Organisational Behaviour MSc

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  • Academic title
    Organisational Behaviour MSc
  • Course description
    Organisational psychology looks at how people function in work environments.  This includes recruitment and selection, training, appraisal, industrial relations, health and safety, technological and organisational change, ergonomics and job design.  The City programme aims to provide a unique combination of theoretical and practical skills and techniques.

    The MSc in Organisational Behaviour is designed for candidates who do not have Graduate Basis for Registration [GBR] . Students on this programme are taught alongside and receive the same modules as the Organisational Psychology students.

    Note: Applicants to this programme should normally have a Psychology component to their undergraduate degree.


    The programme runs on a full-time and part-time basis.


    Full-time students attend the University for one year. Lectures, seminars and workshops occur on Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am to 5pm during academic terms. There will be occasional extra sessions run on Thursdays.


    Part-time students attend for two years. One day per week during academic terms. Lectures, seminars and workshops take place on one day per week from 9am to 5pm during academic terms.  Part-time students take three modules in one year and four in the second year, plus a dissertation in the summer of their second year.
    Teaching and learning

    In order to assess and promote learning, the programme uses a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies. In order to facilitate learning, the programme offers lectures, guest lectures, seminars, group work, role-play, workshops, class discussions, and supervision. In order to assess learning, the programme uses academic essays, examinations, log books of professional practice, qualitative text analysis, interpretation of statistical analyses, oral presentations, formal research proposals and dissertations. In addition, students are also directed to independent study and receive detailed feedback on their coursework as an aid to further learning.

    Some modules have a variety of assessment methods to match the content of the module. Some are assessed by exam and coursework, others by coursework alone or exam alone

    Students are required to successfully complete a research project of approximately 10,000-13,000 words.

    he programme consists of eight compulsory taught modules, plus a dissertation module. The modules are identical for both the MSc Organisational Psychology and the MSc Organisational Behaviour. To study full time, all eight modules and the dissertation are taught in one year. To study part time, the modules are taught over two years. Modules are taught over two terms as follows:

    Year 1
    PSM506 Selection and Assessment
    PSM503 Appraisal & Employee Relations
    PSM507 Training and Research in Organisations
    PSM504 Organisational Development and Change

    Year 2
    PSM505 Professional Skills
    PSM501 Wellbeing, Counselling and Personal Development
    PSM403 Research Design and Statistics 2
    PSM502 Design of Environments and Work and Human-Machine Interaction

    PSM508 Dissertation

    Module Outlines


    This module is designed to provide students with practical knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative data analytic techniques. The first few lectures will cover prominent statistical methods used in occupational and health psychology research: ANOVA, ANCOVA, MANOVA and associated follow-up tests; multiple regression; and factor analysis. Students will also attend two SPSS workshops to help enhance understanding of statistical output. In weeks 7 to 10, students will be introduced to various approaches to analysing qualitative data.


    This module introduces students to a) career theories, and b) various models and techniques used to enhance people’s psychological health. More specifically, the module introduces theories of occupational choice and methods designed to help employees plan and manage their careers effectively. The module then explores prominent models of stress and coping, emotional intelligence, and other issues related to employee well-being such as work-life balance. The second half of the module focuses on interventions designed to improve individual well-being, including the cognitive-behavioural therapies (CBTs), recent mindfulness-based interventions, and interventions stemming from the positive psychology movement. Attention is also paid to the ethical issues associated with promoting mental health at work. The module particularly covers the core knowledge area of 'counselling and personal development'.

    This module introduces topics that fall into the following two areas: 1) occupational health psychology and 2) human-machine interaction. Specifically, this module outlines prominent theories of work design and occupational stress; it also introduces students to work reorganisation interventions that are designed to reduce stress-related outcomes (these interventions will be discussed in the context of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommendations for managing work-related stress). Additionally, students will learn about the legal requirements relating to health and safety at work, and the importance of decision-making and uncertainty in the workplace.  Finally, the module examines core aspects of user-centred design, and other features of the physical work environment. This module covers knowledge relevant to two core areas of Occupational Psychology - ‘Design of environments and work: Health and safety’ and ‘Human-Machine Interaction’.


    This module covers knowledge relevant to two core knowledge area defined by the Division of Occupational Psychology as ‘performance appraisal and career development’ and ‘employee relations and motivation’.  This module will explore ways in which managers and employees manage motivation, behaviour and development.  The module also seeks to place individual and organisational behaviour in the broader context of social, economic and political forces. Thus, the theories of employee relations and management are considered, along with institutions such as trade unions and government, to assess their impact on work. It also provides an introduction to the psychology of motivation at work and some of the psychological processes which take place between employee and employer.

    This module focuses on the theories and techniques of organisational development (OD) and change. The first two lectures define a number of key concepts in this area of study, including: organisational structure and culture; action research; and models of planned organisational change. Students will also be introduced to a range of OD techniques, and will be asked to critically examine the research that has sought to evaluate OD interventions. From week three onwards lectures will cover a range of topics relevant to OD and change, including leadership, power and politics at work, political leadership and implementing change at work, and group relations. This module covers the core knowledge area of ‘organisational development and change’.

    PSM505 PROFESSIONAL SKILLS (15 credits)
    This module is composed of a series of 'hands on' workshops designed to introduce students to practical skills that are used by practising occupational psychology and HR consultants.  To this end, tutors are drawn from industry and have extensive experience working with commercial organisations.  The module also addresses the professional ethics and responsibilities that come with practising organisational psychology in the workplace. The module represents an opportunity to learn how the theory and knowledge that is taught in other part of the MSc can be applied in organisational settings.


    The aim of this module is to introduce students to assessment in the context of selection and assessment in organisations. It covers knowledge relevant to one of the core knowledge areas defined by the Division of Occupational Psychology: 'personnel selection and assessment'. We aim to provide students with an understanding of how selection decisions are made by and about individuals in the workplace.

    The first part of the module introduces students to the psychology of training.  It focuses on how the research literature supports different approaches to training needs analysis, training design and training evaluation.  The second part of the module introduces students to coaching psychology.  It focuses on the history of coaching, coaching models, the importance of evidence-based practice and the use of methods drawn from behavioural science, along with ethical considerations, and evaluation.  The third part of the module is designed to introduce students to the practicalities of conducting research in organisations. It will focus on the issues faced by researchers in applied settings and is designed to form an introduction to what is required of students from their research dissertation. This module covers knowledge relevant to the core knowledge area defined by the Division of Occupational Psychology as ‘training’.

    PSM508 DISSERTATION (60 credits)
    The MSc dissertation requires you to demonstrate an ability to formulate theoretically driven research hypotheses, negotiate research access into an organisation, and your general competence in conducting applied research.  You will be expected to design and produce a piece of research that is of a publishable standard. Further guidelines on the dissertation will be provided in a separate Dissertation Handbook distributed towards the end of Term 1.

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