What makes life worth living? People have always been driven by the pursuit of happiness and hope for the future. While this may seem to be an idealistic notion at first, it has found its place in positive psychology.
For much of the 20th century, “What is wrong with people” has guided the thinking of many psychologists, dominating countless scientific studies and rooting the field in pathology. Founded over a decade ago by University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman, positive psychology instead asks “what is right with people”. Human strengths, such as courage, future-mindedness, optimism, and interpersonal skills act as buffers against mental illness. Positive psychology, therefore, is devoted to understanding and learning how to build these positive qualities in order to improve people’s well-being and help to promote the “good life”.
On an individual level, positive psychology embraces the capacity for love, courage, interpersonal skills, aesthetic sensibility, perseverance, forgiveness, originality, spirituality, high talent, and wisdom. In our times such virtues are often looked at with scepticism. But before dismissing positive psychology as “soft” one needs to know that it is firmly rooted in hard science, and an evidence-based approach underpins the entire programme. Upon completion students will be able to design and judge a positive psychological research project and will have gained first-hand experience with various positive psychology intervention techniques.
As part of the programme, students participate in a series of hands-on workshops including a mindfulness meditation and learning about the latest mindfulness research, positive emotions techniques and self-compassion sessions. Students attend interactive lectures, work on specific real-life cases and give presentations. The final project is a paper on a topic chosen by the students. On the last day of the course, a student symposium is held where each student presents a review or research proposal to the rest of the group with a poster or an oral presentation.
Experience Europe during your study
Although the Positive Psychology programme focuses on academics first and foremost, experiencing Europe is about more than just studying. The programme includes two cultural weekend trips to the beautiful European cities of Amsterdam and Brussels.
The first weekend trip to Amsterdam includes, for example, visits of the Anne Frank House and the Dutch open air museum Zaanse Schans as well as a historical city tour and an activity of choice.
The second weekend trip to Brussels includes, for example, a historical city tour, architectural and cultural highlights, an activity of choice, a chocolate tasting and a visit of the Val-Dieu Abbey and brewery.
At CES we have a small team of young-hearted, dedicated people ready to help you, so you can focus on the things that really matter during your stay abroad, whether that is selecting the right courses, getting to an airport for your flight to Barcelona, finding a volunteer opportunity, meeting Dutch students, buying a bike or more.
Before you get here...
You will have one person responsible for your programme, who will guide you through the application process and the preparation of your stay abroad. The programme coordinator will sign you up for classes, arrange housing and order insurance (if applicable), as well as organise the airport pick up and the introduction programme. You can contact your coordinator with any question you might have.
After you arrive...
Once you're here, your programme coordinator will guide you through the application of your temporary residence permit (if necessary). Afterwards, we will be here for whatever you need. There are no limited office hours, our doors are always wide open and you can reach each programme coordinator on their cell phone 24/7. Just walk in, we are always happy to see you :o).
The ‘Maastricht Method’ of education
The Positive Psychology programme uses Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a student-centred teaching method widely used throughout Maastricht University. Small groups of students (12-15) work on academic or practical cases prepared by their teachers, who act as guides to students. Students are in charge of their own learning process and are expected to be committed, active and self-motivated. As part of the programme, students participate in a series of hands-on workshops including a mindfulness meditation and learning about the latest mindfulness research, positive emotions techniques and self-compassion sessions. Students attend interactive lectures, work on specific real-life cases and give presentations. The final project will be a paper on a topic of your choice. On the last day of the course, a student symposium will be held where each student presents a review or research proposal to the rest of the group, either by poster or through an oral presentation.
The total workload for January Programmes is 36 class hours, during which time students earn 7.5 ECTS. How ECTS transfer back depends on your home university or college. Generally a 5-6.5 ECTS course is the equivalent of a full semester course (3 American credit hours).
Maastricht University uses the European-wide ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits to measure academic progress.
Academic excellence with an International approach
The Positive Psychology programme is a unique experience, following one of the hottest topics in psychology today. As many universities do not yet offer positive psychology courses, this is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in a cutting edge in the field. Maastricht University is home to an internationally renowned Psychology and Neuroscience faculty and facilities, and is a growing centre of psychology research.
High academic standard
CES programmes are designed for enthusiastic and intellectually curious students dedicated to expanding their academic horizons while abroad. To ensure that students do well, CES offers extensive academic advising, workshops and regular monitoring. Maastricht University uses Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a student-centered teaching approach. Small groups of students (12-15) work on academic or practical cases prepared by their professors. Faculty act as guides to students who are in charge of their own learning and are expected to be committed, active and self-motivated.
Acceptance to the open enrolment programmes is competitive and early application is recommended. While most students participating in our open enrolment programmes are undergraduates at the junior or senior level, applications by motivated students at the sophomore and/or freshman level with a good GPA will be considered too. You should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to apply for a CES Open Enrolment Programme. If you have a lower GPA you can request to be considered if you can show a recommendation from a professor or academic advisor at your home university or college with specific details about your academic development so far.
Applicants must be proficient in English. Non-native speakers are required to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency. Students with an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma are exempted, as are EU-nationals. International students who are enrolled as fulltime students at university or college in a native-speaking country where English is the language of instruction are also exempted.
All other prospective students must present a current TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Testing System), score before they can be admitted.
Your TOEFL test score has to be at least:
Your IELTS test score must be at least 6.5.
Complete and submit the online application and send all additional information mentioned below via email to your coordinator. Your CES coordinators will contact you within a week after receiving your application and additional information to assist you in the registration process and the preparations for your stay in Maastricht.
Additional required information
CES cancellation policy
The Center for European Studies incurs costs for each student we register. CES applies the following cancellation regulations:
Exceptions to the abovementioned cancellation regulations will be reviewed by CES on a case-by-case basis.
15 October 2020
International relations officer
Monday - Friday