Organisational and Business Psychology - PCert, PDip, MSc

Develop your theoretical and research-based knowledge of social and occupational psychology to enhance your understanding of workplace behaviour. Open the door to a successful career as a practitioner or academic researcher in the field of organisational psychology.

Overview

Gain insights into the psychology of selection and assessment, methods and statistics, employee wellbeing, entrepreneurship and people management. Our Association for Business Psychology-accredited programme will develop your understanding of the contextual forces within organisations and the role of organisational psychology, including political, environmental, technical, social and legal.

Reasons to study Organisational and Business Psychology at Kent

What you’ll learn

The Organisational and Business Psychology MSc programme brings together aspects of psychological research into applied, social, and organisational psychology modules from Kent's School of Psychology.

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent. 

All applications are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways

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Course structure

Duration: MSc 1 year full-time, 2 or 4 years part-time

The MSc in Organisational and Business Psychology includes lecture and seminar-based teaching, visiting lecturers/speakers, company visits, as well as a research apprenticeship.

The programme is also offered as a 120-credit (60 ECTS) Postgraduate Diploma which entails the same taught curriculum as the MSc but does not require a dissertation. 

A 60-credit (30 ECTS) Postgraduate Certificate in Organisational and Business Psychology offers another opportunity to take one compulsory module (The Psychology of Selection and Assessment) and three optional modules.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. 

Compulsory modules currently include

This module will provide you with a range of theoretical and practical knowledge and the opportunity to think critically and evaluate the theory and practice of employee resourcing. You will be able to develop and apply employee resourcing tools and techniques to specific organisational contents in which you might operate.

Indicative topics of study are:

• Overview of the selection process

• The role of legislation

• Job and competency analysis

• Selection tools: Recruitment and application forms; individual differences and psychometrics; selection interviews; work samples, and situational judgement tests

• Fairness and diversity in assessment.

• International selection methods

• Evaluating selection from a candidate's perspective

• Assessment beyond selection: Appraisal, 360 degree appraisals and promotion

Find out more about PSYC8029

This module provides an opportunity to study the literature on group processes at an advanced level and familiarises students with current theorising and research on the psychology of groups and teams in organisations. The module introduces theoretical and empirical background, and uses these to help students develop ideas for further research and practice.

The module builds upon knowledge of social psychology gained at undergraduate level and draws primarily on small group research in social and organisational psychology, but perspectives from other fields such as moral psychology and economics will also be considered. Seminar topics include social identity, group cohesion, status and leadership, creativity, social dilemmas, trust/distrust, as well as moral judgment and behaviour. The module involves a great deal of student presentation, participation and discussion.

Find out more about PSYC8440

This module focuses on developing and extending students' knowledge of research methods and statistics. There is an important element of the module which focuses on developing students' understanding of the basics of research methods and statistical analysis. However, the module also goes further by teaching students about some advanced methodological and statistical tools. Topics to be covered include:

a) Searching and reviewing relevant literature for a research project.

b) Research design, variables, sampling, levels of measurement, surveys and experiments.

c) Descriptive statistics (frequency, mean, mode, median).

d) Basic inferential statistics (t-test, correlations, chi-square, One-Way ANOVA).

e) Advanced inferential statistics (Multivariate ANOVA, Linear & Logistic Regression).

f) Qualitative research methods (focus groups, interviews)

g) Presenting statistical findings in an understandable way when writing research reports.

Find out more about PSYC8570

This module examines key concepts and emerging themes in Psychology applied to work and organisations; for example, work motivation, leadership and management, nudging, and well-being — with a particular focus on areas of research within the School of Psychology. Applications of psychological and behavioural science to work and organisations will be enriched by case studies and situated in the wider business context in which psychologists practice and provide consultancy, including relevant ethical and legal frameworks.

Find out more about PSYC8630

To provide students with an understanding of academic research and an ability to identify and utilise appropriate strategies and techniques for the purpose of individual investigation, research and practice within a subject specific area of their course route. This module will prepare students to undertake the dissertation module in Stage 2 of their course.

Find out more about PSYC9970

Optional modules may include

Key elements of professional HRM&D competence in organisations are a strategic business orientation and a concern with adding value through HR practice. This module introduces students to the aims and objectives of HRM&D function in organisations and how these are met in practice

The module is designed to introduce students to the range of practical skills required by HR professionals. Building on their understanding of the basic notions in the field, students will learn current best practices and procedures within organisations.

The module will include core lectures but its focus will be on case studies, practice based workshops and directed learning activities. These will include activities around various HRM functions within an ethical and legislative framework.

Indicative topics of study are as follows:

• Aims and objectives of HRM&D functions and current developments

• Human Resource Management & Development in different organisational contexts

• Effective leadership and methods of leadership development

• Employee motivation, commitment and engagement

• Flexible working

• Change management

• Ethical issues and practices in HRM&D

• Contemporary research and debates in Human Resource Management

Find out more about BUSN8104

This module aims to provide students with a rigorous framework of knowledge and practical applications concerning leadership, people management and organisational change that they will need whatever the degree of specialisation they later elect to follow. It has a number of distinct learning objectives.

Firstly, the module seeks to familiarise students with major contemporary research evidence on effective approaches to leadership in various contexts. Research focusing on the links between people management practices, organisational processes and positive organisational outcomes is examined, as is research that highlights the role of leadership in addressing major contemporary challenges to sustainable development. Secondly, the module introduces students to major debates about theory and practice in the specific fields of leadership, change management, and leadership development. It aims to help them become effective leaders as well as effective managers, managing others fairly and effectively and increasing levels of engagement, commitment, motivation and performance. Finally, the module requires students to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint and provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development.

Find out more about BUSN9047

This module focuses on helping students develop the skills of working in an innovative environment as a social scientist. Innovation has become important to organisations. The practice of hypothesis-driven or lean innovation provides a unique role for the social scientist within start-ups and large organisations. During this module, students will learn about the theory and practice of innovation. Students will also work with a team on validating a product idea.

Find out more about PSYC8580

In this module, students conduct an extended literature review and critique on a topic relevant to organisational psychology. The topic will be developed through discussion with an academic supervisor, to identify a particular area of research that is relevant and topical. The module will develop advanced research skills and problem solving. On completion of the modules, students will have specialist knowledge and evidence of independent research.

Find out more about PSYC8590

Compulsory modules currently include

All students undertake a supervised empirical research project relevant to their chosen MSc programme, and submit it as a typed dissertation of approximately 8,000 words.

For Cognitive Psychology/Neuropsychology, Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology MSc-T dissertations, the project should be grounded in the area of psychology.

For Organisational and Business Psychology dissertations, the project should include an examination of an identifiable organisational or business issue or problem within the context of relevant psychological theory, such as social, organisational or business psychology.

For Political Psychology dissertations, the project should be grounded in the area of psychology or political science and informed by the other discipline.

The aim of the dissertation is to test the student's ability to plan, execute, analyse, and report a piece of independent research in the relevant setting. The dissertation requires detailed theoretical knowledge of the relevant discipline (or disciplines), an appreciation of the ways in which that knowledge has been applied in previous research and practice, and the methodological and statistical skills to set up a scientific investigation. Supervision is provided by the principal teaching staff and by other appropriate staff with research interests in a student's chosen area. Students are advised to read the School's Ethics pages for information on submitting applications for ethical approval to the School and to relevant outside bodies.

Find out more about PSYC9990

Teaching

Teaching and assessment

Assessment methods will include essays, seminar contributions, examinations, presentations, and the dissertation.

Programme aims

Our aims are to provide you with:

  • a programme that satisfies the academic requirements of the knowledge base specified by QAA and other relevant external agencies 
  • specialised knowledge of theoretical approaches to organisational psychology and related areas so that you can take effective roles within the discipline
  • statistical and methodological expertise, and a multidisciplinary approach to the subject
  • the necessary research and transferable skills for entering academic or other careers as practising professional psychologists
  • the ability to manage your own learning and carry out independent research
  • critical, analytic and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings
  • the benefit of our close ties within Europe and elsewhere, especially external organisational partners (eg Dstl, NHS).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the key issues in organisation psychology
  • a range of conceptual, historical, theoretical and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of organisational psychology
  • research and analytic techniques and methodologies employed by organisational psychologists
  • the contextual forces within organisations and the role of organisational psychology, including political, environmental, technical, social and legal
  • the utility of psychology and management science to the application of organisational psychology within management and business
  • the use of relevant communication methods for the research and application of organisational psychology.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in the following:

  • critical reflection on key themes through oral discussion and written analysis
  • evaluating and generalising appropriately, using critical thinking and creativity
  • selecting and synthesising complex material through organising, developing and evaluating relevance
  • systematic approaches to problem solving, individually and in groups
  • studying independently and using resources in a way suited to further study or practice
  • communicating persuasively and leading and co-operating within a team.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • the use of major analytic techniques employed by organisational psychologists
  • evaluating and selecting appropriate methods for researching questions in organisational psychology
  • applying ethical values to research and practice related to organisational psychology
  • conducting research in the discipline to address business and management issues
  • finding, recording, organising and contributing to knowledge on organisational psychology
  • understanding how psychological scientific theories and methods can be applied to organisational issues.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • numeracy - data analysis skills to integrate numerical and other forms of information; understanding statistical analyses conducted by others in published works and the limits of arguments based on quantitative arguments
  • communication - writing coherently and concisely; oral discussion and presentation; negotiating/persuading or influencing others using a wide range of media
  • working with others - reviewing the work of others; working co-operatively in a team/group to recognise and maximise the contribution of yourself and others; understanding ethical issues and methods of obtaining ethical approval for research
  • personal development - exploring personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; autonomy; self-motivation and self-management; respect for diversity in people
  • technology - computer use for data analysis, research, word processing, reports, presentations and bibliographic research
  • problem solving - identifying and defining problems; exploring and discriminating alternatives; testing solutions; scanning and organising data to abstract meaning and potential solutions.

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Organisational and Business Psychology - MSc at Canterbury

  • Home full-time £9500
  • EU full-time £15300
  • International full-time £20400
  • Home part-time £4750
  • EU part-time £7650
  • International part-time £10200

Organisational and Business Psychology - PDip at Canterbury

  • Home full-time £6400
  • EU full-time £10200
  • International full-time £13600
  • Home part-time £3200
  • EU part-time £5100
  • International part-time £6800

Organisational and Business Psychology - PCert at Canterbury

  • Home full-time £3200
  • EU full-time £5100
  • International full-time £6800
  • Home part-time £1600
  • EU part-time £2550
  • International part-time £3400

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, over 80% of our Psychology research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for environment and publications.

Following the REF 2021, Psychology at Kent was ranked in the Top 50 in the world and 6th in the UK in the Times Higher Education.

Research

Research areas

Research themes

The School of Psychology at Kent has a strong international profile for its research. As well as a long-established international reputation in social psychology, we have also established strengths in cognitive, developmental and forensic psychology.

Our academic community consistently attracts substantial research and innovation funding from UK research councils, European research programmes, charities, learned societies and businesses.

As well as generating theoretical innovations, the outcomes of our projects help health professionals, educators, charities, the public sector, government and commercial partners understand how people think, behave and interact to meet a range of personal, social and economic challenges.

Of relevance to students of this Master's degree, the Social Psychology Group conducts research into all areas of social psychology, with some work overlapping into organisational psychology and cognitive science.

The Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP) conducts research into the social psychological processes affecting group and intergroup relations. 

Careers

You learn a set of skills that will allow you to pursue a career such as:

  • Human resource management
  • Recruitment
  • Psychometric testing
  • Coaching and training
  • Counselling in the workplace
  • Organisational development consultancy. 

Upon completing our Master’s courses, our graduates have also pursued doctoral study and academic careers at higher education institutions.

Professional recognition

All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School has excellent facilities for both laboratory and field research, including advanced laboratory and teaching facilities. Resources include:

  • three fully equipped colour video laboratories for face-to-face group research, together with ten satellite laboratories connected via remote-control CCTV and two-way audio links
  • 58 research laboratories, all containing networked computers
  • a further 80 PCs available exclusively to Psychology students, including a designated MSc computer-networked room providing full email and internet access
  • shared offices and a personal, networked computer for research students
  • a full range of computer-based experiment generators and productivity software installed on all the School’s systems
  • an upgraded laboratory suite with equipment for digital sound and vision recording
  • four Brain Vision EEG labs (including one for simultaneous TMS & EEG, and one portable EEG system)
  • two trans-cranial direct current electrical stimulators (GVS, Magstim)
  • Neuroconn tDCS/tACS electrical stimulator with facilities for simultaneous EEG
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) PowerMAG Research 100 High Frequency Stimulator
  • two Tobii eye-trackers (Tobii X120 & Tobii T60 XL portable)
  • one Arrington eye-tracker
  • a suite equipped with Bio-Pac recorders to allow for a range of physiological measures to be taken during stressful and other tasks
  • specialist laboratories equipped for face processing and vision research
  • CRS ColorCal II Colorimeter/Photometer
  • CRS Audiofile for synchronized audio-visual presentation
  • numerous PC and Mac labs to run behavioural experiments
  • Mirror Stereoscopes for dichoptic presentation and stereo vision research
  • immersive virtual reality lab (including integrated eye-tracker)
  • a social cognition laboratory
  • creation in 2010 of the Kent Child Development Unit and research team focusing on how children learn about their world, about other people and about the language they hear around them.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Child Development; Clinical Psychology Review. Details of recently published books can be found within the staff research interests.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Apply now

References

The online application form will ask you to provide the name and email address of one academic referee from your degree-granting institution. On submission of your application, they will receive a reference request by email.

To save time, we recommend that you notify your referee in advance. Their reference should describe their impression of your academic achievements, preparedness and motivation for postgraduate study in your chosen field, and personal qualities relevant to postgraduate study. 

Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

PDip at Canterbury

PCert at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

For further information please contact the Programme Director, Dr Hannah Swift
E: Hannah Swift

For informal enquiries please contact the Division of Human and Social Sciences Admissions Team
E: hssadmissions@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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