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MSc Occupational and Organisational Psychology

Course overview

Start date

January 2018

September 2018

Subject area






On campus

Course summary

This newly re-shaped course for psychology graduates is distinctive in its applied approach to psychology and benefits from a strong professional emphasis. It is highly attuned to the needs of working professionals, and will give you a competitive edge as you pursue a career as a practising occupational psychologist or go on to study for a professional doctorate.

The British Psychological Society commended it for several aspects of good practice, including the availability of and support provided by staff, the practical nature of the course and its strong links with industry, and the balancing emphasis on critical thinking.

There is also invaluable input from past students offering insights into different applications of occupational psychology in practice.

We have deliberately steered away from more traditional assessment methods such as examinations, as these have little practical relevance to the kinds of challenges you will face as professionals.

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

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Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

This is a mark of quality that students and employers understand and value. It will give you the opportunity to gain graduate or chartered membership for the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC), which is an important requirement for becoming a professional psychologist.

Top 15

Of all modern universities in the UK

An incredible endorsement from our own students that puts us comfortably in the top 15 of all modern universities in the UK, it shows our students love us - and we have no doubt you will love us too. (NSS, 2017)


Impact of research in the UK

The School of Psychology is joint first in the UK for impact of research, beating Cambridge and Oxford, showing our incredible academic expertise and real-world relevance. (latest REF, 2014)

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What we're researching

UEL’s School of Psychology has just been ranked equal first in the country in terms of the impact of its research, beating Oxford and Cambridge.

The recently published Research Excellence Framework is a six-yearly review by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

It rated 43 per cent of our research as ‘internationally excellent’ and a further 25 per cent as ‘world-leading’ – the highest accolade. It added that UEL’s School of Psychology was one of only four in the country whose research had a ‘100 per cent impact’ at the highest level.

Dr Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa researches the understanding of psychosocial wellbeing in the context of complex multi-dimensional problems such as addictions, trauma, migration or social change.

Dr Tim Lomas has explored the impact of meditation on men’s wellbeing, using a mixed-methods design comprising narrative interviews, cognitive testing, and EEG measurement.

Dr Christian van Nieuwerburgh is an internationally recognised academic and consultant whose ground-breaking research concerns his specialist area of coaching and mentoring, in which he conducts numerous international collaborations.

Dr Kate Hefferon’s work was the first to link participation in physical activity with post-traumatic growth. She has conducted several evaluation studies on the role of physical activity during and following breast cancer.

Among last year’s publications by Principal Lecturer Donald Ridley, who is a specialist in organisational development in the public sector in the former Soviet Union, are Safety management - the lessons of experience and The unspeakable and the sublime - the relationship between Stalin and Shostakovich.

Over the past few years Dr Aneta Tunariu has delivered psychological interventions in the UK and abroad working with disenfranchised young people to foster the development of positive identities, emotional resourcing and positive future perspectives.

Currently, Dr Tunariu is engaged in projects focusing on individual capacity for growth and resilience as a means of combating the risk of young people adopting radical belief systems.

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

Charlotte Vaughan

MSc Occupational Psychology

As an experienced HR practitioner, it was important that the MSc course had a focus on the reality of practising Occupational Psychology in the workforce. All of the lecturing staff provided lots of real-world examples throughout all the modules, constantly using the language of the profession. This is something that has made my transition to evidence-based practice a lot easier.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.2 Honours in Psychology (BPS Accredited)

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.

Overall IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll study

Core Modules Phase One:
How Organisations Work (15 Credits)
Helping Organisations to Change (15 Credits)
Psychological Assessment in the Workplace (15 Credits)
Research Methods & Dissertation 1 (30 Credits)

Optional Modules Phase One:
Facilitating Group Learning (15 Credits)
Core Counselling Skills & Processes (15 Credits)

Core Modules Phase Two:
Becoming a Professional Psychologist (15 Credits)
Working in a Global Context (15 Credits)
Research Methods & Dissertation 2 (30 Credits)

Optional Modules Phase Two:
Career Coaching Theory/Coaching for Career Development (15 Credits)
Designing & Managing Safety Critical Systems (15 Credits)
Multidimensional Flourishing (15 Credits)
The Skills of Effective Coaching (15 Credits)

How you'll be assessed

Each module is assessed by a challenging and innovative assignment, which captures the kinds of professional work you would be undertaking as an occupational psychologist. All assignments are tackled in small groups, apart from the dissertation, which is an individual piece of work.

We have produced an imaginative range of assessment tasks, which include writing and presenting a client proposal, delivering a group learning workshop, writing a briefing paper, designing and delivering a poster presentation, writing a press release, running a coaching session, writing a research proposal and writing a publication ready journal article.

Course specification

How you'll learn

The course runs on Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays. You would be expected to attend between 12 and 15 of these weekend workshops throughout your time with us.

This mode of study benefits the many students who are working, either in the profession or in related fields. These intensive teaching blocks also mean we can tackle areas in greater depth and give our students a more rigorous experiential study programme, where they can immerse themselves in the different areas of occupational psychology.

Our internships include four working on special projects for the head of occupational health at a large NHS trust, and an eight-week internship with a global people management business working in their assessment and development team.

UEL’s School of Psychology is one of the largest providers of psychology education and training in the UK.

This means you will benefit from a huge breadth of academic expertise, with teaching available in occupational psychology, coaching psychology, positive psychology, counselling psychology and vocational psychology.

What you'll learn

This course has a strong emphasis on professional practice and evidence-based management principles. 

You will become equipped to operate successfully in the profession by taking a series of core modules.

These include psychological assessment in the workplace, helping organisations to change, research design and methodologies, becoming a professional psychologist and working in a global context.

In addition, you can choose to study optional modules in coaching, counselling and positive psychology alongside the more mainstream occupational psychology modules.

Instead of using exams for assessment, we have opted for a rich mix of techniques to measure your progress, including writing bids, position papers, poster presentations and live group projects.

You will also complete a major piece of original live research for your dissertation. The best of these each year will earn a £250 prize from a global people management business, which also offers one of our regular internships.

Your future career

The practical emphasis of this course, balanced with a focus on developing critical thinking, means many of our students have progressed to highly successful careers.

Over the past five years, our students have gained employment as occupational psychologists, coaching psychologists, sports and performance psychologists, leadership development specialists, and human factors experts for a wide range of companies and organisations.

These include BlackRock, Chimp Management Team, Emirates Airlines, Koolheads, Kubiks, London Underground, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, the National Autistic Society, the NHS, ORC International, Penna, Royal Bank of Scotland, the RAF and Whitbread.

The course also enables you to continue your studies by undertaking a professional doctorate in occupational psychology.

The strong professional emphasis, combined with a comprehensive skills curriculum, will develop your transferable skills and equip you with a competitive edge for the world of work.

As our range of internships attests, we have profitable links across some of the key areas of the industry, which is good news for our graduates.

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Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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