Psychology of the Contemporary Workplace - CB751

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR M Wyatt




Available to short-term/exchange students



This module presents an overview of what work psychology is and its relevance and usefulness in improving our understanding and management of people (including ourselves) at work. Many work places operate sophisticated and expensive systems for assessing the costs and benefits of various workplace elements but often do not extend this to the management of employees. This module aims to demonstrate the benefits of having a comprehensive understanding of the role psychology can play in the management of people in contemporary organizations. Indicative content includes:

• Work psychology
• Individual differences and psychometrics
• Best practice personnel selection
• Stress and well-being
• Motivation
• Stereotypes and group behaviour
• Leadership and diversity
• The dark side of personality
• Political behaviour in the workplace
• The psychology of entrepreneurs
• Using work psychology to enhance employability


This module appears in:

Contact hours

The module will be taught by lectures, seminars and private study.

Total Contact Hours: 21
Private Study Hours:129

The module will be organised in lectures and seminars dealing with topical as well as 'classical' case studies. Students will be encouraged to work first individually and to participate actively in seminars. In both lectures and seminars, practical solutions to practical cases will be sought by applying the relevant theories, concepts and approaches.

Videos, case studies and presentations will be the main teaching methods employed in both lectures and seminars. Additionally, seminars will include simulations and debates.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Individual Report (2500 - 3000 words) 40%
Exam 60%

Reassessment method:
Like for like

Indicative reading

Arnold, J. and Randall, R. et al. (2016) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace, 6th Edition. London: FT Prentice-Hall

Lewis, R & Zibarras, L. (2013) Work and Occupational Psychology: Integrating Theory and Practice. London: Sage

Woods, S.A. & West, M.A. (2014) The Psychology of Work and Organizations. 2nd Edition Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Understand the relevance of psychological theories of the workplace to contemporary organizations
- Critically evaluate and analyse the key factors shaping and changing the contemporary work environment
- Demonstrate a critical and detailed understanding of best practice in regards to maintaining and improving levels of employee engagement and satisfaction in the workplace
- Understand and analyse the behavioural elements of people management from a psychological perspective in the workplace
- Assess contemporary theoretical developments around psychology and the workplace

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Synthesise information clearly and critically
- Select and organise complex information from a variety of sources
- Structure and express complex arguments using relevant social science concepts and theories
- Communicate effectively orally and in writing
- Demonstrate efficient time management skills

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