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Occupational Psychology - Organizational Behaviour (MSc)

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  • Objectives
    These degrees are aimed at professionals who wish to develop their understanding of people and organisations. They are appropriate for those who intend to work in human resources or management consultancy, within either the public or private sectors. You will gain a broad knowledge base in occupational psychology and organisational behaviour. Both degrees focus on discussions of current research, with the aim of encouraging you to engage in critical thinking and reflection on theory and practice. You will also acquire basic applied research skills.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements MSc Occupational Psychology: honours degree in psychology giving eligibility for the graduate basis for registration with the British Psychological Society, and usually at least three years’ relevant work experience. MSc Organizational Behaviour: honours degree in any subject and usually at least three years’ relevant work experience; non-graduates with professional qualifications of degree standard and appropriate work experience may also be considered.
  • Academic Title
    Occupational Psychology / Organizational Behaviour (MSc)
  • Course description
    Content

    You will complete nine taught modules. Modules may include:

    -Organizational Analysis
    -Life Career Development
    -Organizational Change
    -Work and Well-Being
    -Training and Development
    -Motivation and Performance
    -Leadership and Human Resource Management
    -New Technology at Work
    -Selection and Assessment.

    Research methods and skills will be integrated throughout the course. You

    will also complete a supervised independent applied research project.

    Year 1 Modules 

    Taught Modules
    Nine academic modules are taught within the department: a number of these are specific to certain degrees and others are optional. Applicants should view the course schedules above for further information.

    Students are given access to on-line course materials; these include a Subject Guide with related readings for each module. An introductory chapter and the contents page for each module can be found below.

    Organizational Analysis and Change (OP/OB only)
    An introduction to the wide range of approaches to analysing and changing organizations .  Examples of the topics included are strategy; organizational development; culture ; power and politics; influencing organizational change; fashion and organizations; management consultancy; discourse and change.  Throughout the course, the aim is to develop a critical appreciation of work in this field. [This is a new module for 2008/9; an introduction will be available in due course.]

    Career Counselling and Coaching (CMC/Pg Diploma only)
    Career Management and Counselling students are helped to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis of career counselling. This is achieved by exploring ideas from the main approaches to counselling generally, and drawing out the implications and applications particularly relevant to career counselling. The module then considers session management, assessment and the use of information and communication technology in career counselling. Ethical and professional issues are also addressed. This module is assessed by an examination in June. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    Organizational Research
    Introduces the areas of knowledge which are necessary to critically evaluate research reports and papers, and provides the knowledge needed to carry out a quantitative or qualitative research project. Areas covered will include: research design; sampling; both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection; the statistical analysis of quantitative data; and the preparation of research reports and the use of different paradigms in research. This module is assessed by coursework. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    Selection and Assessment
    This module is designed to cover the key issues involved in selecting and assessing people at work. Various selection methods are described, and the criteria used for evaluating them are discussed. The nature and causes of good job performance, and issues relating to the process of job selection, are considered. A discussion of the validity of various job selection methods is followed by an examination of the psychological processes involved in selection. Finally, the fairness of selection systems is considered. This module is assessed by an examination in June. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    Life Career Development
    This begins by examining the concept of career from a variety of perspectives. It considers the process of occupational choice and occupational socialisation and different types of career path. Various ways of representing people's careers and ways of intervening in career development are discussed. Students are helped to understand their own life-career development and consider ways in which they can help themselves and others make role transitions. This module is assessed by an examination in June. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.
     
    Year 2 modules

    Work and Well-Being
    The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the nature and extent of relationships between work and well-being. Areas covered include the determinants of well-being; relationships between work and well-being; work and well-being in the context of everyday life; unemployment; the role of individual differences; stress; and the use of organizational and individual interventions aimed at influencing well-being. This module is assessed by coursework. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    Motivation and Performance
    This module examines contemporary work motivation theories within a coherent framework and the causes of high performance.  Areas to be covered include: need, process, and cognitive theories of work motivation; the identification and measurement of performance criteria; explanations for high performance; and the relationship between motivation and performance and a variety of organizational factors including pay, leadership, groups, job design, work systems, technical change, involvement and commitment, and goal setting. This module is assessed by an examination in June. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    New Technology at Work
    This module focuses on the psychological, social and organizational issues involved in the development and use of computer-based technologies at work. A wide range of relevant topics are covered including: ergonomic design of work environments; usability of computer-based systems; employee attitudes to Information Technology; use and implications of electronic mail; contemporary forms of computer-based job designs, such as teleworking and call centres; the concept of the virtual organization; and the management of technological change, specifically user participation in the development of new computer-based systems. This module is assessed by coursework. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    Training and Development
    The meaning of training and development is explored. Several models of effective training are introduced, and ways of identifying training needs are examined. Theoretical approaches to learning are discussed. Various training methods are covered in relation to both theoretical aspects of learning and the nature of the material to be learnt. Finally, the ways in which training can be evaluated are considered. This module is assessed by an examination in June. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

    Leadership and Human Resource Management
    This module discusses different approaches to managing and leading people at work. In particular we cover two main topics: First, Human Resource Management, which focuses on theory and practice of the management of employment or people in organizations. Second, Leadership, which focuses largely on the management of “soft factors” at work from the perspective of leader and followers and the processes evolving between them. This module is assessed by an examination in June. Introduction to the module and Subject Guide contents.

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