Occupational and Organisational Psychology (BPS Accredited) MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months  
  • Programme start: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements: Minimum of 2:1 in a BPS accredited Psychology bachelor degree providing Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).

Module details

This 12 month programme comprises of eight 15-credit compulsory modules taught over two semesters, followed by a 60-credit research project over the summer.

Compulsory modules

Strategic Learning, Training and Development (ULMS522)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To provide students with knowledge of the principles and current issues relevant to strategic learning, training and development;

To support students’ development of subject specific and key transferable skills necessary for employment positions related to the management of human resources and occupational psychology;

To provide opportunities for students to acquire a range of analytical techniques required for the effective operational and strategic design of learning, training and development platforms.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have developed a critical understanding of the strategic importance of learning, training and development for organisational performance, innovation and creativity.

(LO2) Students will be able to understand and critically evaluate psychological learning theories and their relevance to planning, performance and knowledge management.

(LO3) Students will be able to explain the importance of micro-level activities, systems and processes that influence the development of learning in a dynamic and complex organisational context.

(LO4) Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of the training cycle including needs analysis, training design and methods, implementation and delivery of training, transfer of learning, and evaluation.

(LO5) Students will be able to describe and evaluate individual and organisational barriers to learning, training, and development in a variety of contexts.

(LO6) Students will have developed a critical understanding of integrated approaches to learning and development, including succession planning and talent planning.

(LO7) Students will recognise the importance of acting ethically and professionally with a demonstrated commitment to equality of opportunity and diversity and to continuous personal and professional development.

(S1) Adaptability. This will be developed through cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis.

(S2) Problem solving skills. Students will identify, formulate and solve organisational strategy and learning issues.

(S3) Teamwork. This will be developed via group-based learning.

(S4) Organisational skills. Students will engage in research in current strategy and organisational learning issues.

(S5) Communication skills. Students will engage in activities which will enhance their written academic and business communication skills.

(S6) International awareness. This will be developed via group-based and individual learning.

(S7) Lifelong learning skills. This will be developed via group-based and individual learning.

(S8) Ethical awareness. Students will develop their ethical awareness by exercising practice judgment in decision making concerning learning, training and development issues.

Diversity Management (ULMS794)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

To examine the diverse nature of the current workforce across the dimensions of age, race, disability, gender, religion and belief and sexual orientation and the advantages this diversity can offer to employers;

To examine psychological perspectives on the impact of work group diversity group dynamics and performance;

To consider both the legal and the social framework underlying the management of diversity;

To consider the policies and practices that support the effective management of diversity in the workplace.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of the terms ‘equal opportunities’ and ‘diversity’ and what these mean for HR professionals and Occupational Psychologists;

(LO2) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of issues related to age, race disability, gender, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation in the workplace;

(LO3) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of the benefits and challenges of managing diversity in the workplace, from the perspective of both HR professionals and Occupational Psychologists;

(LO4) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of the legal framework for managing diversity in the UK;

(LO5) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of the organisational strategies to develop effective management of diversity;

(LO6) Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge of diversity management issues to work situations;

(LO7) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of demographic, social and technological trends and how they shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and HR practices;

(LO8) Demonstrate knowledge/understanding of government policy and legal regulation and how these shape and impact on organisational and HR strategies and HR practices.

(S1) Problem solving skills. Problem solving skills will be developed through engagement with case study work and in seminar participation.

(S2) Commercial awareness. Commercial awareness will be developed during class discussions.

(S3) Teamwork. Teamworking skills will be developed through engagement with group activities in seminars.

(S4) Organisational skills. Students will develop their organisation skills in preparing for assessed work.

(S5) Communication skills. Written communication skills will be developed and assessed through the examination.

(S6) IT skills. Students will develop their IT skills in preparing for assessed work.

(S7) International awareness. International awareness will be developed during class discussions.

(S8) Lifelong learning skills. Preparation for lectures and seminars will enable students to develop skills of lifelong learning.

(S9) Ethical awareness. Ethical awareness will be developed during class discussions and in preparing for the examination.

Advanced Research Methods in Organisational Psychology (ULMS880)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

In order to meet the needs of Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology, this module aims to provide students with advanced understanding, knowledge and critical insight into the major research designs, methodologies and analytical techniques used in the discipline of organisational psychology, and thereby equip them with the necessary skills and competencies to undertake an independent empirical research dissertation (ULMS883 Research Project). The module aims to enable students to understand the philosophical principles of social science research and support them in developing and refining a specific research topic for their research proposal. Students will be provided with advanced insight into both quantitative and qualitative research design, methodology and analysis and will develop data analytical skills through a series of practical workshops and seminars. The module also aims to equip students with the necessary insight into how to effectively manage the research process, including negotiating access to organisations, the importance of ethics in research, and the dissemination of findings.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have developed a critical understanding of the role that research philosophy plays in determining the choice of research design.

(LO2) Students will be able to understand and critically evaluate the major research designs used in qualitative and quantitative research.

(LO3) Students will have developed and applied key skills in qualitative and quantitative data analysis.

(LO4) Students will have developed an appreciation for the importance of adhering to relevant ethical standards in the design, conduct and dissemination of research.

(LO5) Students will have developed an appreciation for the importance of their own ethical practice in working with organisations and the practical challenges that conducting applied research can pose.

(LO6) Students will have conceptualised and designed a novel and feasible research proposal in line with supervisory guidance that forms the basis for the ULMS883 Research Project module.

(S1) Numeracy. Students will be trained in the use of quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis, and based on this, will be required to present a data analytical strategy in their research proposal.

(S2) Problem solving. Students will be required to read a large body of literature in their chosen research topic and derive a specific organisational problem and related theory on which to build their research proposal.

(S3) Communication skills. Students will be required to critically reflect on the theoretical and practical implications of their proposed research, communicate these clearly in the research proposal and present a dissemination strategy for communicating research findings in the individual assignment.

(S4) Organisation skills. Students will be working under strict deadlines to develop and refine a specific research question that makes a contribution to the discipline of organisational psychology.

(S5) Digital fluency. Students will be required to effectively navigate and utilise various electronic databases in order to conduct a comprehensive literature search on their chosen research topic.

(S6) Ethical awareness. Students will be required to understand the both the University of Liverpool code of research ethics, as well as the BPS Code of Research Ethics, and apply these frameworks appropriately to the planning of their research proposal. Ethical awareness will also be directly assessed in the individual assignment.

Well-being and Work (ULMS882)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to equip students with a critical insight into the role that occupational health psychology plays in enhancing employee well-being in the workplace, and what organisations can do in practice to promote employee health and well-being. In order to meet the needs of Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology, students will be introduced to the discipline of occupational health psychology and the scientific knowledge, evidence base and practical skills that they will need to be effective practitioners in occupational psychology. Through the use of case studies, the module will aim to enable students to apply their knowledge and understanding to the effective management of employee physical and mental health, including the prevention and management of stress and stain at work, through counselling, for example. The module also aims to enable students to gain important insights into the role of mood and emotion at work, and how positive psychological perspectives can inform leaders and managers on how to promote employee engagement, organisational commitment and job satisfaction, and in turn, avoid the emergence of derailment and counterproductive work behaviours. Further, the module aims to encourage students to critically evaluate the evidence base for psychological interventions aimed at promoting creativity, innovation and human flourishing at work, and will enable students to examine how such interventions can be implemented and evaluated in practice.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have developed a critical understanding and practical skills relating to the role of occupational health psychology in enhancing the effectiveness and well-being of individuals and organisations.

(LO2) Students will have developed in-depth knowledge of career management, the employment lifecycle and the changing nature of work that has practical relevance to one’s future career.

(LO3) Students will be able to understand, critically evaluate and apply practical skills relating to the function of workplace coaching for personal career development.

(LO4) Students will be able to utilise knowledge and apply practical skills relating to different perspectives on the causes, symptoms, management and prevention of workplace stress.

(LO5) Students will have developed a critical understanding of the role of mood and emotion in the workplace.

(LO6) Students will have developed insight into contemporary positive psychological perspectives at work and evaluate the implications these have for their own future professional practice.

(S1) Lifelong learning. Students will apply theories and models of career development and occupational choice to develop their own personal careers plans for the future.

(S2) Ethical awareness. Students will be exposed to the BPS ethics framework which will inform their ethical behaviour in practice and the responsibilities that employers have for staff well-being.

(S3) Communication skills. Students will be expected to work on case studies and develop solutions that can be clearly communicated to employers.

(S4) Organisation skills. Students will be required to develop a portfolio of reflective journal entries on the module content.

(S5) Problem solving. Students will be required to come up with evidence-based solutions to problems on workplace stress.

(S6) International awareness. Students will be exposed to different cultural perspectives, norms and values by considering module content from a globalised international perspective.

Business Leadership (ULMS700)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To provide students with an understanding of the development of leadership theory together with a critical appreciation of its applicability in a range of business contexts;

To examine contemporary leadership issues including ethical leadership and how leadership relates to diversity;

To concentrate on relating leadership models and frameworks from the literature to practitioner perspectives and concerns.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Define leadership and explain how it differs to management;

(LO2) Identify different sources of power for leaders and their implications for delegation and leader authority;

(LO3) Compare different types of leadership theory – trait, behavioural, contingency and transformational – together with their potential applications;

(LO4) Relate contingency approaches to leadership and authentic leadership to employee engagement;

(LO5) Recognise the business drivers for diversity, together with the significance of cross cultural influences on leadership when leading diverse teams;

(LO6) Critically appraise coaching and mentoring in relation to leadership development.

(S1) Adaptability. Students will consider different perspectives from two nations and hence demonstrate adaptability in the approach to leadership considerations.

(S2) Problem solving skills. The challenges of discussing cross-cultural leadership is key to resolving leadership issues.

(S3) Commercial awareness. This is a real ‘theory to practice’ module and students need to apply theory to two leaders in their assignment and also use a commercial example in their presentation.

(S4) Teamwork. Group presentation – needs teamwork to be successful.

(S5) Organisational skills. Planning as a group can be a challenge and is a key skill that is developed, hence improving organisational skills.

(S6) Communication skills. Oral presentation improves communication and written assignment needs strong communication skills.

(S7) IT skills. Best presentations use interesting Powerpoint slides and IT is improved by all since audio can be used as well as innovative slides.

(S8) International awareness. Cross-cultural awareness via two different examples from nations.

(S9) Leadership. The focus of the module is leadership.

Conflict Management (ULMS785)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To provide students with knowledge of the principles and current issues relevant to conflict resolution in contemporary organisations in order to support students' development of subject specific and key transferable skills necessary for employment in positions related to the management of human resources;

To provide an opportunity for students to acquire a range of analytical techniques required for the effective tactical and strategic negotiation for successful employee relations development.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of conflict management in relation to interpersonal skill development;

(LO2) Enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of conflict management in relation to practical negotiation and mediation training;

(LO3) Enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of conflict management in relation to understanding organisational politics;

(LO4) Enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of conflict management in relation to industrial relations in a global environment;

(LO5) Enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of conflict management in relation to changing relationship between employer and employee;

(LO6) Enable students to understand the importance of reflective practice in developing their understanding and application of different approaches to conflict management.

(S1) Problem solving skills. Students will develop problem solving skills through development of knowledge of resolving conflict.

(S2) Teamwork. Working effectively in groups is required for the seminar activities.

(S3) Organisational skills. Required for effective contribution in seminars and for completion of reflective learning log.

(S4) Communication skills. Seminars require effective communication of ideas through presentation/discussion

(S5) IT skills. Students will develop their IT skills in preparing for the written assessment.

(S6) International awareness. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of cross cultural conflict resolution.

(S7) Lifelong learning skills. Must demonstrate awareness of own approach to conflict management.

(S8) Ethical awareness. Knowledge of ethics related to conflict management will be required.

(S9) Leadership. Knowledge of the role of managers and leaders in conflict management will be developed.

Work Design, Organisational Change and Development (ULMS881)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

In order to meet the needs of Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology, this module aims to promote critical thinking and develop insight into major theories and concepts relating to organisation design, development and change in today’s business and globalised markets. The module content aims to enable students to understand and diagnose organisational development and change, plan required interventions and measure and evaluate its effectiveness. Furthermore, the module aims to provide students with evidence-based knowledge and practical skills necessary for fostering work motivation and favourable job attitudes through a critical understanding of job and workplace design. The module also aims to enable students to recognise and anticipate risks when planning and managing change in organisations and understand the key principles of human error and workplace safety.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to recognise and critique the importance of motivation and organisational justice in the workplace, and develop practical skills in job and workplace design.

(LO2) Students will be able to critically evaluate research evidence examining the relationship between job attitudes and individual, team and organisational processes and outcomes.

(LO3) Students will be able to understand and practically appraise key models and theories of organisational development and change.

(LO4) Students will have critical insight into key concepts relating to organisational structure, design, culture and climate and the implications these have for individual and team outcomes.

(LO5) Students will be able to judge differences in organisational change and development across cultures.

(LO6) Students will be able to critically evaluate the strategies used for organisational change, identifying those that are effective for sustaining it, and how to evaluate it.

(LO7) Students will be able to appraise the importance of human factors, workplace safety, risk management, and error management in organisations.

(S1) Teamwork. Students will be required to work together as a team to deliver an assessed group presentation on the module.

(S2) Problem solving. Students will be exposed to case studies and organisational problems and will develop solutions using module content.

(S3) Communication skills. Students will be expected to communicate effectively with their teammates in the development of their group presentation.

(S4) Organisation skills. Students will be required to develop informed solutions to organisational problems, and will therefore need to effectively organise and apply knowledge and skills acquired on the module.

(S5) International awareness. Students will be exposed to different cultural perspectives, norms and values by considering module content from a globalised international perspective.

Psychological Assessment At Work (ULMS884)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

In order to meet the needs of Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology, this module aims to development knowledge, critical understanding and practical skills in the area of psychological assessment at work. The module content aims to equip students with both theoretical and practical insight into the crucial role that assessment plays in organisations, from the point of pre-selection and recruitment, through to appraisal, performance management, learning and development and organisational change. Further, the module aims to provide students with the evidence-based knowledge and practical skills necessary to conduct an effective job analysis. The module will also cover a wide range of selection methods (for example, screening tools, employment interviews, psychometric testing, situational judgement tests, work sample tests, and assessment centres) and the evidence base for each of these. By critically examining the constructs of validity, reliability, utility and performance criteria, students will be able to make informed decisions regarding the suitability of different selection methods in specific contexts. Students will also gain an appreciation for the importance of diversity and fairness in selection and assessment design as well as the importance of considering candidate perceptions and experiences in ethical decision making. The module will be delivered via a series of lectures, seminars and a practical skills workshop. Assessment will comprise an individual assignment.

In order to consolidate the learning undertaken in this module, students will be provided with an opportunity to complete BPS-accredited Certificates in Occupational Test User Ability and Personality which will take place during the summer. However, the Test User course does not have any bearing on the credits or assessment associated with this module.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to recognise and critique the strategic importance of assessment in organisations and the role that assessment processes play in pre-selection and recruitment, appraisal, promotion, training and talent management, through to the eventual impact on the wider organisation.

(LO2) Students will be able to understand and appraise key psychological and psychometric theories and models that inform best practice in assessment including individual differences in personality and cognitive ability, practical skills in psychometric test construction and the use of online testing and assessment.

(LO3) Students will be able to interpret methods of job analysis and apply practical skills in capability profiling and competency analysis.

(LO4) Students will be able to understand and critically evaluate different selection and assessment methods available to organisations using the concepts of reliability, validity, utility and performance criteria.

(LO5) Students will be able to understand the importance of fairness, diversity and candidate perspectives in the selection and design of assessment methods.

(S1) Teamwork. Students will be required to work together as a team to deliver group presentations on the module.

(S2) Ethical awareness. Students will be exposed to the BPS ethics framework and the responsibilities that employers have for equal opportunity, diversity and fairness in selection and assessment processes.

(S3) Problem solving. Students will be exposed to case studies and organisational problems and will develop solutions using module content.

(S4) Communication skills. Students will be expected to communicate effectively with their teammates and module facilitators in the development and delivery of their group presentation.

(S5) Numeracy. Students will develop quantitative skills by using psychometric data to examine the concepts of validity and reliability.

(S6) Digital literacy. Students will be required to develop a engaging presentations through the use of various digital technologies and multi-media.

(S7) Commercial awareness. Students will gain an understanding of how psychometric and diagnostic tools are developed and used for commercial purposes, and will develop skills in test construction and pitching consultancy services to business.

(S8) International awareness. Students will be exposed to different cultural perspectives, norms and values by considering module content from a globalised international perspective.

Research Project in Organisational Psychology (ULMS883)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to enable students to synthesise and apply the knowledge, skills and understanding that they have acquired throughout their MSc programme. Building on the knowledge and skills acquired in ULMS880 Advanced Research Methods in Organisational Psychology, students will execute an independent, applied and significant piece of empirical research in the field of organisational psychology, under the supervision of an allocated member of academic staff. This is a student-led module which aims to enable students to demonstrate their ability to conceptualise, design and execute a rigorous piece of research that is grounded in theory and focuses on a unique organisational problem. The applied nature of the research project aims to enable students to further develop and embed their conceptual skills, data analytical skills, ethical awareness, critical evaluation skills, as well as their ability to effectively communicate their research findings to both an academic and practitioner audience. These module aims are designed to meet the needs of Stage 1 of the BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to conceptualise, design and execute an independent empirical research project investigating an organisational problem from the perspective of occupational psychology.

(LO2) Students will be able to critically evaluate an organisational problem and develop a set of practical recommendations for managers and organisations.

(LO3) Students will be able to make informed decisions regarding appropriate research design, strategy and methodology.

(LO4) Students will be able to appropriately conduct data collection and data analysis, using appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques.

(LO5) Students will have developed a critical understanding of the strengths and limitations of the research project and will have identified theoretical and/or practical contributions and future research opportunities.

(S1) Problem solving. Research projects must address a specific organisational problem and apply an appropriate research strategy, design and methodology to address this problem in order to derive clear evidence-based solutions.

(S2) Communication skills. Students will be required to present a coherent and rigorous piece of research which stipulates clear aims, objectives and findings. They will also be expected to clearly communicate the results of their research to an academic audience, as well as derive a set of focused practical recommendations for managers and organisations.

(S3) Ethical awareness. Students will be required to understand and apply both the University of Liverpool Code of Research Ethics, as well as the BPS Code of Research Ethics to their research project, to ensure that all aspects of the research process adhere to such principles.

(S4) Organisation skills. Students will be working under strict deadlines to execute their research project, and will inevitability face challenges with data collection and data analysis that they will need to overcome.

(S5) Digital literacy. The final project will be presented as a significant electronic document comprising a maximum of 15,000 words. Students will, therefore, develop advanced IT and digital literacy skills to ensure that the dissertation is presented in a coherent, organised and professional manner. Students will also develop IT skills and digital literacy in relation to specific data analysis packages, such as SPSS and/or NVivo.