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Work and well-being

Module information>

Academic Direction
Birkbeck, University of London
Modes of Study

The psychology of work and health is primarily concerned with the role and respective interplay between psychological, social and organisational aspects of working, and seeks to understand how these various domains impact upon both individual and organisational health.This field brings together and, moreover, draws on a number of key fields in the area of psychology and related fields including: social psychology, work and organisational psychology, health psychology, environmental psychology, human factors and ergonomics.

Please note the availability of this module is for Term 2: January to March.

Topics covered

  • The current module adopts a biopsychosocial model to understanding workplace health, with the primary aim to facilitate a full and comprehensive understanding of workplace health and safety at both a micro and macro level.
  • The focus of this module is to understand how work can contribute to the impairment of worker’s health, safety, and well-being; and, in turn, how this knowledge can be used to prevent employee ill health and, moreover, promote optimal employee health, engagement, resiliency, and productivity.
  • The module will have a concentrated applied focus, which will demonstrate and discuss the translation and application of psychological theories and principles into development of healthy workplace policies, organisational systems, and management practices.

Learning outcomes

By completing this module, you will be able to:

  • outline some of the meanings of work and well-being.
  • explain and critically evaluate theories of well-being.
  • outline the history of the stress concept and its limitations.
  • identify the possible relationships between work and well-being.
  • evaluate the methodological weaknesses and strengths of research in the field.
  • outline the evidence for the mutual relationships between work and well-being.
  • identify work and well-being interventions and their efficacy.
  • describe how technology and work organisation can play a key role in worker’s health and safety.


One two-hour unseen written examination​.

Essential reading

  • Leka, S & Houdmont, J (2010). Occupational Health Psychology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.