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Occupational Psychology Professional Doctorate

Course Description

To provide a higher qualification at doctorate level for established practitioners in occupational psychology based on their current or past professional work. You are helped to plan and conduct conceptually sound and ethically acceptable research, within the scientist-practitioner framework. You have access to the University's facilities such as the library, computers and video suites, although it is expected most research will be conducted in your own organisation or work setting.

About this course

You are helped to plan and conduct conceptually sound and ethically acceptable research, within the scientist-practitioner framework. You have access to the University's facilities such as the library, computers and video suites, although it is expected most research will be conducted in your own organisation or work setting.


The award of Professional Doctorate in Occupational Psychology is conferred after formal submission of the complete doctoral thesis and its successful defence at the viva voce examination. The examination of the thesis is conducted by examiners that are independent of the supervisory team.

Modular structure

Whilst individuals may be directed, where appropriate, to take selected modules from the School’s relevant Masters Courses, the programme itself consists of work towards the doctoral thesis only. This is structured according to set criteria for specified thesis components, which include a case study and an intervention process analysis that are typically examples from the candidate’s own professional practice. Furthermore, the thesis consists of a substantial empirical study and a critical literature review. A Prologue and Epilogue tie the thesis components together, highlighting both the overarching theme of the thesis and the reflective process of professional development that has been undertaken by the practitioner researcher. The expected word count for each of the thesis components is as follows:

Prologue - 1,000 to 1,500 words
Case Study - 6,000 words (if two linked cases then 3,000 words each)
Intervention Process Analysis - 5,000 words
Critical Literature Review - 5,000 words
Empirical Research Project - 25,000 words
Epilogue - 1,000 to 1,500 words

Applicants who seek to fulfil the requirements of the doctorate based on work already completed can do so in respect of all components except the critical literature review.

Why London Met?

At London Metropolitan University, we place students at the centre of everything we do. We are proud of our vibrant, multicultural and socially diverse community, and welcome applicants regardless of age or background. We offer most of our courses on both a full- and part-time basis, in order to best meet your needs.

The University also has a strong culture of research. Over two thirds of the research we submitted to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise was judged to be “internationally recognised”, “internationally excellent” or “world-leading”. Many of these expert researchers will be leading your lectures, as will employers and professionals with extensive real-world experience. They will be supported by an excellent network of guest speakers and mentors from the industry, making sure you get the best possible guidance.

Support from London Met

If this course is for you, please make sure you also take a look at key resources for postgraduate students on our website:

Postgraduate open days: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/events/postgraduate-open-days/
Applying for a postgraduate course: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/applying/postgraduate/
Funding support for postgraduate students: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/applying/funding-your-studies/

Visit the Occupational Psychology Professional Doctorate page on the London Metropolitan University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Ali Raid Baker

3083.jpg "I owe a large part of my success to London Met and the people I met there. Every experience I had at London Met, big and small, played a role in my story."

(Student Profile)

Frieda De Ley

3155.jpg "I previously worked for an industrial insurance company as a risk management consultant and engineering team manager. Over the years, despite a successful and rewarding career, I began to realise that my true enjoyment at work came more from the people challenges than from the engineering challenges. I decided to take a career break and re-train as an occupational psychologist, to be able to focus solely on people issues, and contribute to organisations in that field.

Before being able to do the MSc, I needed to obtain the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by completing a Conversion Diploma in Psychology course. I attended this course at London Metropolitan as well - not only because the course is well recognised by the BPS (British Psychological Society) and confers GBC, but because London Met was also the founding university for this course. I subsequently decided to stay on here for the MSc in Occupational Psychology, as I felt strong, pleasant bonds had been created with the staff in the department. I felt treated as an individual, not a number. As I was also the student representative for the Conversion diploma, I was able to witness first-hand that staff in the department really listened to student feedback, and on numerous occasions, made efforts to address any reported concerns or new ideas. Moreover, the MSc at London Met is recognised by the BPS, and provides a solid platform for working towards obtaining Chartership.

The course is very focused on developing practical skills associated with occupational psychology consultancy, with staff at hand to guide when necessary, but also to emphasise the importance of these learning opportunities. We are encouraged to keep a 'learning log', to enable us to reflect on all our new skills - or on areas needing further personal development. I think London Met definitely wants us to feel armed with knowledge and confident for when we will be presenting ourselves for a job! I would like to work as an occupational psychology consultant, building on my 12-year experience gained in the business world, helping clients to improve management of their most important asset: their people."

(Student Profile)

Christopher Rawlinson

Chris Rawlinson went straight from school to Loughborough University, where he gained a BSc in Social Psychology:

“I found it interesting and rewarding so I decided to continue studying at postgraduate level. Occupational psychology is a stepping-stone between theoretical and real-life work situations – it’s the psychology of work. I wanted to study this full-time in London and as the course was available in this mode I came to London Met!

“The libraries and computing facilities turned out to be very good as you needed to carry out a lot of work on your own – I really enjoyed this freedom. It gave me more control over my work and what I studied.

“The practical aspects of the course were good too – you were encouraged to carry out real consultancy type work rather than write essays. Ultimately this makes it more interesting and is a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills.

"I am now working for a Norwegian company near London Bridge where I am developing a project investigating job satisfaction. It was a shock to move from being a student to suddenly being an expert, which is how my colleagues see me, but as I am able to use the skills learnt on the course, I suppose I am.

“It’s been quite a challenge to get qualified; the course requires a fair deal of hard work. However, it has been very worthwhile – a master's is certainly a powerful qualification to have on your CV.”


Entry Requirements

You will be required to have: a membership with the Chartered Occupational Psychologists or in the final stages of achieving Chartered status or its EU equivalent, experience as a professional who might be able to meet the requirements of the doctorate based on work already completed, and evidence of an ability to conduct organisationally relevant and ethically sound research. Please see the London Met website for full entry requirements.

Course Fees

Fees vary by start point, please refer to the London Met website for accurate information.

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