Masters in Organisational Psychology

What is a Masters in Organisational Psychology?

What is Organisational Psychology?

An applied discipline, organisational psychology relates to the science of work and human behaviour. Also known as industrial psychology, occupational psychology or work psychology, practitioners of this field focus on understanding employee attitudes and behaviours. In an organisation, they hold HR or Counselling roles and are responsible for improving employee job satisfaction, motivation and the overall mental and physical well-being of the individuals in the company.

Organisational Psychologists contribute to a company’s success by improving the effectiveness of an organisation’s teams, work culture, individual and departmental training programs, hiring practices, conflict resolution approaches, feedback systems and the HR process.


The History of Organisational Psychology

James Cattell and Hugo Münsterberg are the major influences on what we term as modern organisational psychology today. They shifted the traditional thinking of performance differences being related to human “error”, instead attributing it to the individual differences in the way people manage their work and approach tasks.

The Hawthorne Studies – which determined that people changed their behaviour in response to being observed – heralded the human resource movement. These studies showed how productivity was impacted by informal relationships and human emotions.


Masters in Organisational Psychology

A Masters in Organisational Psychology (BPS accredited) or a Masters in Occupational Psychology (BPS accredited) are postgraduate, academic degrees that are specialised in this area of study. These degrees teach how to use research to improve an organisation and help employees. Professionals get an in-depth understanding of the the limitations and strengths of research based evidence and a deeper appreciation of Psychology theory.

Students are taught to apply Organisational Psychology methodologies and skills to solve real-life workplace issues. Using contemporary research and practices, it expands upon core psychological theories, fundamental to developing a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour. Masters in Organisational Psychology courses also teach students a range of applied skills such as how to interview, evaluation techniques and questionnaire design.


What modules are covered in a Masters in Organisational Psychology?

Each university would have its own modules, however in general, the usual modules covered would relate to the following topics;


  • Wellbeing at Work
    • Explore work-life balance, diversity and stress at work
  • Leadership, Engagement and Motivation
    • Study theories of motivation and understand the psychological contract between a company, its leaders and the employees
  • Work design, Organisational Change and Development
    • Understand how human psychological and physical capabilities should factor into work environments and job designs. Learn about communication processes, organisational change and organisational culture.
  • Psychological Work Assessments
    • Explore job analysis, competency profiling and how to judge performance criteria’s validity and reliability.
  • Learning, Training and Development
    • Study how skills are acquired, needs analysis and occupational theories related to career development.
  • Research methods
    • Learn data analysis methods and techniques for conducting psychological research


Who should study a Masters in Organisational Psychology?

This course is ideally suited to professionals looking to advance their career in the field of Human Resources or Work Psychology. Most academic programmes required candidates who wish to pursue this degree to have a Bachelors in Psychology or a degree in business or health studies. Work experience in the field, or a related field can also be beneficial.


Interested in pursing a Distance Learning Masters in Organisational Psychology? Contact our Higher Education Consultants to discuss options.

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