MSc Occupational Psychology


Program Description

Developing skills for a career in enhancing organisational and personal effectiveness, our renowned MSc in Occupational Psychology not only equips you with the practical skills necessary for becoming an occupational psychologist; it is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Taught by academics at the world-leading Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) – home to one of the largest groups of organisational psychology experts in Europe – students on this 12 month MSc discover a programme that is both participative and interactive. We have a commitment to increasing understanding of occupational well-being and effectiveness and identifying factors leading to their enhancement.

The IWP works with a range of public and private sector organisations and acts as an advisory body to practitioners, professional bodies and policy-makers. You benefit from being part of its dynamic research culture which is embedded in the teaching, complemented by established links with organisations and a supportive community of passionate, committed staff.

The Course

Our MSc in Occupational Psychology has been running since 1975 and boasts an international reputation. It is taught full-time from autumn to spring, through a combination of lectures, seminars, case studies, group work for collaborative learning and web-based discussion groups. This taught period is followed by a dissertation where students conduct a research project within an organisation over the summer, providing real-world experience within a company. Students are assessed through individual assignments, group projects, examinations and an organisational project.

Project opportunities can be generated by students or through IWP’s business network and Sheffield University Management School’s Employability Hub. These provide you with the chance to apply your knowledge to real-world issues and develop organisational skills. Throughout the programme, practical workshops focus on developing skills in presentations, SPSS statistical software, group work and information management. There is also training to acquire the BPS Assistant Test User and Tester User Qualifications (Occupational, Ability and Personality) in Psychometric Testing.

Teaching is structured around case study and workshop activities in order to ensure that learning is both active and relevant to modern organisations. Our programme will ensure that you are equipped with practical skills for the workplace, have developed a strong understanding of occupational psychology, a critical appreciation of current theory and practice and have acquired the skills and knowledge necessary for future employment as an occupational psychologist. The MSc Occupational Psychology covers all the knowledge areas required for Stage 1 of professional development to be a practising psychologist. In workshops, guidance is also provided on working towards Stage 2 (Supervised Practice).

The course lasts 12 months and begins in September.


Core modules:

  • Work Design, Organisational Change and Development
  • Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations
  • Leadership, Engagement and Motivation
  • Learning, Training and Development
  • Research Methods for Occupational Psychologists
  • Selection and Psychological Testing in Organisations
  • Statistical Methods for Occupational Psychologists
  • Well-being and Work
  • Dissertation

The Candidate

This programme will appeal to graduates who want to become an Occupational Psychologist and those with an interest in business consultancy, human resource management or organisational research.

You will have a 2:1 honours degree, or an approved professional qualification in psychology, with significant coverage of research methods and statistics topics. You must be eligible for the BPS’s Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). If you have not graduated from a BPS accredited degree programme, you can apply for our MSc Work Psychology.

For overseas students, Sheffield University Management School’s standard English requirement is IELTS 6.5 with at least 6 in each part or equivalent.

The School

The IWP evolved from the Social and Applied Psychology Unit, established by the Medical Research Council in 1968. It is a centre of excellence, boasting a strong reputation for world-class research and application of research to practice, and forms part of the Sheffield University Management School.

Sheffield University Management School is proud to be in the top one per cent of business schools in the world, thanks to a prestigious Triple Crown accreditation (AMBA, EQUIS, AACSB). The School’s architect-designed building is situated in leafy Broomhill, just 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre and 15 minutes’ drive from the Peak District, providing a very high quality of life for you.

We are research-led, dynamic and progressive. The School endeavours for every graduate to be work-ready in both theory and practice. Our world-class academics work very hard to ensure this.

A dedicated careers service is also on hand to support students and put you in touch with organisations. The Employability Hub acts as a key interface between management students and the external world. Its services help you to access employability support, skills development and opportunities in the following areas; postgraduate projects, internships, postgraduate international summer schools, professional body associations and jobs. This MSc also offers specialist employment advice, a tailored programme of work and access to key organisations which will benefit you following graduation.


For further information on scholarships please visit the following website.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

The University of Sheffield is a truly international environment with nearly 25,000 students from 117 countries. With a history stretching back to 1879, it is one of the UK’s leading universities and, ... Read More

The University of Sheffield is a truly international environment with nearly 25,000 students from 117 countries. With a history stretching back to 1879, it is one of the UK’s leading universities and, as part of the Russell Group, is renowned for its research and teaching excellence. Read less