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Occupational and Business Psychology Masters (MSc)

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2–3 days a week September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2–3 days a week plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years Weekends (usually one per month) plus online support September 2020

Choose Kingston's Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

This course will help you to understand the way people behave at work, giving you a new perspective on everyday business decisions and preparing you for career advancement. Graduates leave this course with a scientific approach: they can gather evidence and critically evaluate it to make better decisions in the workplace. They stand out from competitors with human resource management qualifications.

  • The only course in the UK to hold dual institutional accreditation from the British Psychological Society and the Association for Business Psychology. Graduates have the option to become a Chartered and Registered Occupational Psychologist in the future.
  • Students can qualify in occupational testing for ability and personality at a fraction of the private market cost.
  • No exams – you will be assessed entirely on your coursework.
  • Access to a dedicated career psychologist with a strong focus on personal development, helping you to improve your employability – for example, though work shadowing, internships networking opportunities and targeted assignments.
  • Course materials grounded in research and practice, delivered by a course team currently working in the field.
  • Regular guest speakers from a range of organisations, including major test publishers and business psychology consultancies.
  • Research and consultancy internship opportunities.
  • A supportive environment and an expert academic team to help you achieve your academic goals. Kingston Business School is one of only a few of the 120 UK business schools to be awarded an 'excellent' rating for its teaching quality by the Higher Education Funding Council.
  • Attend classes in the £26 million Kingston Business School building, opened in 2012, on a leafy, peaceful hillside campus. Kingston upon Thames has been rated one of London's happiest boroughs and has the one of the lowest crime rates in London, as well as fast transport links to the city centre.
  • Kingston Business School has joined an elite group of global institutions to be awarded the prestigious international accreditation by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). A hallmark of excellence in business education, the accreditation has been earned by just 5 per cent of the world's business schools.

What will you study?

You can choose to study this course in one year, with our full time programme, or in two years, with our part-time, executive weekend programme. Both courses cover the same core modules, and both are taught by research-active academics and experienced practitioners.

The modules for this course investigate various approaches to applying psychological principles in the workplace and how these ideas can increase organisational, team and individual performance. You will learn to critically evaluate the evidence base when making decisions.

You will apply theories and evidence to case studies, examples from the field and real-life practice - either at your own company or during a short internship. You will also learn about ethical considerations and your role as a psychologist in organisations, enhancing your professional skills. You will complement this by learning about ways of overcoming the barriers many occupational and business psychologists face when trying to implement their programmes in an organisation.

The course also considers how other disciplines such as neuroscience, ergonomics, economics, human resource management and sociology inform occupational and business psychology.

Employability focus

Your development is at the heart of this course. The programme begins with a focus on the skills you need to gain for your personal career aspirations. As well as building essential transferrable skills, such as communication and interpersonal ability, it has a strong focus on teaching and refining the competencies that employers value, and which will help you succeed in higher level jobs. Students tell us they are impressed with the course and feel it's highly practical.

You will:

  • learn about the process of contracting with organisations as an occupational or business psychologist, and the consultancy cycle;
  • work with new data and updated approaches, and hone your presentation and report writing skills;
  • develop skills and techniques, such as critical incident interviewing, job analysis and career counselling;
  • learn to think creatively and work independently, developing management and leadership skills; and
  • develop an understanding of the different psychological approaches to workplace issues, and how to apply them and synthesise them in practice.

We offer you practice-based training that teaches you to use psychological tools and specialist software, including a wide range of additional short courses covering psychometric testing.


You will be assessed using a mixture of coursework assignments, group and individual exercises, skills sessions, and a data analysis assignment and dissertation.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses is split into two stages. The standard course fee is payable in year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2018 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,230 in September 2019. Students commencing the course in September 2019 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2020 (provisionally £1,350).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Course structure

Other practice-based training will also be offered, including psychometric testing (offered as an additional short course).

You can substitute any core module other than Research Methods and Dissertation for a module from our Human Resources Management MA.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.


  • This module explores how organisations, managers and employees approach career management and associated learning and development. Students tell us they enjoyed the teaching style on this module.

    You will take both academic and practitioner perspectives, and reflect on your own development to-date. You will then assess how your career has unfolded, and gain practical tools and information to consider possible future directions. This module will help you evaluate:

    • the links between career expectations, personal development and learning;
    • the modern, practical approaches to training and development at work; and
    • the evaluation techniques used.
  • This module helps you understand leadership and the processes and practice of change in organisations, and the essential building blocks for organisational development. You will study:

    • key concepts, such as organisation structure, cultures and group relations;
    • leadership and management challenges for development and change;
    • the contemporary organisation developing within societal trends and situations;
    • implementing change and change agents, and evaluating change strategies;
    • power and politics, negotiating and bargaining;
    • theories of creativity from basic to more cutting-edge approaches;
    • employee motivation through rewards systems (such as pay, leadership and job design);
    • consultancy practices and interventions from both internal and external perspectives; and
    • ethical contracting and the consultancy cycle.
  • You will explore the theory and practice of performance appraisal and career development, and develop an understanding of the concept of work performance and how it is assessed. You will also investigate and discuss individual career determinants, including self-concept and life role importance.

    This modules explores the disconnect between academic research findings and organisational practice in this area, identifying the cognitive processes underpinning decision making and judgement formation, and their potential influences within a selection processes.

    Topics include:

    • the selection system, including prediction, standardisation, social processes and technology;
    • theoretical performance models and motivation, and techniques for assessing work performance;
    • job descriptions, person specifications and performance criteria with reference to job analysis and competencies, and translating these to assessment and selection criteria;
    • standards for choosing selection and assessment methods, including validity, reliability and utility analysis;
    • assessment methods such as biodata, application forms, work samples, interviews, in-tray exercises, assessment centres and psychometrics;
    • performance appraisal schemes and the psychological contract;
    • designing assessment procedures, from job analysis and competency development to generating person specifications and designing an assessment programme;
    • fairness and the interests of applicants with reference to adverse impact, ethics of assessment, applicants' rights, data protection, UK legislation, and bias in performance assessment; and
    • contemporary issues in selection, assessment, performance appraisal and career development.
  • This module introduces you to a range of elements of wellbeing across psychological sub-disciplines, and will examine the relevance of wellbeing with regards to a range of practical implications. You will explore:

    • facets of wellbeing: their definition and relevance in organisational settings;
    • emotions in the workplace, bullying and harassment;
    • stress in the workplace: causes, prevention and management;
    • motivation, psychological contract and organisational justice;
    • work patterns and the work - non-work interplay;
    • legal and political aspects of managing wellbeing at work;
    • occupational health psychology, positive psychology perspectives and promoting wellbeing in work contexts; and
    • workspace design and layout, human computer interaction and risk assessment.


  • This module will teach you how to secure knowledge relevant to occupational and business psychology, focusing on the skills and knowledge needed for a masters research dissertation. Students tell us they found this module fun, interesting and flexible. You will learn to:

    • critically evaluate the literature;
    • assess and develop the design of the research and the dissertation;
    • understand ethical conduct, professional issues and practical constraints;
    • collect and analyse data; and
    • present results.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Kingston Business School

View Kingston Business School on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9929*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Kingston Business School

View Kingston Business School on our Google Maps
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