This professionally-recognised course will provide you with the skills and commercial awareness to apply psychological principles to the challenges faced by organisations.
You’ll build your knowledge of the psychological science base while gaining an appreciation of business management, learning from expert practitioners within organizational psychology.
You’ll examine individual, group and organisational effectiveness by exploring issues such as selection and assessment, and consider the latest topics including managing innovation, change management and designing complex socio-technical systems.
The course has a practical focus and thanks to our connections with firms such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Marks and Spencer, you’ll test your professional skills in real business scenarios. During the course you’ll have the opportunity to gain certification in Occupational Test User: Ability and Personality at no additional cost, which is a valuable tool for selection and development.
This masters is an ideal qualification if you want to work as a practitioner organizational psychologist or academic researcher.
You’ll learn from an influential group of organizational psychologists, introducing you to the latest thinking from our research centres, the Socio-Technical Centre (STC) and the Workplace Behaviour Research Centre. They undertake research at the cutting edge of organizational psychology and behaviour. The centres combine expertise in psychology, management, engineering, environmental science and geography to form a thriving research community.
Students also benefit from our strong corporate connections, as well as links with several leading organizational psychology consulting firms. Recent project partners have included Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Arup, the National Health Service, Network Rail and Marks and Spencer.
The course covers the full range of topics required for professional recognition by the British Psychological Society (BPS), the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. To read more about the benefits of undertaking an accredited programme, please see the BPS website.
Graduation from this course fulfils stage one of the requirements for Chartered Membership of BPS and full membership of the Division of Occupational Psychology. Please see the BPS website for details.
In each semester you’ll study a range of modules that develop your knowledge of key aspects of organizational psychology.
You’ll be introduced to the individual, team and organisational factors that affect workplace behaviours such as decision-making and teamwork. You’ll explore the selection and training methods use by organisations to recruit, develop and retain talent and the design of complex human-technical systems.
From there you’ll study contemporary business priorities such as organisational development and change, as well as approaches to career development and performance management. A further module will put you in real-life business situations to help you develop your commercial awareness and professional skills.
Throughout the year you’ll develop your understanding of research design and analysis in psychology and social sciences, especially behavioural research. This will develop your skills to prepare you for your dissertation – the independent research project on your choice of topic that you’ll submit by the end of the year. Read about a recent student dissertation project with Bentley.
You’ll take nine compulsory modules including your dissertation.
For more information on typical modules, read Organizational Psychology MSc Full Time in the course catalogue
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include lectures, seminars, workshops, online learning and tutorials.
Independent study is also vital for this course allowing you to prepare for taught classes and sharpen your own research and critical skills.
Assessment methods emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including exams, group projects, written assignments and essays, in-course assessment, group and individual presentations and reports.
As a graduate of this course you will be business savvy, with a broad appreciation of the financial, strategic and operational workings of contemporary organisations. Our graduates are strongly positioned to enter careers in the public or private sectors, equally adept as dedicated consulting organizational psychologists or human resource specialists.
Recent graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in a range of organisations and consultancies around the world, including Google, Kiddy and Partners, Capp, and Human Factors International. Roles include Consulting Psychologist, Operations Analyst, Trainee Occupational Psychologist, Management Consultant, Recruitment Consultant and Crowd Management Consultant.
We help you to achieve your career ambitions by providing professional development support as part of the course. You benefit from our professional development tutor, who will help you to develop the important professional skills that employers value. This means you will develop the academic skills to successfully progress through the course, and also the professional skills you will need to start a successful career.
The Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This distance learning course in Organizational Psychology focuses on the social and psychological processes operating in organizations. Drawing on current and classic theory and research, the course enables you to understand organizations and develop ways of improving them.
Redeveloped in 2014, the course features a range of new modules including 'Understanding organizations and change', 'Employee relations and motivation', and 'Leadership and performance management'. Your study experience is enriched through online seminars and discussions and a personal tutor.
On your home computer, you can watch the same lectures as those given 'live' to postgraduate students studying on campus at the University of London, accompanied by PowerPoint slides. You are also supported by:
- tutor-led online seminars for each module.
- a personal tutor who provides general guidance throughout your studies.
- extensive, purpose-written study materials.
- an online facility for submitting essays and mock exams to your tutor.
- access to world-class online library facilities.
- optional face-to-face seminar and exam revision session in London (held in February/September respectively).
The programme is developed by academics within the Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. The department is the oldest and largest of its kind in the UK and makes a major contribution to research in the field of behaviour at work. It is a major provider of academic and professional training in organizational psychology (also known as occupational psychology) and career management.
Graduates of this course go on to become trainers, motivators, careers advisers, managers and consultants within large multinational companies, government departments, or in any organization where advanced knowledge of organizational psychology may be useful.
Singapore-based Organizational Psychology graduate Janet Wong said: "The course not only covered relevant and practical modules that I'm passionate about which I can apply in my job, but also provided me with the ease of studying almost anywhere in the world."
Provided you complete the Masters or Postgraduate Diploma within five years, you can study at your own pace. As a guide, if you wish to complete in the minimum study period, you should be prepared to study 20 hours per week during the academic session. Academic sessions run from September until July in 2014-2015.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.
The MSc in Occupational and Organizational Psychology is designed to develop the next generation of evidence-based leaders and practitioners who can make tangible contributions to the rapidly changing world of work.
Our programme covers the standards of the BPS for Occupational Psychology, and prominently reflects the core strengths and interests of the course team including:
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The MSc in Occupational and Organizational Psychology is designed to develop the next generation of evidence-based leaders and practitioners in the field of work and organisational psychology. Students learn about the foundation knowledge, research and theory in the field, alongside practical, technical and professional content designed to permit development as future practitioners.
The programme is intentionally delivered in an interdisciplinary environment, from faculty who are Work, Organizational and Occupational Psychologists, Human Resource Specialists, and world-leading experts in Organizational Behaviour.
Learning and development is facilitated through innovative, high-quality teaching incorporating (for example) case studies, team-working, skills development, guest speakers, and an applied research project, alongside class lectures and academic assignments and assessment.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Critical, evidence based and theoretical understanding of the core knowledge areas of occupational and organizational psychology:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
A range of generic skills relevant to practice of occupational and organisational psychology. These include effective oral and written communication, team working, planning and organizing, problem-solving, critical reasoning, data gathering and analysis (qualitative and quantitative), and use of specialist IT (e.g. SPSS).
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.
Surrey Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and by the Association of MBAs (AMBA).