Introduction to Self-Determination Theory: An approach to motivation, development and wellness

  • Created by Richard Ryan
  • Course Duration 21h
  • Price USD$
  • User Rating 4.8
  • Platform Coursera
  • Course Link Explore Course
Self-determination theory (SDT) is an empirically based theory of motivation and psychological development that is especially focused on the basic psychological needs that promote high quality motivation and wellness, and how they are supported in social contexts. SDT details how the styles and strategies of motivators such as parents, teachers, coaches, managers, and health-care professionals can promote or undermine engagement and the positive consequences that follow from it.

Unlock the secrets of motivation and personal development with our online course on Self-Determination Theory. Join Professor Richard Ryan to understand the psychological drivers of success and well-being. Enroll today!


Do you find yourself struggling with motivation and wondering how to lead a fulfilling life? Look no further! Our online course, “Introduction to Self-Determination Theory: An approach to motivation, development, and wellness,” is your gateway to understanding the secrets of human motivation and personal development. Led by the esteemed Professor Richard Ryan, this course is designed to provide you with valuable insights into the fascinating world of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and its profound impact on various aspects of life. Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock the path to success and well-being. Enroll now and embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery!

Course Overview

The “Introduction to Self-Determination Theory” course on Coursera offers an in-depth exploration of SDT, an empirically based theory of motivation and psychological development. The course spans approximately 21 hours over 3 weeks, providing a flexible learning schedule that adapts to your lifestyle. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced learner, no prior knowledge is necessary to embark on this enriching educational experience. Plus, with Coursera Plus, the course is included, giving you access to even more learning opportunities!

What You’ll Gain

By enrolling in this course, you’ll gain valuable insights into the core principles of Self-Determination Theory. Professor Richard Ryan, co-founder of SDT, will guide you through understanding how autonomy, competence, and relatedness play pivotal roles in promoting high-quality motivation and overall wellness. Uncover the powerful ways these basic psychological needs impact behavioral persistence, quality of relationships, and healthy developmental processes. Prepare to witness positive transformations in both your personal and professional life as you apply the knowledge gained from this course.

Who This Course is For

This course is open to individuals from all walks of life who are eager to explore the depths of human motivation and personal development. Whether you’re a student, a professional, a coach, a manager, or simply someone interested in understanding the science behind self-motivation, this course is tailored for you. Join a diverse community of learners and tap into the collective wisdom of students worldwide as you engage with this transformative content.

Understanding Self-Determination Theory

The Core Principles

At the heart of Self-Determination Theory lie three fundamental principles: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Professor Richard Ryan will delve into each of these principles, explaining how they form the bedrock of motivation and psychological development. You’ll gain a profound understanding of how fulfilling these basic psychological needs leads to enhanced motivation and overall well-being.

Role of Basic Psychological Needs

Discover the crucial role basic psychological needs play in shaping human behavior and experiences. Explore how the fulfillment of these needs contributes to better academic performance, increased job satisfaction, improved athletic achievements, and healthier relationships.

Impact on Motivation and Wellness

Delve into the far-reaching impact of SDT on motivation and wellness across various life domains. Understand how the theory can be applied in practical settings, fostering growth and success in education, work, sports, healthcare, and psychotherapy.

Exploring the Course Content

Professor Richard Ryan: Co-founder and Instructor

Get to know your guide on this transformative journey—Professor Richard Ryan, co-founder of Self-Determination Theory. His wealth of knowledge and passion for the subject will make learning engaging and enjoyable.

Practical Applications of SDT

Uncover the real-world applications of SDT and its power to drive positive change. Explore how SDT is implemented in educational settings to enhance student engagement and academic performance.

Work and Career

Understand how SDT influences work environments, leading to increased job satisfaction, higher productivity, and improved overall well-being for employees.

Sports and Performance

Discover the role of SDT in sports and performance contexts, where it fosters intrinsic motivation and optimal athletic achievements.

Healthcare and Psychotherapy

Learn how SDT is applied in healthcare and psychotherapy to support patients’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness, leading to more effective therapeutic outcomes.

Your Learning Journey

Flexible Schedule and Pace

Our course offers the flexibility to learn at your own pace, allowing you to balance your studies with other commitments seamlessly.

Shareable Certificate

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll receive a shareable certificate to showcase your newfound expertise on platforms like LinkedIn.

Quizzes and Assessments

Measure your progress and reinforce your learning through quizzes and assessments tailored to enhance your comprehension.

Subtitle Options

Language barriers won’t hold you back as our course offers subtitles in multiple languages, including Arabic and German.

Why Enroll Today

Don’t wait to embark on this transformative learning journey. Enroll today and gain invaluable insights into the principles of motivation and psychological development. Empower yourself to create positive changes in your life, both personally and professionally. Remember, self-determination is the key to unlocking your true potential!


Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our exploration into Self-Determination Theory. We hope this course has enriched your understanding of motivation, development, and wellness, leaving you inspired to apply these principles in your life. Continue to nurture your sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and watch as you flourish into the best version of yourself. Remember, the journey of self-discovery never truly ends, so keep seeking knowledge and embracing growth!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Is prior experience required to enroll in this course?
    Not at all! This course is designed for beginners with no prior experience needed.
  2. What is the duration of the course?
    The course spans approximately 3 weeks at 7 hours per week, totaling around 21 hours.
  3. Can I learn at my own pace?
    Absolutely! The course offers a flexible learning schedule, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
  4. Will I receive a certificate upon completion?
    Yes, upon successful completion of the course, you’ll receive a shareable certificate to add to your LinkedIn profile.
  5. Are subtitles available in languages other than English?
    Yes, the course offers subtitles in Arabic, German, and other languages for a more inclusive learning experience.