Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

Why choose this course?

This course is ideal if you want to apply the science of psychology to people at work, with roles including in-house and external consultancy, HR, organisational development, public sector and research.

You will learn how to successfully drive sustainable change at work through rigorous science, data, technology, and experiential projects.

You will use psychological methods and specialist software. Additional short courses cover psychometric testing, for 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 2024
January 2025
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2–3 days a week plus placement year September 2024
January 2025
Main location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston Business School is one of just 5% of the world's business schools with accreditation from AACSB International.
  • This course has accreditation from the British Psychological Society. It can form part of the route towards becoming a chartered and registered occupational psychologist.
  • You will attend talks from guest speakers from a range of organisations.
  • You will become an evidence-based practitioner, able to use a rigorous data-driven approach.
  • 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 offerings.

AACSB Accredited logo

Specialist careers support

You will take part in an Assessment Centre Experience, providing the opportunity to experience the pathway to employment with tailored feedback to help develop your employability skills for the world of graduate employment.

  • Develop your understanding of the jobs market, including current trends and opportunities, different recruitment processes and how to identify relevant roles
  • Receive personalised feedback reports to help you to improve and progress
  • Access additional webinars on top tips, employer expectations and best practice
Specialist careers support

At Kingston Business School we lead

The Department of Management at Kingston Business School

The Department of Management offers a broad range of accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering all areas of business, from human resources and finance, to marketing, logistics and management.

Our programmes are developed in consultation with industry practitioners and alumni to ensure that your studies are future-facing and enable you to thrive, whether your ambition is to start your own company or become a senior leader in a global organisation.

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.

Accreditation

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.

The Association of Business Psychology

The Association of Business Psychology

The Association of Business Psychology

This course is accredited by the Association for Business Psychology (ABP). Our ABP accreditation demonstrates the quality and rigour of our approach, and shows employers and clients that you have a thorough understanding of psychology in a business context.

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).

MSc

Optional placement year

Core modules

Behavioural Science and Data Analytics

15 credits

This module covers the key theories and concepts in behavioural science, equipping you with the skills and knowledge to help your future behavioural scientist career, especially within business and public policy, research, or consultancy.

You will gain practical experience in designing and conducting experiments, analysing data and interpreting results using innovative and novel approaches.

You will learn to apply behavioural science theories to real-world challenges through experiential lab-based learning using our nationally leading BRAINS (Behavioural Research Analytics In Neurotechnological Systems) Lab.

Empirical Research Project

60 credits

The module introduces you to the role that research methods play in developing discipline knowledge, and in providing knowledge that underpins evidence-based practice.

You will critically evaluate research articles and other documents from a methodological perspective, while also developing the skills to conduct high quality research.

You will be supported by a research supervisor who will act as a guide, mentor and source of information as you progress through your research project.

Healthy and Inclusive Workplaces

30 credits

According to the World Health Organisation, wellbeing comprises "quality of life as well as the ability […] to contribute to the world in accordance with a sense of meaning and purpose". This module explores this notion in work settings from two different, yet complementary perspectives:

  • Mental health and its impact in work contexts, with a particular focus on mental health issues, their prevalence and risk factors.
  • Wellbeing with a view to diversity and inclusion issues, which includes accounting for surface-level (demographic) and deep-level (psychological) attributes in organisational settings.

You will evaluate research evidence and explore the usefulness of behavioural science knowledge to positively influence wellbeing at work.

The module covers key content as described in the British Psychological Society's knowledge area ‘Wellbeing and work' and is aligned with the United Nations' sustainable development agenda, especially concerning ‘good health and wellbeing' (goal number 3) and ‘decent work' (goal number 8).

Leadership, Creativity and Innovation for 21st Century Organisations

15 credits

The world of work is constantly changing and facing new challenges, from how we think about work to the way we design and run organisations. A new mindset and set of skills are required to tackle these challenges.

This module will provide you with exactly that, focusing on leadership, creativity and organisational innovation approaches required for success. You will develop a full understanding of leadership, processes and practice of organisational creativity and innovation in the 21st century.

Through a combination of lectures, workshops, external speakers and industry visits, you will be exposed to issues inherent in the theory and practice of both leadership and creativity, including ethical issues.

The module embraces the United Nations' sustainable development agenda, especially concerns with 'gender equality' (goal number 5) and ‘decent work' (goal number 8). The module also incorporates key content as described in the British Psychological Society's knowledge area 'Leadership, engagement and motivation'.

Psychological Assessment for Selection and Retention

15 credits

This module explores the theory and practice of applying psychological assessments to people at work, typically focusing on assessment in selection and development contexts, and for the purpose of conducting performance appraisals.

You will learn how to apply 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 in the future.

You will explore contemporary issues in assessment, selection, and developmental contexts, with a focus on fairness, justice and the candidate experience, and an attention towards the implications of using virtual reality, gamification and artificial intelligence in assessment.

The module will enable you to critically appraise the suitability of assessment methodologies for both in-house and external consultancy.

Psychology of Coaching, Learning and Development

15 credits

This module explores the ways in which individuals approach career management and associated learning and development.

In addition to learning about academic and practitioner perspectives, you will reflect on your own career and development to date; assessing how your career has unfolded, your goals and motivations, and what barriers and facilitators may exist in the path of achieving those goals and motivations.

You will also study the theoretical and practical elements of the training cycle, including training needs analysis, design, implementation, evaluation and transfer of learning.

Applied Psychology at Work

30 credits

This module will support you to critically evaluate research from a methodological perspective, while also acquiring the skills needed to conduct high quality applied research.

You will explore key content as described in the British Psychological Society's knowledge areas ‘Applying psychology to work and organisations' and ‘Research design, advanced data gathering and analytical techniques'.

The module is delivered through interactive seminars with a mixture of lectures, lab-based tutorials and practical workshops. You will collect and analyse data using different research approaches, such as interviews, focus groups, survey questionnaires and experiments.

Professional Skills and Development

0 credits

This module will provide you with an opportunity to explore, understand and reflect on the various career paths of occupational and/or business psychology whilst building self-awareness to confidently position yourself effectively in today's global business world.

You will be supported to define your own personal brand and explore how to effectively communicate this through employability tools and platforms to optimise impact after graduating.

You will take part in a series of interactive sessions that are designed to challenge your current perceptions of yourself and career, as well as providing you with valuable commercial, critical and creative thinking skills.

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 Student Route visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Core modules

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement that follows completion of the first 180 credits of taught modules and project or dissertation. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific skills in their chosen subject.

It is the responsibility of individual students to locate and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this will normally involve one placement which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the module leader prior to commencement to ensure its suitability.

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

A 2:2 or above honours degree or equivalent in any discipline.

You must have GCSE or equivalent at grade C/grade 4 or above in mathematics.

Candidates with non-standard qualifications but with relevant experience are welcome to apply.

International

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.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

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 learning and teaching activity

Professional Placement Year

  • 100% of your time is spent on guided independent study (self-managed time) and placement

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc

Professional Placement Year

Occupational and Business Psychology MSc
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 216 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1584 hours
Professional Placement Year
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 50 hours
  • Placement: 1150 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises practical tasks (e.g. presentations) and coursework (e.g. 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: 86%
  • Practical: 14%
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 gives you 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

2025/26 fees for this course

Home 2025/26

  • MSc full time £13,500

International 2025/26

  • MSc full time £18,700

2024/25 fees for this course

Home 2024/25

  • MSc full time £12,900

International 2024/25

  • MSc full time £17,900

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

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.

Postgraduate loans

If you are a UK student, resident in England and are aged under the age of 60, you will be able to apply for a loan to study for a postgraduate degree. For more information, read the postgraduate loan information on the government's website.

Scholarships 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:

Salutem Care and Education Scholarship

Healthcare organisation Salutem Care and Education is offering a scholarship for one home fee status student on either MSc Global Human Resource Management or MSc Occupational & Business Psychology. The scholarship will cover the full value of the tuition fees, plus a maintenance grant.

Read more about the Salutem scholarship.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

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.

Kingston Business School: who do you want to be?

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.