Postgraduate study
During this course, you will learn how to apply psychology to the workplace to improve the performance of organisations and individuals.
MSc Work and Organisational Psychology
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
Other requirements
Your first degree should be in psychology or include psychology modules or you should have studied psychology as a minor subject.
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 (2019 entry) - Terms apply
International fees
£21,375 (2019 entry) - Terms apply
Jubilee Campus



Key facts

Is this course for you?

This course may be for you if:

  • You have studied psychology as a major or minor subject but your degree is not accredited by the BPS

  • You wish to develop a career in organisational psychology or related areas such as human-resource management

Holders of BPS-accredited psychology degrees

If you have an undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) that confers the graduate basis for chartership (GBC), please see the MSc in Occupational Psychology instead.

(Check whether your degree confers the GBC.)

Non-psychology graduates

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

What you will gain

This programme aims to provide you with:

  • a broad knowledge of work and organisational psychology as a professional discipline; the key theoretical and research models used within work and organisational psychology; and the role of the work and organisational psychologist as educator, researcher and practitioner
  • the skills to evaluate critically and appraise theories and research within work and organisational psychology
  • the knowledge of the main areas of work and organisational psychology
  • a grounding in research skills appropriate to future work in an organisational settings
  • a grounding in the social, organisational and consulting skills required in practice
  • a grounding in the application skills required for both research and professional practice in the core areas of work and organisational psychology
  • the skills to design and conduct independent research within organisational context
Qualification in Psychological Testing

Students have the opportunity to obtain an additional, separate qualification in Psychological Testing (Level A and Level B) which is a British Psychological Society (BPS) qualification. 

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.

The course structure 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
What our past students say
The MSc in Work and Organizational Psychology at The University of Nottingham offered me the perfect blend of research and academic modules, with relevance to contemporary workplace scenarios


Interacting with faculty members, academic staff, guest lecturers and practitioners who are all passionate about research and applying the best practices towards fostering and maintaining a healthy and motivated workforce made me excited to make my own distinct contribution to research.


Read more




Full course details

Course director

Dr Angeli Santos, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine

Course structure

The MSc Work and Organisational 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.

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.

Research project

In addition to the modules, over the summer period you will complete an Applied Research Project. The project will give you the opportunity to consolidate your skills and experience, and to explore a topic covered during the course in greater depth. 

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.

Through our comprehensive programme, which includes workshops on consultancy skills and opportunities for Occupational Testing BPS Test User Ability and Test User Personality, you will have the facility to develop practical skills fundamental to your future career development.


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.

Part-time students

Part-time students are taught alongside full-time students and the choice of modules (and therefore the timetable) is flexible and a matter for agreement between student and 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 in Work and Organisational Psychology, which mirrors the taught component of the MSc but does not include the applied research project.



Our teaching 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.  


While this course shares modules with the MSc Occupational Psychology and MSc in Management Psychology, the MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology emphasises the organisational aspects of the discipline and students have more choice over modules.

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

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.

Employee Relations and Motivation

This module introduces the important issue of motivation and employee relations 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 as a concept for understanding management/employee relations, explores the issue of conflict and bullying in organisations and discusses issues around diversity.

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.

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.

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

Semester two covers the core modules listed below:

Consultancy Skills Workshop

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.

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.

Organisational Development and Change

Organisational Development and Change (C84ODC) provides an introduction to the literature on organisational change and the practice of Organisational Development (OD). There is a strong case for arguing that organisational environments are increasingly turbulent and therefore organisations need to become more adept at dealing with change. As organisations provide the context for the work of most psychologists, the study of the key external drivers of change, and how organisations plan, manage and adapt to change (or fail to do so) is relevant to us all. The module comprises a series of lectures and practical exercises on topics that together define the area of organisational change.

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.

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

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

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.

Applied Research Project

Empirical research project in applied psychology.

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.



Careers and professional development

This course offers a potential platform for careers in occupational psychology, management, consulting, HR, research and academia.

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. Together with the University's Careers and Employability Service, we will help you plan your future.

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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Work and Organisational Psychology MSc-PGDip
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Dr Angeli Santos
Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
School of Medicine
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The University of Nottingham
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