MSc Organizational Psychology
Gain an understanding of how to develop organisations and implement ways of improving how they operate. Build your knowledge of a range of psychological theories that can be applied to the workplace, from selection and assessment to motivation, wellbeing and leadership.
Learn from leading experts
Everything you learn in the degree has been developed by Birkbeck, which has the oldest and largest organizational psychology department of its kind in the UK and one of the leading providers of academic and professional training in occupational psychology within the UK.
Study while maintaining your career momentum
With no relocation or accommodation costs, studying online through the University of London is more affordable than moving to London. You can continue working full time and fit your studies around your commitments, registering for an MSc, a Postgraduate Diploma or a single module for your continuing professional development.
Advance your career
This MSc has been accredited as part of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Stage 1 set of requirements to train to become a registered practitioner psychologist with the Health Care and Professions Council and become eligible for Chartered Status with the Society.
A nurturing student environment
Get the support you need to thrive with a degree that offers the flexibility of online learning with the benefits of a classroom. You are assigned a personal tutor throughout your studies and can participate in tutor-supervised virtual conferencing for each module or interact with your peers in student forums.
Lifelong ties to the University
Enjoy wide-ranging benefits as a member of our global alumni community including access to events across the world, free online courses and more. Join graduates in over 190 countries, including distinguished academics, writers and industry leaders across all sectors.
A mark of excellence
The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of degrees through distance and flexible learning. Since Queen Victoria awarded our Royal Charter in 1858, our programmes have been accessible to students globally, and we continue to be a leading force in higher education.
The programme is available to be studied as a full master’s degree or a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip).
For the MSc, you complete eight compulsory modules (15 credits each) plus a compulsory Research Proposal module (15 credits) and a compulsory Dissertation module (45 credits).
For the PGDip, you complete eight compulsory modules (15 credits each).
Modules can be studied individually on a stand-alone basis, subject to availability.
The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what courses you can choose and the order in which they must be studied.
(OPM410 and OPM610)
The programme is available online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), as well as study materials and help from academic staff. It allows you to study anywhere in the world and fit your studies around your other commitments.
The degree offers the flexibility to complete in one year, or up to five years depending on your desired study pace.
You will be able to access study materials developed by academics at Birkbeck including course handbooks, textbooks and recorded lectures or dedicated audio recordings, and you will have an extensive online library.
You will be able to discuss your work with fellow students and tutors using a conferencing system. You will discuss topics in tutor groups of normally around 30 students.
All study materials (articles and/or set texts) are included in the programme fee, with the exception of materials required to carry out the Dissertation.
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The VLE. Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
- The Online Library. As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the Online Library. You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.
Senate House Library
If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit Senate House Library. Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students. You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
Modules are offered across three terms of 11 weeks from October to December (Term 1), January to March (Term 2) and April to July (Term 3). This 11-week period includes nine weeks of guided study followed by a personal study week. The assessment period for each module is in the final week of each term.
You can study at your own pace (provided you complete your qualification within five years). The MSc is made up of 180 credits and you should expect each credit to take up around 10 hours of study.
Each module is summatively assessed by a final assessment (worth 90 per cent of the overall mark), with the exception of the Research Project modules (Research Proposal and Dissertation). The final assessment is typically a two-hour unseen written examination or 3,000-word written report/essay.
For each module (except for the Research Project modules), satisfaction of the minimum tutor supported computer conferencing requirements is worth 10 per cent of the overall mark.
The Research Proposal module is assessed by a 3,000-word research proposal.
The Dissertation module is assessed by an 8,000 to 10,000-word dissertation.
Assessment is usually held in December, March and July (at the end of each term).
Birkbeck was founded in 1823 as the London Mechanics' Institute. It is unique in its special mission to enable mature students to gain higher education qualifications via part-time study. Consequently, staff are experienced in ensuring a flexible learning environment.
Birkbeck makes a major contribution to research in the field of behaviour at work. It is one of the principal providers of academic and professional training in occupational psychology within the UK.
Dr Keely Jo Frasca joined the Organizational Psychology programme in 2018 as a tutor and took on the role of Programme Director in 2022. She currently convenes the Selection & Assessment, Research Methods, Professional Development & Learning, Research Proposal, and Research Dissertation modules. Keely’s research interests include: organisational recruitment, selection and assessment, discrimination of minority groups, individual differences, and advanced quantitative methods. Keely holds a PhD in Organisational Psychology and is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (CPsychol), Member of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology, Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and Member of The Tutors’ Association (MTA). She is qualified in Occupational Psychometric Testing with the British Psychological Society and is certified by the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations.
Jack Dybczak has been teaching and lecturing at Birkbeck since 2013 on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. In 2017, he joined the Organizational Psychology team and took on the role of Programme Director in 2022. He is currently responsible for teaching Organization and Change Perspectives, Human Resource Strategies and the foundational and qualitative parts of Research Methods. His main research interests are the application of Postmodern Organizational Theory, Actor-Network Theory, and various forms of Discourse Analysis to issues of leadership and organizational change.
Dr Adrian Ward is an independent consultant specialising in the field of leadership, organisational development and executive coaching with over 25 years’ experience in these arenas. In a coaching and mentoring capacity, Adrian is experienced in helping leaders equip themselves with the skills, confidence and political acumen necessary to succeed in a complex, matrix structured environment. In addition to his practical experience, Adrian has a Doctorate in Organisational Psychology. His research interests centre on the issue of Organisational Politics and his thesis explored how Senior Executives make sense of this aspect of their leadership role.
Aly Kelleher joined the Organizational Psychology team as a tutor and research project supervisor in 2021. She is also the Programme Director and Admissions tutor for BSc Business Psychology Birkbeck. She lectures on a wide range of modules such as Motivation, Engagement and Job design, and Research Methods for Business Psychology. She also supervises research projects on the BSc in Business Psychology and the MSc Organizational Psychology programmes. Aly’s PhD research focuses on employee motivation, the Future Time Perspective and Job Demands-Resources theories, and the use of advanced quantitative statistics using R. Other research interests include (but are not limited to): employee wellbeing, engagement, diversity, and the work-home interface.
Alice Cadwgan has worked across communications, organisational design and culture change for multinational corporations, brands and NGO's. In addition, she is a graduate with an MSc from Birkbeck in Organisational Psychology, alongside being the Director of Campaigns and Operations at Lynn, a communications consultancy powered by Behavioural Science.
Head of Department of Organizational Psychology
Mr Mark Stringer has spent the last 35 years in a variety of posts within business and academia in the UK. He joined Birkbeck in 2015 teaching and lecturing on postgraduate programmes, before becoming Programme Director of OPHRM in 2018. From 2022, he took on the role of Head of Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck. Through teaching, supervision and research, his focus is to promote the use of interdisciplinary and critical tools to support those aiming to change organizational issues for the better. Mark’s PhD research looks at interpreting Employee Engagement via a Lacanian psychoanalytic lens. His wider research interests lie in qualitative approaches, influenced by both critical management studies and psychoanalytic, postmodern, structuralist, poststructuralist and intertextual interpretations of organisational life.
|Programme starts||October 2023|
|Programme starts||April 2024|
|Programme starts||January 2024|
What qualifications do you need?
You will need either a bachelor degree which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree from an institution acceptable to the University or relevant education and work experience that comprises suitable training for the programme.
If you have an unconventional career path with diverse work experience and have completed The Manager's Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work MOOC, we will consider your application on its own merits.
English Language requirements
You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved the following within the past three years:
- A score of 7.0 overall in the IELTS test, or 7.0 in both reading and writing.
- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language with an overall score of 95
or above, including a minimum of 24 attained on the reading and writing
skills sub-tests and a minimum of 25 attained on the speaking sub-test and 22 attained on the listening sub-test.
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (at grade C or above).
- Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 130.
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. Certain courses may have additional requirements, such as software to manage spreadsheets and run macros.
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content, level and standard to our Organisational Psychology or Human Resource Management modules, you might be exempted from the equivalent module of our degree. This process is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award.
To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying online. Alternatively, this can be done through an online enquiry, once you have submitted your application.
You may apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL) mapped against a maximum of one module.
You may not apply for recognition of prior learning for the modules of the Research Project (Research Proposal [OPM410] and Dissertation [OPM610]).
More about RPL and the application process
Your qualifications will need to be assessed by specialist academics on a case by case basis, before we can approve recognition and accreditation of Prior Learning. This is called discretionary RPL and involves a non-refundable application fee.
You will need to be eligible to study the programme and will need to provide the following for your RPL application to be considered: a completed RPL request form, the supporting documentary evidence (normally a transcript and syllabus of your previous studies) and the fee payable.
Note: All discretionary RPL requests must be submitted by the dates specified for the January, April, October intake in the year that you apply. Once submitted, we must receive all required supporting evidence by the deadline stated.
|January 2024 intake|
|Submit RPL request by||09 December 2023|
|Submit supporting evidence by||11 December 2023|
Fees, funding and payment
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page.
|Research proposal module fee (MSc only)||£1314|
|Dissertation module fee (MSc only)||£1314|
|Online examination fee*||£10|
|MSc full course fee||£15736|
|PGDip full course fee||£13108|
|Individual module taken on a stand-alone basis for CPD (per module)||£1573|
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions.
You will also need to budget for exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.
Graduates of this degree go on to become training professionals, motivators, careers advisers, managers and consultants within large multinational companies, government departments, or in any company where advanced knowledge of organisational psychology may be useful.
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK and is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education, and practical applications of the discipline.
Our MSc has been accredited as part of the Stage 1 set of requirements if you want to train to become a registered practitioner psychologist with the Health Care and Professions Council and become eligible for Chartered Status with the Society.
Alongside this MSc, the BPS requires students to become Graduate Members of the Society. To achieve this, the BPS requires you to have an accredited undergraduate degree (UG) in Psychology that provides eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, (GBC). This is required for entrance to the various postgraduate courses and training programmes to become a fully Chartered Psychologist.
To join as a Graduate Member, you'll need a 2:2 in an UG Psychology degree accredited by the Society, or you have completed a BPS accredited conversion course if not. Both the GBC and the completed MSc allow for successful completion of Stage 1.
You can then proceed to Stage 2 of accreditation which leads, on successful completion, to Chartered status. Stage 2 study is undertaken directly with the BPS.
Details of how this accreditation fits within the overall BPS Chartered Qualification Framework route of Stages 1 and 2, is on the BPS website.
Contact BPS directly if you are unsure of your own eligibility or routes that are available from the BPS with your current UG degree, eligibility for the GBC membership or the requirements to fulfil Stage 2 to gain Chartered status.
You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.
Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.
“This programme covers the key elements that I see as strategically important for business leadership for the future.”
Stuart Melling, UK
“The programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society and is well-respected in the field of OP and HR.”
“I benefited from rigorous academic supervision with strong fundamentals in organizational psychology. Distance learning helped me improve my long-term motivation.”
Moulay-Hamza Debbarh-Mounir, Bahrain
- January 2024 - application deadline closes