Course Outline

COU301 Positive Psychology for Counselling

Course Coordinator:Kerry Francis ( School:School of Law and Society

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Traditionally, the foundation for clinical and counselling psychology has been the psychopathological personality, which focused on pre-classical psychoanalysis and modern practices to find what goes wrong in the human mind. This course will help you to examine factors that should be included when considering what goes right in the human mind - a study of strengths, virtues, optimism, hope, resiliency and happiness. The course is largely experiential and presents practical ways of using character strengths to promote and maintain wellbeing.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – One hour-long engagement including formative quizzes, podcasts/webinars, screen casts, interviews, simulations, videos and recorded discussions. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial- 2 hours to encourage the application of skills and knowledge introduced in the online learning materials for the week, via class activities. 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

What is Positive Psychology?

The evidence base for Positive Psychology

Emotion – dealing with the positive and negative (adult themes)

Finding flow states, mindfulness practice and wellbeing

Positive health

The psychological benefits of creativity


What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Review and apply the research that supports the principles, skills and strategies of positive psychology, and critically assess the claims of positive psychology to promote wellbeing. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Identify the changes in lifestyle you want to make and demonstrate through self-reflective writings that you are moving towards living in a positive psychological state with increased stable happiness. Creative and critical thinker
3 Understand and identify theoretical and practical concepts of Positive Psychology for counselling. Knowledgeable
4 Create and plan Positive Psychology interventions, apply and reflect on effectiveness and outcomes. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
5 Demonstrate effective communication through written reports and oral presentations, complying with accepted APA 7th ed. guidelines Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


COU180 or SCS180 and enrolled in Program AR302, AR303, AR375 or SA306


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Students will submit a literature review in Week 3, and will receive feedback in week 5 regarding any issues with written work. The literature review will prepare them for future assignments.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Literature Review (or component) Individual 30%
1500 words
Week 3 Online Submission
All 2 Journal Individual 20%
1500 Words
Week 7 Online Submission
All 3 Activity Participation Individual 50%
20 minutes / 1000 Words
Week 12 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Self care intervention literature review
To create a literature review about a self care practice or intervention relevant to assessment 2 and 3.
Product: Literature Review (or component)
Identify a self care practice/intervention such as mindfulness and gratitude activities that could be practiced during the semester, and review literature that describes and reports on the effectiveness of this practice/intervention.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identification of suitable mindfulness and gratitude activities for self-care
1 2
Literature review of relevant peer reviewed literature on chosen practice/intervention.
1 3 5
All - Assessment Task 2:Reflective journal
Begin to implement the mindfulness and gratitude self-care changes you want to make in order to live in a more positive psychological state, and reflect each week in your journal on changes you are noticing.
Product: Journal
Write one-two paragraphs per week reflecting on any changes you notice as a result of engaging in your self care practice/intervention. Each paragraph must connect to relevant literature in your literature review.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Clarity of description of practice/intervention and implementation.
2 4
Clarity and insightfulness of changes noticed.
1 3
Clear reporting on challenges of implementing your plan
2 5
Written expression and APA referencing
All - Assessment Task 3:Recorded session and Brief essay
To demonstrate skills and interventions learnt in course material and in tutorials via recorded role play session and brief critical reflective essay. Session must not be scripted.
Product: Activity Participation
Video recording demonstrating skills, and typed brief essay describing skills used and assessment of your effectiveness using accepted experiential learning model (e.g., Kolb)
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Effective use of skills and interventions learnt during course.
1 4
Clear reporting on your skills and effectiveness, and the impact of skills on client.
1 3 5
Accuracy of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Use of word limit. 
Appropriateness of APA referencing and citations

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required William C. Compton,Edward Hoffman 2019 Positive Psychology 3rd ed SAGE Publications, Incorporated
Recommended Martin Seligman 2012 Flourish n/a Random House Australia

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890