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    Work Psychology

    Management School, Faculty of Social Sciences

    Learn the skills and knowledge necessary for a career dedicated to enhancing organisational and personal effectiveness through our Work Psychology program, which equips graduates with the ability to navigate the dynamic business landscape and make a meaningful impact.
    Postgraduate students in the Courtyard Café

    Course description

    Discover how to apply psychological theories and principles to the work environment, enhancing employee satisfaction, well-being, and driving performance and productivity. These invaluable skills can be utilised as a consultant to businesses or within internal staff roles.

    Immerse yourself in hands-on workshops that foster the development of key psychology skills, including coaching, feedback provision, delivering presentations, utilising statistical software, group work, and information management. Additionally, you will receive comprehensive training, at no additional cost, to become a certified psychometric assessor for both ability and personality psychometric tests.

    Towards the end of the programme, you will undertake a dissertation focused on your interests within a real-world organisation, honing your communication, negotiation, and project management abilities. Recent dissertations have covered diverse, cutting-edge topics, such as understanding younger workers' experiences of age-related discrimination, exploring the impact of remote working and virtual meeting technology on efficiency and wellbeing, and analysing whether and how people disclose their neurodiversity in the workplace.

    A significant proportion of students engage in projects sourced through the Institute of Work Psychology's business network or the Management School's Employability Hub, enabling them to address practical organisational issues. The dissertation project provides a platform to apply your knowledge in practice and further develop organisational skills.

    While the MSc Work Psychology is not formally recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS), it equips you with the necessary skills for research and practice as a work psychologist.

    If you already meet the eligibility criteria for the BPS' Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, you can choose to study our recognised MSc Occupational Psychology programme. It's also possible to transition from the MSc Work Psychology to the MSc Occupational Psychology if you achieve the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership during your course of study.


    The Management School is Triple Crown accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB.


    A selection of modules is 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.

    Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations

    This module provides the essential toolkit for evidence-based psychologists. It ties together the other modules, for example when you learn about career counselling in the training module, you practice the skills involved in this module. We will work on building your skills in a range of ways such as group facilitation, conflict resolution, dealing with ethical issues and being creative. This is done through interactive sessions involving 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 onto Chartership.

    15 credits
    Leadership, Engagement and Motivation

    In this module you will develop an evidence-based understanding on how to motivate people, lead teams, and accurately appraise performance. You will examine existing theoretical approaches to topics including work motivation, leadership, power and politics, engagement, and employee voice. The module seeks to develop your critical understanding of these topics, so that you can apply this knowledge to organisational situations. A workshop approach is used to combine lectures with small group activities, to encourage discussion, debate, and skill development.

    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
    Selection and Psychological Testing in Organisations

    This module looks at how the art and science of employee selection come together. We explore the theory of how recruitment and selection should happen, before considering how it does happen in the real world. You will have the opportunity to gain additional specialised qualifications in delivering psychometric assessments. The three-hour workshops involve lecture elements, analysis of case studies, group problem solving tasks as well as thought-provoking discussions. In this module we critically dissect existing selection practices in organisations, contemplating their validity, reliability, ethics, and legality. Our learning environment is immersive and participatory.

    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 techniques such as linear regression, including testing for mediation and moderation; exploratory factor analysis; and reliability analysis. Students will also attend small group practical classes taught by a statistician, in which the students will get the opportunity to work through practical examples of each method and learn to understand and interpret output. 

    The module is taught by an expert statistician. For more details see here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/people/academic-staff/chris-stride

    15 credits
    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
    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
    Research Methods for Occupational Psychologists

    In this module, you will develop transferable skills that are relevant to research and practice. You will learn about the purpose of research, how it is evaluated, and why it allows humanity to progress. You will also learn how to select appropriate methods for answering specific research questions, as well as the rationale for using different research designs. The module includes a range of guest speakers, who are often international experts on their areas of focus. Moreover, skill based sessions are used to illuminate areas such as interviewing skills, theory development, and a range of qualitative analysis methods.

    15 credits

    This module is designed to integrate and apply extensive academic knowledge to practical, real-world situations, representing a vital element of the MSc. Students will embark on a comprehensive research project, conducted within an organisational setting, under the guidance of an academic supervisor from the Institute of Work Psychology.

    The dissertation module is unique in that students have the opportunity to undertake their research project with a real organisation, not only building their research skills but also their network. This dissertation offers a distinctive opportunity for students to engage directly with contemporary issues in occupational psychology. It allows for the exploration of a specific area of interest, facilitated by a one-to-one mentorship with experienced faculty members. This process involves a thorough review of relevant academic literature, leading to the formulation of pertinent research questions and the application of appropriate methodologies.

    A key feature of this module is its emphasis on practical experience. Students will collaborate with various organisations, providing a platform to apply theoretical knowledge and research techniques to address real-world challenges in the field of occupational psychology. This not only enriches the learning experience but also enhances the students' professional competencies in conducting data analyses, negotiating with organisational stakeholders, and writing for both academic and practitioner audiences.

    The dissertation module is crafted to ensure that students develop a robust understanding of both the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of occupational psychology, equipping them with the skills necessary for a successful career in academia or industry.

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


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


    • Individual assignments
    • Group projects
    • Dissertation


    Management School

    We have an international reputation for practical and real-world economics.

    We are a leading business school with Triple Crown accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS). These awards have been achieved through the outstanding quality of our programmes, research output, support for students and alumni, and links with industry. We have a world-class reputation for high quality teaching, ground-breaking research and cutting-edge thinking.

    You’ll be part of a dynamic and engaging business school that puts you and your future at the heart of everything it does. We balance a rigorous academic foundation with practical skills to ensure you are ready for the world of work.

    We want you to develop skills so you can apply course content in a company setting. Our close links with organisations keep us in tune with the changing demands of the workplace. We know what employers are looking for.

    You'll learn from experts - many are former industry professionals and they work closely with businesses. Because our academics are world-leading researchers, your education will draw on the most current management theories.

    We want you to engage with the academic content, be conscientious and take an independent approach to study. We want you to be informed, innovative and proactive and do everything we can to support and enhance your career, steering you in the right direction with all the knowledge and skills you require.

    You'll benefit from tailored on-site and online professional careers support, dedicated skills sessions and events with experts from world-leading organisations and professional bodies. These activities will help guide your personal and professional development to help you secure your dream placement, internship or graduate role.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in any degree broadly related to psychology or management, with some evidence of statistical content.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    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 now 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.

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