About the course
The programme is designed for students who wish to acquire the skills and knowledge that will enable them to apply psychological principles within the business world. The course will appeal equally to those with a business or psychology background. Graduates are equipped for a variety of careers including human resource practitioners or careers in consultancy and business psychology.
The course includes the following modules:
- Psychological Assessment at Work
- Learning, Training and Development
- Research and Professional Skills
- Well-being at work
- Human Resource Management for psychologists
- Strategic Management for psychologists
- Marketing for psychologists
- Consulting Skills
And an option from:
- Work Design, Organisational Change and Development
- Leadership, Engagement and Motivation
You will also carry out a project which is a substantial piece of investigative work, normally carried out in an external organisation. Host organisations for MSc projects have included large commercial concerns in both manufacturing and service sectors, a range of consultancies, charities, and in local government and government departments.
Projects are sometimes conducted abroad; past locations include Germany, Greece, Turkey, Malaysia, Kenya, Indonesia, China, India and Taiwan.
Staff who teach on the course include permanent academic staff who have industrial experience and who undertake regular consultancy work, and external psychologists from consultancies, large organisations and other universities. Teaching and learning methods include lectures, workshops, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions. There is an emphasis on putting theory into practice.
Why choose this course?
- Accredited by the Association of Business Psychologists
- This programme provides many of the professional skills and competencies needed to apply psychology in the workplace.
- At a recent review the course was commended for the helpful and supportive staff; the applied nature of many of the assessment tasks most notably the project and delivery by staff who are involved in cutting edge research and the ‘contemporary practice’ of Industrial and Work Psychology.
- Students will not only have access to the knowledge and skills base from our Department of Psychology, but also gain insight and expertise from the University's Business School
- One of the largest psychology departments in the country
- Our staff are actively engaged in significant research which is reflected by our excellent, Grade 4 rating in the Higher Education Funding Council's last Research Assessment Exercise. See a list of our Psychology staff here.
- Well equipped laboratories with excellent computing facilities
- We were awarded a Teaching Quality rating of "excellent" (23 out of 24) in our subject review.
- A vibrant research seminar series- contributed to by leading academics from across the country
View course leaflet for Business Psychology MSc
The Association of Business Psychologists
Graduates of business psychology courses enter careers in management trainee positions, consultancies or as human resource management practitioners.
Teaching and learning methods include lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. There is an emphasis on the development of practical skills.
Staff who teach on the course include permanent academic staff who have industrial experience and who undertake regular consultancy work, and external psychologists both from consultancies and from large organisations.
Learning, Training and Development - 15 Credits
This module aims to allow students to demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which individuals learn and develop in the context of work and organisations. Cognitive theories of learning and skill development inform understanding of how individuals learn, and theories of occupational choice frame what individuals choose to do long term in their employment. Different activities are contrasted including coaching and training, with particular reference to their psychological underpinnings, and an emphasis on evaluation. The module will also include the organisational perspective.
Leadership, Engagement and Motivation - 15 Credits
This module draws on research in general psychology, and examines theories of work motivation, and their relationship with approaches to performance appraisal and performance management. The module enables students to evaluate concepts of leadership, power and influence and their impact on employee engagement, commitment and perceptions of fairness. Students will develop an understanding of both positive (e.g. organisational citizenship) and negative (e.g. derailment)
responses to work.
Psychological Assessment at Work - 15 Credits
This module provides the student with knowledge of current approaches to selection and assessment. The module covers the complete selection process from pre-selection through to the evaluation of selection processes, from both an organisational and an applicant perspective. The focus of this module is on the practical application of relevant theories. Sessions will comprise of lecturer input followed by group work allowing students to put into practice what they have learned. Assessment of this module includes a case study that requires students to draw upon all aspects of the module. The module also provides the underpinning for BPS recognised psychometric testing.
Project - 30 Credits
This module allows students to carry out a practical piece of work, normally conducted within an organisation external to the university. The project will normally consist of a piece of applied work conducted in behalf of a host organisation. The project may also take the form of an 'experimental' or theoretical investigation with an organisational basis.
Consulting Skills - 15 Credits
The module aims to develop the consultancy skills of the student and will be essentially workshop-based. There will be two full days of teaching, followed by one separate day of assessment. The workshops may take place at the weekend. During workshops, theories concerning the practice of professional consultancy will be presented and discussed. The workshops will be mainly practical in nature with students using role-play, case studies, group exercises and videoed presentations to develop their skills in these areas. Assessment will be a mix of individual and group work based on an on-going consultancy case study.
HRM for Psychologists - 15 Credits
The aims of this module are to enable students to develop an understanding of theory and practice of human resource management, the HR function, the HR role of line managers and the role of HR within a global context. Successful students will typically be able to relate this theory to practice; evaluate the role of HRM for the strategic direction of the organisation and critically analyse the reality of complex HR situations from a variety of perspectives.
Marketing for Psychologists - 15 Credits
Marketing for Psychologists is a module that attempts to introduce non marketing specialists to key aspects of the marketing function. The aim of the module is to develop an understanding of how the theories of consumer and organisational buyer behaviour and the psychology of perception, personality and behaviour interact at corporate level to generate effective marketing strategies.
Strategic Management for Psychologists - 15 Credits
This module draws upon a range of contemporary debates and current research in strategic management. Students are also introduced to a number of strategic issues from different perspectives and they learn how to apply concepts and techniques to analyse organisations and their environments, and develop an integrated view of an organisation and possible futures for it. Student will also explore different approaches to managing strategy that can be identified in real world organisations. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences of strategic management with the aim of developing their own professional and personal practice and that of others.
Statistics for Industrial & Work Psychology - 15 Credits
This module draws attention to the scientist-practitioner model for occupational and work psychologists with an emphasis on statistical analysis. It requires students to understand, conduct and interpret univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses. The module is designed to extend knowledge and competence in the use of statistical software (e.g. SPSS) for the analyses. A focus is on the interpretation of results to identify implications for the workplace.
Research & Professional Skills - 15 Credits
This module focusses on developing skills for evidence based practice as an occupational and work psychologist. It will cover key positions of quantitative and qualitative research methodology and the implications for mixed methods research. The course will work through the challenges of research in a workplace setting, with particular focus on the ethical and practical considerations. It is designed to help you develop your skill in planning mixed method research through experiencing different techniques and practicing the role of professional reflexivity.
Performance Management in the Workplace - 15 Credits
This module considers the complexities involved in performance management within organisations. It compares formal and informal practices and considers the organisational context in which processes and practices are utilised. It focusses on evaluating processes and practices in order to identify appropriate improvements. .
Wellbeing and Work - 15 Credits
This module integrates (a) how work links with individual and organisational well-being by considering the role of work and employment as such, (b) how work is structured and continues to evolve including the interface of work and non-work, (c) any negative effects of work including various theories of stress and pressure and the role of emotions, and (d) positive and preventative paradigms. Mental and physical health will be considered explicitly, including symptoms and disorders and their manifestations in the workplace with clear consideration of diversity and individual differences in responses. Students will be expected to critically evaluate the psychological evidence base for relevant interventions and how these might be implemented and evaluated in practice.
Work Design, Organisational Change and Development - 15 Credits
This module looks at the organisation as a setting for topics in industrial and work psychology, and in consequence is diverse in its content. It seeks to widen out the perspective and context of industrial and work psychology to take into account not only business perspectives on organisations but also the impact of globalisation. It will range over the design of working environments and consideration of risk management through to organisational change and development strategies. It offers the opportunity for students to critically engage with more contemporary themes such as economic and consumer psychology.
Minimum of a 2.2 at degree level, but students are expected to have produced work at a 2:1 level, from an appropriate subject – Psychology or Cognitive Science or business or management studies or acceptable equivalents.
If students do not have the above requirements but have at least two years relevant work experience, they will be invited to apply and each case will be considered by the Programme Leader.
English language requirements
All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency. The following qualifications and grades will be considered - GCSE English language grade A-C - IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in any band) Other English language tests are accepted. Please contact the International Office for details.
If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English courses can help you to achieve this level.
How to apply
Full Time, 1 Years
Part Time, 4 Years
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield