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Course overview

Take the next step in your career using psychology in the world of work. Join our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited course to get your Stage 1 qualification in Occupational Psychology and by the end you should be ready to continue on to your Stage 2 training.

You'll learn about how we motivate employees, how we train them, how we recruit, how we design jobs, how we assess performance, how we manage well-being, how we lead, how we manage organisational change, and more. 

At Nottingham, you'll be taught by research-active experts in the field, some of whom completed their own MScs at Nottingham. We make sure the course has a practical focus to improve your skills as a practitioner. That's why you'll learn about consultancy as part of your studies. You'll also get a good grasp on research methods applicable to the workplace, something particularly valuable to future employers. 

By the end of the course, you should be ready to apply what you've learned to the real world of work. 

Why choose this course?

BPS accredited

Take the next step on your journey to be an qualified occupational psychologist

Experts in the field

Learn from our teaching team and invited guest speakers

Practical application

Focus on applying your new skills to practice through modules like Consultancy Skills

Evidence-based

Apply evidence-based solutions to help solve workplace problems

Course content

You'll study across a number of compulsory modules designed to provide you with a sound knowledge and understanding of core areas of occupational psychology along with the skills to apply that knowledge in a practical setting.

Study takes place over three semesters, autumn, spring, and summer. Typically taught modules are delivered in the autumn and spring semesters with the summer used for the research project, though this is dependent on your mode of study.

MSc students will take all of the compulsory modules for a total of 180 credits.

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) cover the same modules but do not take the Project and Dissertation module, for a total of 120 credits.

Modules

Work design, Wellbeing and Work 20 credits

This module explores the role of individual, social and organisational factors in work environments and the promotion of well-being at work. Drawing from key literature in occupational health psychology, a major theme is work-related stress - its nature, causes and effects. The experience of stress offers one vehicle for understanding the link between those adverse working conditions and individual and organisational ill-health. The module also considers other major contemporary concerns such as bullying, harassment and violence. The focus of the module then shifts towards an exploration how these problems and others can be best controlled and managed through job design, the design of work environments and contemporary ergonomics. Various models of prevention and organisational interventions are suggested, covering both risk based perspectives, participatory approaches and positive psychological perspectives. Examples of interventions are considered both at the individual and organisational levels. Future challenges, both theoretical and practical are identified.

Learning, Training and Development 20 credits

This module begins with outlining theories of learning and the application of these to training development and design in organisations. Elements of the training cycle are discussed, including training needs analysis, training transfer and evaluation of training. Different methods of training delivery are evaluated, including consideration of e-learning and online training, whilst the development of innovation and creativity are also considered. The second part of the module focuses on employee development from a careers perspective and students are given the opportunity to explore practical implications by planning their own career development. Theories of occupational choice and career development are explored and the role of coaching, counselling and mentoring in relation to employee development are examined.

Leadership, Engagement, and Motivation 10 credits

This module introduces the important issues of leadership, employee motivation and engagement at work, and considers the contribution that psychological theory makes to our understanding of these areas. The module also considers the role of the psychological contract and organisational justice as concepts for understanding employee relations and explores the opposing issues of citizenship and counterproductive behaviours. There is also a focus on appraising employee performance with emphasis on exploring the global move towards engaging with multi-source feedback.

Organisational Change and Development 10 credits

This module provides an introduction to various approaches to understanding organisations and the environments in which they operate. Areas covered include:

  • Organisational structure, design, culture and climate
  • Power, influence and negotiation in organisations; consumer psychology
  • Methods and models of organisational development and change
  • Organisational effectiveness, productivity, performance
  • Groups, teams and teamwork
Psychological Assessment at Work 10 credits

This module covers contemporary issues in selection and assessment both from a psychological perspective and as an important personnel system for organisations. It provides discussion of: the nature of the selection system, organisational and job analysis, recruitment, selection interviewing and psychometric testing, selection validation, the nature and use of assessment centres, and the adverse impact of selection methods. The emphasis throughout the module is on selection as a process comprising an identification stage, a design and delivery stage, and an evaluation stage, with multiple feedback loops between stages.

Consultancy Skills 10 credits

This workshop-style module is run in collaboration with the owner-director of an occupational psychology consultancy organisation and a number of their staff. Using role play and other in-class activities, the workshop provides an opportunity for students to:

  • Develop an understanding of skills and competencies required of a consultant and reflective practitioner
  • Translate psychological knowledge, concepts and ideas into a language understandable by a non-psychologist
  • Interpret basic statistical evidence and convert this into proposed consultancy activities
  • Pitch for a possible piece of consultancy to a panel of people from the client organisation
Introduction to Research Methods 10 credits

Gain the knowledge and skills to effectively plan and design research as well as to critically appraise published research. You will be introduced to how to write a literature review in a systematic way, how to write a research proposal, study designs (including developing research questions), ethics and practical issues when planning and conducting research.

The module also covers designing questionnaires, psychometric issues such as reliability and validity, using interviews and focus groups, and use if the internet and an introduction to online research methods.

Qualitative Research Methods 10 credits

You will be introduced to a range of qualitative approaches and the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and practical application of qualitative methods.

Teaching will combine lectures, workshops, and self-directed study. Sessions will include a focus on interviews and focus groups, Realist Evaluation, thematic analysis, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, narrative approaches and Grounded Theory.

Students will be guided to consider developing qualitative research questions, ethical issues in qualitative research and the critical appraisal of qualitative research evidence.

Quantitative Methods 20 credits

Through a series of lectures, practical workshops and assignments, this module will take you through the design, operationalization, data-collection, data analysis, and report-writing processes of a quantitative research study in mental health and applied psychology.

Advanced techniques and software including Multi-Level Modelling; Meta analysis; Factor Analysis; Path Analysis.

Applied Research Project 60 credits

Empirical research project in applied psychology.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 09 November 2020.
Work design, Wellbeing and Work 20 credits

This module explores the role of individual, social and organisational factors in work environments and the promotion of well-being at work. Drawing from key literature in occupational health psychology, a major theme is work-related stress - its nature, causes and effects. The experience of stress offers one vehicle for understanding the link between those adverse working conditions and individual and organisational ill-health. The module also considers other major contemporary concerns such as bullying, harassment and violence. The focus of the module then shifts towards an exploration how these problems and others can be best controlled and managed through job design, the design of work environments and contemporary ergonomics. Various models of prevention and organisational interventions are suggested, covering both risk based perspectives, participatory approaches and positive psychological perspectives. Examples of interventions are considered both at the individual and organisational levels. Future challenges, both theoretical and practical are identified.

Learning, Training and Development 20 credits

This module begins with outlining theories of learning and the application of these to training development and design in organisations. Elements of the training cycle are discussed, including training needs analysis, training transfer and evaluation of training. Different methods of training delivery are evaluated, including consideration of e-learning and online training, whilst the development of innovation and creativity are also considered. The second part of the module focuses on employee development from a careers perspective and students are given the opportunity to explore practical implications by planning their own career development. Theories of occupational choice and career development are explored and the role of coaching, counselling and mentoring in relation to employee development are examined.

Leadership, Engagement, and Motivation 10 credits

This module introduces the important issues of leadership, employee motivation and engagement at work, and considers the contribution that psychological theory makes to our understanding of these areas. The module also considers the role of the psychological contract and organisational justice as concepts for understanding employee relations and explores the opposing issues of citizenship and counterproductive behaviours. There is also a focus on appraising employee performance with emphasis on exploring the global move towards engaging with multi-source feedback.

Organisational Change and Development 10 credits

This module provides an introduction to various approaches to understanding organisations and the environments in which they operate. Areas covered include:

  • Organisational structure, design, culture and climate
  • Power, influence and negotiation in organisations; consumer psychology
  • Methods and models of organisational development and change
  • Organisational effectiveness, productivity, performance
  • Groups, teams and teamwork
Psychological Assessment at Work 10 credits

This module covers contemporary issues in selection and assessment both from a psychological perspective and as an important personnel system for organisations. It provides discussion of: the nature of the selection system, organisational and job analysis, recruitment, selection interviewing and psychometric testing, selection validation, the nature and use of assessment centres, and the adverse impact of selection methods. The emphasis throughout the module is on selection as a process comprising an identification stage, a design and delivery stage, and an evaluation stage, with multiple feedback loops between stages.

Consultancy Skills 10 credits

This workshop-style module is run in collaboration with the owner-director of an occupational psychology consultancy organisation and a number of their staff. Using role play and other in-class activities, the workshop provides an opportunity for students to:

  • Develop an understanding of skills and competencies required of a consultant and reflective practitioner
  • Translate psychological knowledge, concepts and ideas into a language understandable by a non-psychologist
  • Interpret basic statistical evidence and convert this into proposed consultancy activities
  • Pitch for a possible piece of consultancy to a panel of people from the client organisation
Introduction to Research Methods 10 credits

Gain the knowledge and skills to effectively plan and design research as well as to critically appraise published research. You will be introduced to how to write a literature review in a systematic way, how to write a research proposal, study designs (including developing research questions), ethics and practical issues when planning and conducting research.

The module also covers designing questionnaires, psychometric issues such as reliability and validity, using interviews and focus groups, and use if the internet and an introduction to online research methods.

Qualitative Research Methods 10 credits

You will be introduced to a range of qualitative approaches and the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and practical application of qualitative methods.

Teaching will combine lectures, workshops, and self-directed study. Sessions will include a focus on interviews and focus groups, Realist Evaluation, thematic analysis, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, narrative approaches and Grounded Theory.

Students will be guided to consider developing qualitative research questions, ethical issues in qualitative research and the critical appraisal of qualitative research evidence.

Quantitative Methods 20 credits

Through a series of lectures, practical workshops and assignments, this module will take you through the design, operationalization, data-collection, data analysis, and report-writing processes of a quantitative research study in mental health and applied psychology.

Advanced techniques and software including Multi-Level Modelling; Meta analysis; Factor Analysis; Path Analysis.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 09 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Small group learning
  • Self-study

How you will be assessed

  • Exams
  • Essay
  • Presentations
  • Research project

Your work will be assessed during or at the end of each module through a variety of means. On some occasions you may be asked to do an individual or group-based presentation which, though not formally assessed, will help you demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

In order to achieve the MSc, you will need a total of 180 credits.

In order to achieve the PGDip, you will need a total of 120 credits.

Contact time and study hours

We encourage our students to think of the course like they would a full-time job and spend around 37 hours on it per week including teaching time. Part time students should consider it similar to a part-time job.

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete or around a total of 25 eight-hour days.

Full Time

Full time students learn over a period of two semesters and a summer period totalling around 12 months.

Teaching is usually delivered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the semesters. You'll have around 8 to 12 hours of contact time each week, however time and days of teaching will depend on the modules.

Non-teaching days are intended for private study and research.

Part Time

Part time students can learn the same course content over a period of 24 or 36 months.

Teaching is usually delivered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the semesters. Part time students will typically attend teaching one to two days a week or about 4 to 8 hours per week.

Students studying over three years will have less. We try wherever possible to be flexible to help you manage your timetable.

You're expected to devote around two to three days per week to the course including attending teaching, private study, and research.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 in Psychology
Additional information

You will also need proof of holding Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) either from your University or the British Psychological Society (BPS). If you have not studied an accredited course you will need to take an accredited conversion programme or look at our other offerings.

Find out more about accredited conversion programmes

If you have an undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) that does not give you the graduate basis for chartership (GBC), the MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology may be more suitable for you.

If you have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than psychology, the MSc in Management Psychology may be more suitable.

Applying

If you have any questions about applying to the course or studying at the University of Nottingham, please use our enquiry form

You can also contact the course director, Dr Louise Thomson, if you have any questions about the course content.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc PGDip
Home / UK £9,250 £6,167
International £23,000 £15,333

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

You should be able to access the books and resources you need for the course through our libraries, however you may wish to purchase your own copies or get specific books which may cost up to £80 each.

We also offer access to an optional discounted external course on Occupational Test Use Training Provision for MSc students. The course costs £800 in total for the two different components plus the BPS student concessionary fees

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers around the world. Some of our graduates have gone on to roles in:

  • work psychology consultancy firms
  • management consultancy firms
  • occupational psychology in the Civil Service and other public sector organisations
  • learning and training in the public and private sector
  • recruitment and talent development 
  • human resources

Career progression

90.3% of postgraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £38,889.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" The modern workplace is changing all the time and we're constantly thinking about how we apply it to our work and the course. Nottingham is a lovely place to study with a fantastic team of research active teachers. We're really passionate about applying the principles of psychology to work. I believe that the workplace should be a place to promote good health and well-being, as well as learning, development and performance. We want to inspire and motivate our students to be the best that they can, but also to have fun along the way. "
Dr Louise Thomson, Course Director

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Monday 09 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.