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    2022 start September 

    Work Psychology

    Management School, Faculty of Social Sciences

    Develop the practical skills necessary for a career in enhancing organisational and personal effectiveness.
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    Course description

    You’ll learn how to apply psychological theories and principles to the work environment to improve performance and productivity. These skills will set you up for a career in organisational effectiveness. Both of these courses can involve a dissertation in a real-world organisation, which will demand effective communication, negotiation and project-management skills.

    Recent dissertations include a performance management project for a large organisation, working with a company in the insurance sector on change management, and a review of a law firm’s reward system.

    The MSc Work Psychology is not recognised by the BPS it will help you develop the skills you need for research and practice as an occupational psychologist and is typically the route taken by international students. If you’re already eligible for the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, you can study for the MSc Occupational Psychology which is recognised by the BPS.

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    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Work Design, Organisational Change and Development

    This module locates Occupational/Work Psychology within a global context, providing students with an effective grounding for other core knowledge areas. It covers a range of topics, including organisational structure, design and culture, models of change and development, organisational effectiveness, performance and communications, the design of jobs, work systems and environments, workplace safety and methods for managing risk and reducing human error. Students also have the opportunity to critically engage with contemporary themes, such as technology-mediated work, consumer psychology and the role of social media in the workplace. Case studies, practical examples and exercises are used throughout the module to integrate theory and practice.

    15 credits
    Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations

    This module will provide models for reflecting on evidenced based practice (e.g., the scientist-practitioner model) and specific tools (e.g., critical incident), techniques (e.g., interviewing and group facilitation) and abilities (e.g., assertive communication and conflict resolution) to enable the gathering, analysing and feeding back of data in organisational contexts. This is an interactive module consisting of theoretical and practical inputs and the opportunity to apply knowledge and abilities through discussion, individual presentation and feedback, group activities, skill development and evaluation, with the outputs being captured in critical reflection and portfolio entries. Effort has been made to match the assessment methods of this module with those used in Stage 2 of the QOccPsych so that this forms a logical progression from this module and the MSc programme.

    15 credits
    Leadership, Engagement and Motivation

    The module aims to develop in students a critical understanding of the ways in which people lead, engage and motivate employees in context of work. Students will learn about the theory and practice of work motivation, effective team-working, performance appraisal and performance management, leadership (and destructive leadership), employee engagement, organisational power, politics and influence, and employee voice. In addition, students will learn about workplace issues concerning gender, inequality and diversity. Sessions will combine theoretical inputs with opportunities to apply knowledge through discussion, class exercises, and debates.

    15 credits
    Learning, Training and Development

    The module aims to develop in students a critical understanding of the ways in which people learn and develop in the context of work and organisation. First, students will learn about the theory and practice of employee training, focusing on issues such as needs analysis, learning theories, different training methods and evaluation strategies. This will then be followed by a wider examination of career development activities, including coaching, counselling and mentoring. Sessions will combine theoretical inputs with opportunities to apply knowledge through discussion, case studies and simulation exercises.

    15 credits
    Research Methods for Occupational Psychologists

    The module provides coverage of quantitative and qualitative methods for psychology postgraduates, including a critical overview of the ontological and epistemological assumptions that underlie both methods. As a result of undertaking this module, students are able to understand the rationale for using different research designs and methods. Teaching sessions use lectures, discussion, and practical exercises. The students engage in skill-based sessions in areas such as interviewing skills, theory development, and various methods of qualitative analysis such as discourse analysis, thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis. The module also covers the emerging field of evidence-based occupational psychology and innovative technologies in research methods.

    15 credits
    Selection and Psychological Testing in Organisations

    This module covers theoretical and practical issues concerning the psychological assessment and selection of employees. An overview of the recruitment and selection process with a focus on the strategic role of employee planning and recruitment will be provided, followed by critical evaluation of different methods of selection such as interviews, focus group, psychometric testing and assessment centres. The module offers an in-depth insight into psychometric ability testing, including practices and considerations around test selection, administration, reporting and feeding back test results, assessing validity and reliability of tests, and issues surrounding equality and fairness in aptitude testing.

    15 credits
    Statistical Methods for Occupational Psychologists

    This module covers intermediate level and more advanced statistical techniques needed in organisational research. Lectures will be used to teach the rationale behind hypothesis testing and describe the principles behind techniques such as linear regression, and exploratory factor analysis. Students will also attend practical classes in order to apply and develop their knowledge.

    15 credits
    Well-being and Work

    This module covers one of the core knowledge areas required for Occupational/Work Psychology and explores how work relates to individual and organisational well-being by considering the role of work and employment. It will cover areas related to the employment lifecycle, patterns of work, occupational health, stress and emotions, the causes, symptoms, assessment, prevention and management of stress, bullying and harassment, positive psychological perspectives and the promotion of wellbeing. Individual differences and diversity in responses will be considered. Critical evaluation of the psychological evidence base for relevant interventions and how these might be implemented and evaluated in practice will also be discussed.

    15 credits

    Students will undertake a research project in an organisational setting under the guidance of their academic supervisor. In carrying out the study, students will apply and develop their skills in reviewing the academic literature to define key research questions, implementing appropriate research methodologies, conducting data analyses, negotiating with organisations and writing up the research for both academic and practioner audiences.

    60 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

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    1 year full-time


    • Lectures
    • Seminars
    • Case studies
    • Group work for collaborative learning
    • Web-based discussion groups


    • Individual assignments
    • Group projects
    • Exams
    • Dissertation

    Entry requirements

    A minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree in psychology, or with significant coverage of psychology plus research methods.

    If your undergraduate degree confers BPS Graduate Basis for Membership then you can apply for the MSc Occupational Psychology. The content is exactly the same as this course, the key difference relates to the British Psychological Society (BPS) recognition.

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Fees and funding

    More scholarships and fees information can be found on the Management School website.


    You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 3349

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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