Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

Why choose this course?

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.

  • Students can qualify in occupational testing for ability and personality at a fraction of the private market cost.
  • Course materials grounded in research and practice, delivered by a course team currently working in the field.
  • Theoretical and practical understanding that enables you to become a 'reflective practitioner' and demonstrate the skills demanded by employers.
  • A supportive and pleasant study environment and an expert academic team to help you achieve your academic goals.
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
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course has accreditation from the British Psychological Society. It can form part of the route towards becoming a chartered and registered occupational psychologist.
  • Regular guest speakers are from a range of organisations and business psychology consultancies.
  • Kingston Business School is one of just five per cent of the world's business schools with accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.
  • Free car parking at the Kingston Hill campus is available for students of this course. The campus can also be easily accessed by public transport. Halls accommodation is just a walk away from the classrooms.

Kingston Business School Accreditations

Kingston Business School holds the prestigious international accreditation by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in recognition of the excellence of its business education. This accreditation has been earned by just 5% of the world's business schools and recognises the high quality and standard of our business degree offering.

Kingston Business School Accreditations

Personal development

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.

You will:

  • learn about the process of contracting with organisations as an occupational or business psychologist, and the consultancy cycle;
  • analyse qualitative and quantitative data, 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.


British Psychological Society

British Psychological Society

British Psychological Society

The course has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

If you already hold an honours degree in a BPS-accredited psychology undergraduate course, this MSc upon graduation will satisfy the criteria for stage one of the BPS Chartership process. Those without a background in psychology and/or an accredited psychology undergraduate course can complete a conversion diploma in psychology after your MSc.

Both routes will enable you to become a full Chartered and Registered Occupational Psychologist in the future.

Health and Care Professions Council

Health and Care Professions Council

Health and Care Professions Council

'Occupational Psychologist' is a protected title regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).  Students who hold GBC as well as this MSc and then continue to successfully complete their Stage 2 training in Occupational Psychology are eligible to apply to register with the HCPC. Please note, this course is not accredited by the HCPC.

What you will study

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

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. 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.

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


Optional placement year

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

This course is made up of five core modules.

Core modules

Research Methods and Dissertation

60 credits

This is a core module for students studying at master's level. The module introduces students to the role that research methods play in developing discipline knowledge, and in providing the knowledge that underpins evidence-based practice. Students will develop the ability to critically evaluate research articles and other documents from a methodological perspective. They will develop the skills to conduct high quality research. Core factual material and learning resources will be provided electronically via Canvas. Classroom sessions will take the form of workshops where possible, and will cover topics such as reviewing research literature systematically; research design; qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and data analysis techniques; writing up and presenting research. For the dissertation, each student will have a personal supervisor who will provide guidance on planning and conducting the research, and on writing it up.

Career Counselling, Training and Development

30 credits

This module explores how organisations, managers and employees approach career management and associated learning and development.

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.
Leadership, Change and Consultancy

30 credits

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 organisational 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.
Wellbeing and Work

30 credits

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
Psychological Assessment at Work

30 credits

This module explores the theory and practice of applying psychological assessments to people at work, typically focusing on assessment in a selection context, and for the purpose of conducting performance appraisals. The module is concerned with the application of fair, standardised and rigorous techniques for assessing people for job positions, in terms of understanding their current level of suitability and their potential to develop this in the future. The module addresses contemporary issues in assessment, selection, and developmental contexts and equips students with the ability to critically appraise the suitability of assessment methodologies for different scenarios.

The professional placement year is optional. It takes place after the full-time year. It allows students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The work placement is an assessed part of the course and is therefore covered by a Tier 4 visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Linking with the workplace

We make sure that all the theory you learn is backed up with an understanding of how it applies in practice  the real life situations that occupational psychologists face every day  giving you the skills employers value and preparing you for the workplace.

Work placements

We actively encourage you to take up work placements to hone the skills you have learned in real-life situations. We can provide you with help and support while you are looking for a placement.

Visiting experts

As well as being taught by Kingston Business School's expert team – many of whom continue their work in industry while teaching – you will be taught by guest speakers.

To complement your core modules you can take part in an ‘Expert Speakers' series and an ‘Engaging the Profession' series, providing you with valuable opportunities to meet practitioners and academics.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

We welcome applications from anyone with an honours degree at 2:2 or above in any subject (usually a BSc award).

You must have GCSE maths at grade C or above, or equivalent competence.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 6.0. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

  • 13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Professional Placement Year

  • 100% of your time is spent on guided independent study and placement

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

Professional Placement Year

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 236 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1565 hours
Professional Placement Year
  • Guided independent study: 50 hours
  • Placement: 1150 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises practical tasks (eg presentations) and coursework (eg essays, reports, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

Type of assessment

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

Professional Placement Year

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc
  • Coursework: 96%
  • Practical: 4%
Professional Placement Year
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetables

Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible one month before the start of your course.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £10,175
  • MSc part time £5,598

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

After you graduate

This course will equip you to work in a diverse range of settings. Occupational and business psychologists often work in management training centres, assessment centres, organisational development departments and for private companies. Public sector organisations, such as the civil service and the health sector employ occupational and business psychologists. This programme equips you for careers such as:

  • occupational psychology consultancy;
  • psychometric test publishing;
  • talent management consultancy;
  • recruitment;
  • human resource professional;
  • health and wellbeing professional;
  • employee engagement professional;
  • leadership expert; and
  • learning and development.

Whatever career path graduates choose, the organisations they join value their ability to study and analyse staff to identify talent, then coach, develop and enhance people's motivation and performance at work.

Mature students, who often study this course so that they can change careers, sometimes choose to set up their own businesses.

Graduates can also choose to continue working towards a professional qualification in psychology, possibly becoming Chartered and Registered Occupational Psychologists following further training.