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MSc Occupational and Organisational Psychology

Course summary

The British Psychological Society logo 

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 BPS re-accredited the course in 2018 for the next five years and commended it for several aspects of good practice, including the availability of and support by staff, the mix of research active and practitioner focused teaching staff, and the theoretical and practical nature of the course, which is highly regarded by students.

There is also invaluable input from experts in the fields of positive psychology and coaching, and past students offering insights into different applications of business 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.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

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Fit your studies around you

You can tailor your programme of study to suit your needs. Our programme is taught exclusively through immersive weekend workshops - the only course of its kind to do so.

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

We have been accredited by the BPS since 1988 and have recently been accredited for a further 5 years until 2023, showing our expertise and deep heritage in this topic. This accreditation will give you the opportunity to gain Chartered Membership of the BPS, which is an important requirement for becoming a professional psychologist. 

Dedicated expertise

We are serious about occupational psychology, which is why this programme is taught entirely by occupational psychologists and specialist experts, who are dedicated to this specific profession of psychology. This means you get a more focused and richer learning experience. 

Occupational Psychology is one of the fastest growing disciplines in Applied Psychology. Being an Occupational Psychologist means bringing balance to the workplace and contributing to employee wellbeing and organisational success. Our MSc is one of the longest established programmes of its kind in the UK and has been radically redesigned to meet the needs of working professionals who want to attain this valuable qualification.
Dr Mark Holloway  , Programme Leader

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.

Over the past few years, our Head of School, 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.

What you'll study

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

Autumn Term

Core Modules
Health and Wellbeing at Work

Subject Specific Module
Assessing and Developing People in the Workplace

Spring Term

Subject Specific Modules
Work Design, Organisational Change and Development
Leading, Engaging and Motivating People at Work

Summer Term

Core Modules
Developing as a Researcher Part One
Developing as a Researcher Part Two

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. You will be working in small groups to complete some of your assignments while others, including your dissertation, will be individual pieces 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 Modules Specification Timetable

How you'll learn

The course runs on Saturdays and Sundays, with an occasional extra Friday teaching session. 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.

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 and positive psychology.

Who will teach on this course

Mark Holloway

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

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 and subject specific modules.

The core modules are developing as a researcher, and health and wellbeing at work. The subject specific modules are assessing and developing people in the workplace, work design, organisational change and development, and leading, engaging and motivating people at work. You can choose to replace a subject specific module with an optional module, either coaching theory and practice or flourishing within organisational systems. 

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. 


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 Google, Amazon, Vodafone, Deloitte, Emirates Airlines, Siemens, Royal Bank of Scotland, RAF, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence and a number of occupational psychology practices including Saville Consulting, A&DC, PeopleWise and Genius Within.

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.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

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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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