Postgraduate study
You will develop a sound knowledge of areas including selection, training, employee wellbeing and organisational change through this accredited course.
MSc Occupational Psychology
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
Other requirements
Proof of holding GBC must be stated as a condition of any offer (e.g. a formal letter from a University stating that their Bachelor programme in Psychology is accredited by the BPS and provides the basis for GBC). Vocational experience can be taken into account.
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£8,235 - Terms apply
International fees
£21,375 - Terms apply
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Jubilee Campus



Key facts

Is this course for you?

This masters course is for you if you have an undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) that confers the graduate basis for chartership (GBC).(Check whether your degree confers the GBC.)

Other psychology graduates

If you have studied psychology as a major or minor subject but your degree is not accredited by the BPS, we offer a mirror course - MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology.

Non-psychology graduates

If you have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than psychology, check out the MSc in Management Psychology.

Chartered status

The MSc is approved by the Training Committee of the Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is equivalent to their Qualification in Occupational Psychology (Stage 1), (Q Occ Psych, Stage 1). 

The course was reaccredited, without conditions, by the British Psychological Society (BPS) in 2015.

The skills, expertise and high level research output of the programme team, and how these feed in to the programme are highly commendable and seen of great value by the students on the programme. 

-BPS panel report, 2015 

Course focus

As a BPS accredited masters degree, the Occupational Psychology MSc is focussed on the BPS designated five main areas of importance:

  1. Learning, training and Development
  2. Psychological Assessment at work
  3. Leadership motivation and engagement
  4. Wellbeing and work
  5. Work design, organisational change and development

Also in accordance with the BPS regulations, the following aspects of the course feature prominently:

  • Research design, advanced data gathering and analytical techniques
  • Applying psychology to work and organisations
Qualification in Psychological Testing
Students have the an opportunity to obtain an additional, separate qualification in Psychological Testing (Level A and Level B) which is a BPS (British Psychological Society) qualification. 

The course structured is designed to facilitate the planning of both course-related and non-course related activities:

  • Students receive a timetable and year planner at the outset of the academic year detailing dates of all attendance requirements and all assessments for the year
  • Attendance requirements are primarily timetabled from Tuesday to Thursday
Applied research project
Students on this course have to undertake an applied research project, which is a piece of real-world research that can be carried out in any part of the world. This might be of particular interest to students from outside the UK, who may welcome an opportunity to collect data from their home community and may even conduct their ARP from abroad, provided contact with their supervisor can be maintained. 


Since my return to work in a large organisation, the skills and knowledge I learnt during the course have equipped me well for my job role. In particular, successfully completing the Applied Research Project during the course has given me the confidence to tackle complex problems at work through a structured process of research and intervention design.

- Lance O. (2018 graduate)




Full course details

Course aims

The objectives of the MSc are to provide:

  • Sound knowledge and understanding of core areas of occupational psychology
  • Practical application skills relevant to the above areas
  • Competence to practise independently in occupational psychology

Through our comprehensive programme, which includes workshops on Consultancy Skills and opportunities for Test-User Training, you will have the facility to develop practical skills fundamental to your future career development.  


The MSc Occupational Psychology is delivered on a full-time basis over one year or part-time over two years. It commences in late September each year.

The course comprises 180 credits, split across 120 credits’ worth of core and optional taught modules and 60 credits for the applied research project.  

Teaching methods

A variety of teaching methods are used on this course to facilitate learning. These include lectures, seminars, workshops and self-managed learning groups.


Assessment is also undertaken by a variety of means, including examinations, essays, dissertations and field-based project work. On some occasions, students might be asked to make individual or group-based presentations in seminars and workshops. Although not formally assessed, these presentations are an essential opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge of the topic and important transferable skills, eg presentation skills.



The course has been designed to provide you with knowledge of the main areas of occupational psychology, to provide you with good research skills, to cover the relevant social psychological and organisational issues and to introduce the skills required in practice.

You will be required to study the following core modules in semester one:

C84ERM - Employee Relations and Motivation

  Postgraduate students registered on applied psychology courses within the School of Medicine. Occupational Psychology, Work and Organisational Psychology, Management Psychology. Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

C84WCC - Workplace Counselling and Career Development

This module concerns workplace counselling and career development. The module provides a general introduction to the nature and psychological background of career development, and students are given the opportunity to explore the practical implications by planning their own career development. Students also study the main approaches, application and effectiveness of workplace counselling.

C84IRM - Introduction in Research Methods

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to effectively plan and design research as well as to critically appraise published research. Student 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 will also cover 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.

C84EWH - Ergonomics, Work Design, Health and Safety

The module discusses several contemporary issues in ergonomics, safety and health, including accidents and musculo-skeletal disorders. 

In addtion this module will explore issues in Human Factors, such as the perceptual, cognitive and actions involved in dealing with equipment within varying organisational contexts

C84OSH - Organisations, Stress and Health

The module explores the role of psychological, social and organisational factors in individual and organisational health 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 most common causes of work-related ill-health concern adverse aspects of the way jobs are organised and people are managed. 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 absence from work and the implications of an ageing workforce. The focus of the module then shifts towards an exploration how these problems and others can be best controlled and managed. An overarching model of prevention and organisational interventions is suggested, covering both a risk based perspective and a positive psychological perspective. Examples of interventions are considered both at the individual and organizational level. Future challenges, both theoretical and practical are identified.

Semester two covers the core modules listed below:

C84ODC - Organisational Development and Change

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

  • Perspectives on organisational development and change 

  • Evaluation of change 

  • Organisational development interventions

  • Organisations & organisational culture 

  • Teamworking Leadership and change

C84TRN - Training in Organisations

The module is in two parts. The first part focuses on theories of learning and the application of these to training development and design in organisations. Issues relating to training needs analysis, training transfer and evaluation of training are also considered. The second part of the module focuses on the design and operation of performance appraisals in organisations, with particular emphasis on fairness in appraisals and a critical evaluation of the use of 360 degree feedback. Using case studies and organisational scenarios students will consider the practical aspects of developing and delivering training programmes and appraisals in organisations. This module will be assessed by an examination which is in two parts, reflecting each part of the module.

C84OSA - Occupational Selection and Assessment

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.

C84CSW - Consultancy Skills

The 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.

You will be required to study the following full year core modules:

C84QNT - Quantitative Methods

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

  • Formulating the study question; correlational vs experimental methods; within-subjects vs between-subjects designs; testing longitudinal effects; confounds; control conditions.
  • Operationalisation: Measurement instruments; standardised tests and normed values (Standard Scores, Scaled scores, T scores); summary statistics, distributions (normal and non-normal), expressing the null hypothesis; the concept of falsification.
  • Refining the study design; statistical power, sampling, randomisation, blinding, pre-and post-tests, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, correction for multiple hypotheses.
  • Data Analysis: General Linear Model including multiple regression analysis, and factorial ANOVA; concept of residuals; concept of model fitting and the meaning of a “p-value”; Parametric and Non-Parametric statistics: t, F, r and chi square; Control of Type I and Type II error; reporting effect sizes and interpreting null findings.
  • Advanced techniques and software including Multi-Level Modelling;Meta analysis;Factor Analysis; Path Analysis

C84QRM - Qualitative Research Methods

This module considers a range of qualitative approaches suitable for psychologists. Students will be introduced to the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings and practical application of a number of qualitative research methods. The teaching will combine lectures, workshops, student-led seminars and self-directed study. Specific topics included will be: - developing qualitative research questions -consideration of philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative methods - choosing an appropriate qualitative method - the methods available - ethical issues in qualitative research - evaluation and critical appraisal of qualitative research evidence

C84ARP - Applied Research Project

Over the summer period, you will complete the Applied Research Project (ARP). This final module is taught in both semesters and gives you the opportunity to consolidate your skills and experience, and to explore a topic covered during the course in greater depth. To all intents and purposes, the ARP offers students an important opportunity to deliver a piece of professional applied research.

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

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.

Government loans for masters courses

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

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 Health Education England East Midlands. Funding will be available for both full programmes and individual modules.

See also: Fees 


Careers and professional development

The MSc Occupational Psychology meets the first set of requirements for professional practice as an occupational psychologist and provides some experience toward the second set of requirements through workshops and practical exercises, thus providing accelerated progression for your career path.

Career prospects for occupational psychologists exist in a wide variety of settings. Past Nottingham graduates have obtained employment in industry, consultancy firms, research and teaching, the MOD, Civil Service, Prison Service and the NHS.

The quality of our graduates is widely recognised by employers and recent graduates have been recruited to a wide range of major UK organisations.Together with the University's Centre for Career Development, 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.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 95.7% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £28,625 with the highest being £76,001.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

The Graduate Market 2013–2019, High Fliers Research






This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Occupational Psychology MSc
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Phil Leather
Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
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