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Positive Health

Positive health

What you will study

Diseases of lifestyle are the leading causes of death in the modern world. According to the World Health Organisation, heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes are the world’s largest killers, accounting for an estimated 38 million deaths annually, with 16 million of these being premature. Lifestyle factors are heavily implicated in all these diseases and individuals can do a lot to prevent the development of such conditions. Research has increasingly focused on the role of psychological and behavioural factors in lifestyle-related diseases and has provided new opportunities for understanding and intervention in such conditions.

The Professional Diploma in Positive Health is a new accredited, interdisciplinary Postgraduate programme designed for health and allied professionals in the rapidly developing area of positive health. In this context, positive health relies on research outputs from the emerging disciplines of lifestyle/integrated medicine, as well as the emerging fields of positive psychology and positive organisational research. The Diploma is designed to complement your prior training and experience by introducing you to cutting-edge theory and research in the disciplines underpinning positive physical and mental health. You will consolidate your learning by directly applying your new knowledge and analytical skills to the work environment via practice-based module assignments.

Accredited by the National University of Ireland and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, this level 9 programme is delivered over nine months using a blended learning format of online lectures, interactive webinars and group work, and is suitable for healthcare professionals and other professional groups, such as teachers, lawyers and managers, who need to develop an evidence-based understanding of positive health.

This programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Describe the basic epidemiology of chronic diseases of the modern era.
  • Critically discuss new and emerging approaches to health and healthcare delivery.
  • Critically assess the emerging constructs of integrative healthcare, lifestyle medicine, personalised medicine and positive health.
  • Describe the inter-related concepts of prevention, treatment and sustainability and outline how these can be integrated into the pursuit of positive health.
  • Identify and evaluate the implications of new healthcare paradigms, especially lifestyle and integrative medicine for the future of healthcare delivery.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in evaluating research papers that are relevant to the development of new healthcare paradigms.
  • Examine and critique the impact of the principles of positive psychology on health and wellbeing.
  • Describe and critically assess the principles and practice of coaching for health, wellness and recovery (incorporating motivational interviewing).
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on how increased self-awareness can be used to increase your own health and wellbeing.
  • Critically appraise the role of self-management in positive health and apply this to one’s own health.
  • Describe and critically discuss the role of meditation-based practices in optimising mind-body systems.
  • Identify the core principles of positive organisational scholarship and critically evaluate their impact on employee engagement and well-being.
  • Describe and analyse emerging concepts and practices relating to the creation of flourishing workforces and organisations.

Module 1: Emerging Approaches to Health, Healthcare and Wellbeing

This module aims to introduce you to important new approaches to understanding and dealing with lifestyle-related diseases, with a particular emphasis on the emerging role of psychological factors in preventing and minimising disease and in maximising health and well-being. The module also aims to increase your self-awareness about the importance of psychological factors in relation to your own health and well-being.

Credits: 10 ECTS

Module 2: Prevention, Treatment and Sustainability in Health and Healthcare

This module is designed to provide you with an introduction to the pillars of lifestyle medicine (diet and nutrition; physical activity and sleep; mental health (including stress and psychosomatic illness, healthy relationships, and substance abuse) and how they relate to empirically-based practice designed to prevent lifestyle-related disease. The module also develops your capacity to critically evaluate research literature.

Credits: 10 ECTS

Module 3: Positive Health in Practice

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the major theories of behaviour change and self-management. It also explores the relationships between mind and body and considers a range of approaches and methods that can be used to foster individual and organisational practices conducive to optimising health and well-being.

Credits: 10 ECTS

Timetables will be made available to students during their orientation module in September 2024. 

Most live sessions occur on Thursday afternoon from 12-1 with the few exceptions of some happening on a Friday. These sessions take place from 2-3pm to facilitate overseas guest faculty.

The schedule for each day will be available at the commencement of each module. Students are strongly encouraged to attend all scheduled teaching days listed.

Sometimes there are also additional tutorials or assignment clinics which are recommended/optional to attend and those dates will be released when each module goes live.

All sessions are recorded and can be viewed at a time that suits your needs. During orientation you will be shown where to find your module schedules on the virtual learning environment (VLE). 

Please note that RCSI reserves the right to make changes to the academic timetables, and any updates will be communicated to students accordingly.  

We understand that workload can be a concern for students, but we want to reassure you that we have your best interests at heart.

Our courses are designed in line with the guidelines set by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). A typical 10-credit module would require approximately 200-250 hours of your time. This includes attending engaging lectures, productive tutorials, independent study and completing thought-provoking assignments.

You'll find that many of the modules in our programmes are structured around 10 credits each, offering you a balanced and comprehensive learning experience. However, it's worth mentioning that the final module in year two of our MSc is worth 20 credits, tailored to enrich your year two portfolio.

We understand that each module is unique, and the workload might vary depending on the specific nature and requirements. Some modules may require more attention and effort, while others might be more approachable.

Our faculty is dedicated to guiding you through your academic journey, ensuring that you have the support you need to succeed. When you join the programme you will have dedicated programme coordinators and programme directors to answer any questions or concerns along the way.

Remember the issues you may face while on the programme are most likely ones we have dealt with before so please feel free to approach us in your time of need. We are here to ensure that your educational journey is the most enjoyable and fulfilling experience possible.

Rest assured, we value your time and dedication, and we encourage you to manage your time effectively. Remember, your passion for learning, combined with our expert guidance, will pave the way for your academic excellence.