Triangle

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. Upon graduation, you should be ready to continue on to Stage 2 training, the final part of becoming a Chartered Psychologist and registered Practitioner Psychologist. Due to the professional accreditation route which this course is part of, you must have a BPS-accredited undergraduate degree in Psychology.

Our Occupational Psychology MSc provides you with a grounding in the key theoretical and research models used within the field. You'll learn how to motivate employees, train and lead them, and how to assess their performance. As well as job design, managing organisational change, managing well-being in the workplace and more. All of which are particularly valuable to future employers, including specialist: Occupational Psychology consultancies, business and management consultancies and other large organisations who employ psychology specialists within their corporate teams

We're committed to developing your practical skills and enabling you to advance as a practitioner. That's why you'll learn consultancy skills and how to use evidence-practice. You'll also benefit from being taught by research-active experts in the field.

An advanced degree from Nottingham will see you graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to commence stage 2 training and apply what you've learned to the real world of work.

Why choose this course?

BPS accredited

Complete stage 1 of the professional accreditation route to becoming a 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

Established course

We've been training future occupational psychologists since 1986

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

Applied Research Project 60 credits

This is an empirical research project in psychology. 

You'll conduct an 8,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choosing related to applied research and associated methods in an organisational context.

You'll be assigned a supervisor who will be available to support you throughout your project.

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.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

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.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

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.

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 Tuesday 28 June 2022.
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.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

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.

This module is likely to be delivered online.

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.

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 Tuesday 28 June 2022.

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'll need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

To achieve the MSc, you'll need a total of 180 credits.

To achieve the PGDip, you'll 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

If you choose the full-time route, you'll study over 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 an average of eight to 12 contact hours each week. However, the time and days of teaching will depend on the modules.

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

Part-time

If you choose the part-time route, you'll 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 four to eight hours per week. If you choose to study over three years, you'll have less. 

We try wherever possible to be flexible to help you manage your timetable.

You're expected to devote around two and a half 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 2023 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 in a BPS accredited psychology degree
Additional information

You'll need evidence 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'll need to take an accredited conversion programme or look at our other offerings.

Find out more about accredited conversion programmes.

Holders of non-BPS-accredited psychology degrees

If you have an undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) that does not give you the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), the Work and Organisational Psychology MSc may be more suitable for you.

Non-psychology graduates

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

Applying

If you have any course-specific questions you can email the course director, Dr Louise Thomson.

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

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2023 entry to be confirmed in August 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

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 User Training, which is an additional qualification accredited by the BPS and attractive to employers. The course teaches you how to use Occupational Ability tests and Personality Tests. It is run by consultants at Affinity Health at Work. 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.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

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.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

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.

We work with a number of organisations and consultancies to support student placements and work experience. These include: Psychological Consultancy Ltd, The Work Psychology Group and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

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

This content was last updated on Tuesday 28 June 2022. 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.