assessment: £30
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance for those undertaking coaching in private practice: approximately £25-£90 per year. Monthly payment options are usually available
How to apply