Qualification name:Occupational Health Psychology
Duration:1 year full-time
Entry requirements:2.1(Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
Including:"Degree is in a relevant scientific discipline e.g. psychology, behavioural science, ergonomics, human factors, nursing, medicine, public health, other subjects allied to medicine or social sciences"
Other requirements:Vocational experience can be taken into account.
IELTS:6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL IBT:87 (with no less than 20 in speaking and 19 in any other element)
Part time details:2 years part-time
Managing health and well-being at work is a major challenge for today's businesses in developed and developing countries. Many of the issues are can be addressed using 'psychology' as well as occupational medicine, nursing and safety management.
On our MSc Occupational Health Psychology you will:
learn how to design and manage healthy and safe working practices
develop the knowledge to advise companies on work-related stress and mental health at work
develop leadership, consultancy and research skills
build a network of international contacts
study at the internationally famous Institute that launched the world’s first MSc Occupational Health Psychology
be taught by academics that have advised the British Government, the World Health Organisation and the European Commission
About the course
First offered in 1996, the MSc Occupational Health Psychology is the first MSc course in Europe devoted entirely to the application of psychology to occupational health.
The course is deliberately international in its nature and is listed by the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology.
The course provides the knowledge base and research skills for a career in the fast developing discipline of occupational health psychology.
It emphasises the Institute’s special knowledge of work-related stress and its management, the legal context to occupational health and safety and issues such as psychosocial risk management, ageing and workplace health promotion.
Who is this course for?
This course will be of interest to those who want to specialise in the application of psychology to occupational health and safety. Past students have developed careers in education and training, consultancy in occupational health psychology, health and safety management or organisational development, and in research.
Applicants are considered on the basis of their academic merits, abilities and potential. Although we ask for a 2:1 or equivalent in your first degree, if you have a good 2:2, your application may be considered under exceptional circumstances and where there is evidence of relevant work experience. Work experience is not a pre-requisite for many of the Institute's courses but it can certainly be an advantage for all of them.
The course attracts students from many countries; its international nature is one of its strengths. The emphasis is on understanding and preventing the work-related problems that are common in today’s developed and fast developing countries, and aiming to demonstrate the business case to managers.
International students may, with careful supervision and approval, base their research projects in their own countries.
To see what previous students have to say about the MSc Occupational Health Psychology visit the Institute Website.
The MSc Occupational Health Psychology is the first MSc course in Europe devoted entirely to the application of psychology to occupational health
The course is recognised by the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, and is listed by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Teaching within the Institute is informed by current research. We believe that research and teaching should be developed and delivered to help students and staff make a difference in the real world
The MSc Occupational Health Psychology is delivered on a full-time basis over one year or part-time over two years.
The course comprises 180 credits, split across 120 credits of core and optional taught modules and 60 credits of an Applied Research Project or two Dissertations.
Part-time students on this course are taught alongside full-time students and the choice of modules (and therefore the timetable) is flexible and a matter for agreement between you and the course director. In all cases, part-time students can access a wide range of teaching and learning facilities remotely via the student portal.
We also offer a Postgraduate Diploma Occupational Health Psychology, which mirrors the taught component of the MSc but does not include the Research Project or Dissertations.
The Institute’s world-leading research - which was rated in the top 10 in Business and Management - drives its teaching so that students benefit immediately from the latest research findings, and can put them to use in their careers.
Teaching on the course is led by academics with real-world experience. Our academic staff have advised the British Government, the European Commission, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation. They have worked with national and international organisations, in the private, public and third sectors.
Suggested further reading
Information about research and conferences is also available at:
Organisations, Stress and Health
Organisations, Stress and Health explores the role of psychological, social and organisational factors in individual and organisational health. A major theme is the nature of work-related stress, including causes and effects.
The module also considers other major contemporary concerns such as absence from work and the implications of an ageing workforce. The focus of the module then shifts towards an exploration of how these problems and others can be best controlled and managed. An overarching model of prevention and organisational interventions is suggested, and future challenges, both theoretical and practical, are identified.
Environmental Psychology and Design
Environmental Psychology and Design
This module explores some of the ways in which the physical environment influences peoples’ attitudes, behaviour and wellbeing. The focus of the module is upon the workplace and other organisational settings eg healthcare environments.
Evidence is presented throughout the module to show that the physical environment, whether natural or built, can influence attitudes, behaviour and well-being either directly or indirectly, ie in interaction with elements of the social environment. Loud noise, for example, is directly responsible for damage to the hearing system, while even low volume noise can make one feel very agitated if you are trying to sleep, or read a complex scientific paper.
A range of what might be termed psycho-geographic concepts are covered within the module including personal space, privacy, window access, personalisation and ‘supportive design’.
This module covers the core consultancy skills required by those studying occupational, work and organisational, occupational health and health psychology. It also considers ethical issues and the Code of Conduct of the British Psychological Society.
At the end of the course you will have the chance to carry out an applied research project in your own area of interest. This can focus on any organisation, anywhere in the world, meaning that if you are an overseas student, you can undertake the project in your home country.
Psychological Health at Work: Legislation, Policy and Guidance
This module is organised in three sections and explores psychological health at work from three angles: how organisations and managers should tackle the management of such health issues; the legal systems and consequences when systems are inadequate or not adhered to and an employee’s health is alleged to have been ‘damaged’ by work; and how to treat and rehabilitate employees in difficulty.
The module draws upon the knowledge and theories in applied psychology, and emphasises the importance of understanding the evidence base. It focuses initially on British law and related government, employers’ and trade unions’ guidance, particularly with regard to issues of work stress and issues such as discrimination.
It extends this to provide an international perspective by addressing these matters in countries of your choice. Topics covered in the three different sections include: history of health legislation, an international perspective on law, employer and employee guidance; litigation, case law, the work of the psychologist as expert witness in the courts, improvement notices; and the evidence base regarding guidance and therapeutic approaches to improve the psychological health of employees in difficulty, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and counselling.
Occupational Health Psychology, Work and Well-being
This module provides students with an introduction to occupational health psychology (OHP) as a discrete discipline focusing on issues of research, career development and professional practice, and education. It discusses how OHP addresses and promotes work and well-being.
The module provides you with knowledge and skills that will be key in your professional career, combining an introductory workshop with a series of lectures and seminars that incorporate group and individual exercises in the form of case study analysis, reviews and presentations, role playing exercises, fact sheet development and report-writing.
Subjects covered include: theory and practice in occupational health psychology; psychosocial risk management and work-related stress; corporate health and well-being; positive psychology including work engagement; methods of enquiry; and translating research into practice and professional development.
The module will allow you to: develop an advanced understanding of occupational health psychology as a discipline as well as work and wellbeing issues; apply theoretical models through real-life case studies; review policy, research and practice in relation to key issues of concern in modern working life; and translate research findings into practice for use by different stakeholders.
Ergonomics, work design, health and safety
This module discusses several contemporary issues in ergonomics, safety and health, including accidents and musculo-skeletal disorders. In addition, this module will explore issues in human factors, such as the perceptual, cognitive and actions involved in dealing with equipment within varying organisational contexts.
This module discusses the nature and philosophy of psychology as a social science. You will be introduced to basic issues relating to the nature, philosophy and strategies of social science and to related issues of research methods and ethics. The module will consider the practical and social psychological issues involved in conducting research in field situations (eg obtaining participants, sampling and keeping records).
This module builds on previous research methods modules and provides you with an introduction to further research methods and analysis. This includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, and some new approaches to collecting and analysing data (eg internet based research).
For more details on our modules, please see the Module Catalogue.
Postgraduate Taught Funding
Financial support and highly competitive scholarships are available, and we encourage potential applicants to explore all funding possibilities. Please check the Graduate School for opportunities you may be eligible for in addition to those outlined here.
The University's Careers and Employability Service also provides a useful information service about further studies and sources of funding for graduates.
NB: Please note that scholarship applications cannot be considered until an offer has been made.
Scholarships offered through the International Office
Through its International Office the University offers a range of Competitive Scholarships for international students.
It also offers a number of Non-Competitive Scholarships. These include the University of Nottingham Alumni Scholarship, an automatic 10% fees bursary offered to overseas and European Union graduates from the University of Nottingham who continue on to higher degrees at Nottingham.
Similar schemes exist for Alumni of Universitas 21 Institutions and non-UK former Study Abroad and International Exchange Alumni.
There is also a Family Scholarship (10% fees bursary) offered to students (European Union or overseas) who have family who are students or graduates of the University of Nottingham.
Further information is available on the International Office Scholarships page.
Additional Funding Opportunities
Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding
Applicants who will be employed by the NHS in the East Midlands while they are undertaking their studies may be eligible to apply for Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding through the East Midlands Healthcare Workforce Deanery. Funding will be available for both full programmes and individual modules.
See also: Fees
The University of Nottingham has an excellent track record for alumni employment. The course is highly suitable for careers in Human Resource Management, the management of workplace health, wellbeing or safety.
Some of our graduates have set up their own consultancy companies or proceeded to studying for a PhD. Many others have gone straight into successful careers all over the world.
Some of our past students are now working in China, India, Ireland, Norway, Singapore and the UK as:
HR services managers
occupational health psychologists
consultant work psychologists
The University of Nottingham remains one of the UK's ten universities most targeted by recruiters. Some 2,000 employers approach the University each year. Together with the University's Centre for Career Development (CCD), we will help you plan your future.
Programme directors will be happy to provide general information about career prospects in relation to their courses and to advise you on the most appropriate course depending upon the career path you have in mind.