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Organisational Psychology  MSc


Accreditation & GBC

The MSc in Organisational Psychology is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Graduates who are eligible for this status can use the MSc as the first step toward becoming a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. City's MSc programme has been explicitly design to cover the new five knowledge areas as defined by the BPS division of occupational psychology.

The British Psychological Society Accredited logo

About the course

City's long-standing MSc in Organisational Psychology provides knowledge, skill, and understanding in the core areas of the field of organisational/occupational psychology. The discipline seeks to enhance our understanding of human behaviour within the workplace, covering topics such as:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Training
  • Stress management
  • Optimal work designs
  • Diversity in the workplace
  • Occupational health
  • Work motivation
  • Facilitating organisational change
  • Workplace coaching and therapy
  • Design of effective appraisal processes.

In the programme you will be offered the opportunity to develop in-depth theoretical and research knowledge. The programme also offers insights into a range of essential organisational consulting skills, such as negotiating access into organisations, facilitating employee focus groups, delivering psychological skills training, and providing effective feedback. The aim is that you will graduate with practical and highly marketable skills, as well as an extensive theoretical and research-based knowledge.

After your degree at City

It is notable that some employers in the field seek interns and new talent directly from our cohort of current MSc students and recent graduates. Past students have been employed in consultancies and a range of industry sectors.

Graduates have progressed into jobs with:

  • Aviva,
  • BBC
  • Aimia
  • Capgemini
  • EDF Energy
  • KPMG
  • London Metropolitan Police
  • Accenture
  • SHL
  • YSC
  • The Ministry of Defence
  • The Prison Service.

Hear from our Alumni at the MSc Organisational Psychology Alumni reunion

Our students consistently win prizes for research excellence, including the Division of Occupational Psychology's first and second prize for student research in 2012. (See 'Student prizes for research excellence' listed, to the right of this page.)

We accept students without a psychology background

We also welcome applicants who do not have a first degree in psychology, as well as those who studied psychology outside of the UK. We accept students without a psychology background who are interested in completing our MSc in order to enhance their career prospects, and for the opportunity to step into the world of evidence-based organisational consulting.

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £10,000
  • Part-time EU: £5,000 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £8,000 per year

Start Date:

September 2016

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

MSc Organisational Psychology

All applicants should have an upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent grade from an overseas institution). It is also helpful for your application if you are able to demonstrate some work experience. Work experience in a psychological or human resource setting is highly desirable, but not essential.

Applicants who are interested in becoming a chartered psychologist within the British system should hold the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). This membership is usually granted automatically to individuals  who completed an undergraduate degree in psychology that is recognised by the BPS.

Please note that admission to the MSc in Organisational Psychology is highly competitive, and you are recommended to apply early in the year of entry to avoid disappointment.

English Requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of English proficiency. We only accept the following English language qualifications:

  • GCSE - grade C or above
  • CSE - grade C or above
  • SEB - grade C or above
  • IELTS - 7 or above
  • Pearson test with a score of at least 67 in each area

INTO English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Please click the links below for more information:

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
September 2016
  • Full-time one year (classes timetabled Thursday and Friday)
  • Part-time – two years (classes timetabled Thursday in year 1 and Friday in year 2)
Full-time students attend the University for one year, mainly on Thursdays and Fridays between 9am and 5pm during term time. You submit your dissertation at the end of September. Part-time students attend the University for two years, Thursday in year 1 and Friday in year 2, between 9am and 5pm during term time. You submit your dissertation in December following year 2.

Course Content

The MSc equips you with a sound understanding of theory and research across the sub-disciplines of organisational psychology. You will also be introduced to the range of practical skills required of occupational psychologists and organisational behaviour consultants. Our teaching approach emphasises how theory is applied in practice, so that many of our lectures include a practical component to highlight how occupational psychology research influences the workplace.

Course Structure

The MSc Organisational Psychology consists of eight taught modules, plus an applied research dissertation (see below). Full-time students complete all eight modules and the dissertation in one calendar year (September to September). Part-time students complete the course over two years.

Psychological assessment

The aim of this module is to introduce students to assessment in the context of selection and assessment in organisations. The module provides students with an understanding of how selection decisions are made by and about individuals in the workplace. The module introduces students to selection theories, methods of assessment, issues to consider in designing assessment procedures, fairness, diversity and the candidate perspective of selection.

Lectures cover topics such as job analysis, competency profiling, psychometrics, situational judgement tests, and the recent widespread use of technology in recruitment and selection.

This module aims:

  • To introduce students to the psychology of selection and assessment.
  • To analyse the existing literature and practice on methods in selection (e.g. psychometrics, assessment centres, and interviews) and evaluate the nature and effectiveness of different assessment methods.
  • To focus on issues linked to ensuring equal opportunity in the selection process (fairness, diversity and candidate reactions).

Employee well-being

This module primarily covers knowledge around the knowledge domain of Well-Being at Work. However, the topics introduced in this module also cover material relevant to the areas of Learning, Training and Development, and Leadership, Engagement and Motivation.

The module specifically focuses on employees' individual well-being, mental health, and personal responses to stress. It draws from various prominent models of human functioning and associated interventions that have been applied in workplace settings. The specific aims of the module are as follows:

  • Provide an understanding of why well-being and mental health are essential for both employee and organisational functioning.
  • Critically examine various theories of psychological  health and related bodies of research.
  • Assess the evidence for a range of workplace interventions that have the potential to improve employees' mental health.
  • Reflect on some of the practical and ethical challenges involved in implementing workplace well-being interventions.
  • Provide an opportunity to experience interventions that have been implemented in workplace settings.

Module outline

In week 1, the module presents data from around the world illustrating the prevalence of mental health problems among working populations, and also introduces students to the happy-productive-worker hypothesis. In week 2, students learn how an employee's personality and other individual characteristics can influence stress appraisal and coping processes. Week's 3 and 4 cover the related topics of work-related burnout and the influence of employees' leisure time recovery experiences.

From week 5 onwards, the module turns to interventions used in the workplace to promote psychological well-being. Over the following weeks, students are introduced to a range of psychological interventions that have been adapted for workplace delivery. This includes mindfulness-based interventions (e.g., MBSR and ACT), other forms of cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), stress management training, and interventions that have emerged from the positive psychology movement.

Leadership and organisational behaviours

This module covers a core knowledge area within occupational psychology: leadership, engagement and motivation.

This module aims to:

  • Place individual and organisational behaviour in the broader context of social, economic and political forces.
  • Expose students to traditional theories of leadership, consider more modern models and discuss the 'darker' sides of derailment, politics and power.
  • Explore ways in which managers and employees manage motivation, behaviour and development in the context of diverse organisations.
  • Introduce some of the psychological processes that take place between individuals, groups and their organisations.
  • Examine some of the impacts of these processes on sustaining positive working relationships, such as group decision-making and the psychological contract.

Work design, oganisational change and development

This module introduces topics that primarily cover two key knowledge areas: (1) 'Work Design, Organisational Change and Development'; and (2) 'Well-Being and Work'.

The module outlines prominent theories that link certain aspects of work design to psychological and physical health, and introduces participative work reorganisation interventions that are designed to enhance employee engagement and well-being. The module also provides insight into the UK Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) recommendations for managing work-related stress. Various prominent models of organisational development and change will be introduced, including process consultation, participative action research, and appreciative inquiry.

In addition to the above, the module examines other topics related to work design, including promoting environmental behaviour in the workplace, the role of organisational culture and climate, core aspects of user-centred design, and shift work.

Learning, training and development

This module focuses on a core knowledge area within work psychology and organisational consulting: training, coaching, and personal development of employees.

This module aims to:

  • Present a critical understanding of the ways in which individuals learn and develop in the context of work and organisations.
  • Expose students to cognitive theories of learning and skill development to aid understanding of how individuals learn.
  • Discuss theories of occupational choice.
  • Contrast different development activities such as coaching and training, with reference to their psychological underpinnings.
  • Promote the importance of evaluation.
  • Examine how development activities link to succession planning, and wider organisational outcomes.

Research in organisations

This module is designed to introduce students to the practicalities of conducting research in organisations. It will focus on issues faced by researchers in applied settings (such as research design and ethics), and covers a number of important research techniques, such as content analysis and facilitating focus groups. This module is also designed to introduce students to what is required from the research dissertation.

This module aims:
  • To introduce students to the practicalities of conducting research in organisations.
  • To run hands-on workshops for students to developed a range of research skills
  • To focus on issues faced by researchers in applied settings.
  • To introduce requirements for the research dissertation

Research design and statistics

This module will give you practical knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative data analytic techniques. For the quantitative component, lectures will cover a range of univariate and multivariate analyses. For the qualitative component, you will be exposed to IPA, thematic and discourse analysis. This module has a practical component including two SPSS workshops to help enhance your understanding of statistical output.

You will learn how to perform the following analyses on SPSS:

  • Statistical concepts such as sampling distributions and significance testing
  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA), analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA)
  • Uses and interpretation of multiple regression
  • The principles and practice of questionnaire design and factor analysis.

Professional skills

This module builds on knowledge gained from the other modules to provide students with overall models for reflecting on evidence-based practice. It is delivered as a series of 'hands on' workshops designed to introduce students to practical skills that are used by occupational psychologists and organisational consultants.

To this end, half of this module is taught in the form of experiential skills sessions by visiting consultants and related professionals with extensive experience working in both commercial and public sector organisations.

For the rest of the module, students will be involved in a live case study working with a research-led consultancy. Students will be exposed to the consultancy cycle through the process of problem diagnosis through to solution design. The case study will conclude with a presentation of findings and written proposal to a simulated client organisation. The case study approach is designed to provide students with specific tools and techniques for gathering, analysing and feeding back data in organisational contexts.

The module also addresses the professional ethics and responsibilities that come with applying psychology in the workplace. The experiential focus of this module provides students with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice from across the MSc and apply that knowledge in organisational settings.


You are required to submit a dissertation. Work on your dissertation will start in term two with a research methods seminar which will help you develop the necessary skills for undertaking independent research.

You will choose a topic under the guidance of a project supervisor. You will conduct empirical research in your chosen area, which will involve gaining access, collecting and analysing data and submit a 10-13,000 word dissertation. In the summer term, you will work full-time on completing your final dissertation.

Teaching and Assessment


You will learn through lectures, seminars, group work, role-play, workshops, class discussions, and supervision.


You will be assessed on academic essays, examinations, log books of professional practice, qualitative text analysis, interpretation of statistical analyses, oral presentations, formal research proposals and dissertations. In addition, you are also directed to independent study and receive detailed feedback on your coursework as an aid to further learning.


You are required to successfully complete a research project of approximately 10,000-13,000 words.

Who will teach you?

We are a group of Chartered Occupational Psychologists, who encourage a scientist-practitioner approach to all we do. We are not only active researchers, but also practitioners who regularly consult for a range of public and private sector organisations, including the National Health Service; Camden Council; HSBC and BT Openreach among others. Our teaching approach emphasises how theory is applied in practice, so that all our lectures include a practical component to highlight how occupational psychology research influences the workplace.

Our research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, books, and practice documents, and we have presented our research at a wide range of national and international conferences. Please see our staff profile pages for more information.


  • Full-time EU: £10,000
  • Part-time EU: £5,000 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £8,000 per year


For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.




This MSc does not offer formal placements. However, the course generates a lot of interest from employers seeking talented students and graduates for voluntary work placements, internships, and short term periods of work experience.

While on the course, previous students have secured excellent internships with London-based consultancies. There are also usually opportunities to get involved in the work being conducted by members of staff.

Career Prospects

86 per cent of 2011 graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduation, with an average starting salary of £29,500.

Previous graduates have been employed as: recruitment consultants, associate occupational psychologists, researchers, management consultants, performance consultants, business psychologists, training consultants, HR practitioners, organisational change practitioners, and career consultants.

Organisations employing recent graduates:

  • Armstrong International
  • Assessment and Development Consultants
  • Aviva
  • BBC
  • Capgemini
  • Cubiks
  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Deloitte & Touche
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Diabetes UK
  • Ernst & Young
  • Hay Group
  • Home office
  • Human Assets
  • HSBC
  • JP Morgan
  • Kenexa
  • KPMG
  • London Metropolitan Police
  • Ministry of Defence
  • National Policing Improvement Agency
  • PCL
  • Prison Service
  • PWC
  • Saville consulting
  • SHL
  • The Mind Gym
  • The Psychology Group
  • Towers Perrin ISR
  • Work Psychology Group
  • YSC

Several recent graduates have also gone on to complete PhDs.

Application Deadline

The course starts in late September 2016. We recommend that you apply early in the year as entry to the course is very competitive.

MSc Organisational Psychology

All complete applications will be considered and shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an open day and interview at the University. Shortlisted overseas applicants will be invited to take part in a telephone interview.

Please note two references are required. At least one reference for recent graduates must be academic. Other references may be from a current employer. References must be provided either on the reference form provided here (with an institution stamp), or on headed paper.

Please also complete our supplementary form, as well as providing a personal statement.

Apply online

As from 2015-16 we are offering both full and part-time places on our newly-developed Organisational Psychology course. Please email Stacey if you require further information.

When applying online

  • You must provide the email addresses to two referees, at least one must be from an academic referee if you are a recent graduate and we will contact them directly. Other suitable referees may include a current employer or an organisation where you have undertaken relevant work experience.
  • We also require that you upload evidence of your academic qualifications, the supplementary form and a personal statement.

If you require assistance regarding your application or have any queries then please contact:

Stacey Skinner
Programme Administrator
City University London
Northampton Square

T: +44 (0)20 7040 8033