Work and Organisational Psychology
Which working conditions help prevent mental fatigue? What determines the effectiveness of a team? And how do you stimulate innovation? These are the types of questions you'll be asking if you specialise in Work and Organisational Psychology. The programme covers topics such as human resources, human organisation and work psychology. You’ll also attend a series of workshops that specifically focus on practical skills, such as applying job analyses and measuring human performance. After you’ve obtained your master’s, you’ll have all the preparation you need to become an organisational psychologist. But you could also pursue an academic career, studying the psychology of work and organisations.
Why this programme?
In the master’s specialisation in Work and Organisational Psychology, you’ll study how people behave in organisations and why they behave the way they do. The programme combines theoretical knowledge about organisational psychology with practical applications that can be implemented in organisations.
You'll learn how to answer questions such as:
- Which working conditions prevent mental fatigue?
- What motivates people?
- What determines the effectiveness of a team?
- What is leadership?
- How would you develop a satisfactory selection system for, say, air traffic controllers?
- Which factors improve the quality of working life for the elderly?
- How do you stimulate innovation?
During the first semester, you'll take several courses and skills labs that will familiarise you with work and organisational psychology, particularly the cognitive issues of the domain. The courses you'll take are:
- Work psychology: focuses on individual and organisational outcomes of work behaviour. Issues such as job design and health and safety are also discussed.
- Human resources: addresses problems related to employee recruitment, selection and career development.
- Organisation and cognition: focuses on strategy, leadership, Innovation, team cognition, negotiation, change management and cultural diversity.
- Human performance: is centred on the question ‘How do people process information during the performance of tasks?’.
In the second semester, you'll continue to develop professional skills, complete a research project and write your master’s thesis.
Develop your professional skills
One of the key features of the programme is its focus on skills development. Over an eight-week period starting in January, a series of assignments and workshops will stimulate further development of the primary competences of work and organistional psychologists. You’ll practice skills such as:
- needs analysis
- goal setting
- intervention design
You may work on the assignments in either a simulated or a real-life organisational setting. Afterwards, you'll complete an activity report in which you will reflect on your professional development.
Linking up with ongoing research
The themes of the Work and Organisational Psychology specialisation are closely linked to research of our staff. This close link between education and research offers you many opportunities to participate in ongoing research. Our themes include:
- Recovery and well-being at work
- Inclusive organisations
- Work and technology
- Occupational neuroscience
- Ethical behaviour at work
Research on work and organisational psychology has two complementary aspects: basic research focused on building new models that help to explain human behaviour at work and research aimed at improving and changing organisations. For basic research, we have a laboratory that enables us to simulate realistic work settings where we can study phenomena that are difficult to investigate in real-life settings, such as the effects of being interrupted at work.
Internship & thesis
The research internship gives you the opportunity to participate in the ongoing research of the faculty’s academic staff or to work with external academic or clinical institutions. You will design and pursue your own research question, which will be the foundation of your master's thesis.
You can choose the subject of your research internship from a wide variety of topics that fit within your chosen specialisation. The internship can be done in the Netherlands or abroad. Most students do their research in Maastricht while gathering data at an external organisation.
Work and Organisational Psychology is taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). In small tutorial groups of up to 13 students, you seek solutions to ‘problems’ taken from real-world situations. Instructors act as facilitators, giving help as it’s needed. This allows you to build independence and develop problem-solving skills that you’ll need in the field. This active, dynamic and collaborative learning method has one of the highest knowledge retention rates of any instructional method.
From the first day of the programme, you’ll be challenged with differing viewpoints and experiences as you interact with staff and students from all over the world. Your preconceptions and worldview will be enhanced by this interaction, bringing you closer to the programme’s goal of teaching students not only facts and concepts but also international accessibility and understanding. Roughly half of the students in this master’s programme come from outside the Netherlands. Such diversity creates an international atmosphere that is strengthened by the international orientation of the programme.
Double Degree master's programmes
At the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, you have the opportunity to take part in a two-year Double Degree master's programme in collaboration with the University of Seville, Spain or the University of Milan, Italy. After successful completion of the entire two-year programme you’ll receive two official Master’s degrees, one from FPN and one from Seville/Milan.
Double Degree in Work and Organisational Psychology (WOP) with the University of Seville, Spain
This Master in Psychology specialisation offers students from the Maastricht University Bachelor in Psychology the opportunity to do a Double Degree in Work and Organisational Psychology with Seville, Spain. You’ll follow the one-year Master’s in WOP programme in Seville prior to your one-year master’s WOP programme at FPN. The selection takes place during the third year of the Bachelor in Psychology programme at FPN.
Double Degree in Cognitive Sciences and Psychology with the University of Milan, Italy
Students who have been admitted to the one-year master’s in Work and Organisational Psychology (WOP)/Health and Social Psychology (HSP)/Neuropsychology (NP) at FPN have the opportunity to participate in this two-year Double Degree master's programme. You’ll follow the one-year master’s in WOP/HSP/NP at FPN prior to the second year of the two-year master’s programme Cognitive Sciences and Decision Making in Milan. The selection takes place in the first semester of the master’s programme at FPN.
PREMIUM honours programme
Want to gain that extra edge by getting real-world experience during your studies? The PREMIUM honours programme will help you gain the experience and develop the skills employers are looking for. As part of a team of students and under the guidance of our academic staff, you’ll spend about three months working on a real-world assignment for a company, NGO or educational institution. You'll also work on a personal development plan, receive intensive individual coaching and attend master classes and workshops. All of this will take about 250 hours, but it will give you a lifetime of benefits.
Courses & curriculum
During the first semester, several courses and skills labs familiarise you with the field of work and organisational psychology and particularly the cognitive issues of the domain. The course on ‘Work Psychology’ presents individual and organisational outcomes of work behaviour and highlights job design, and health and safety issues. The ‘Human Resources’ course addresses problems related to employee recruitment, selection, and career development. The course ‘Organisation and Cognition’ focuses on strategy, leadership, Innovation, team cognition, negotiation, change management and cultural diversity. In the ‘Human Performance’ course the key question is ‘how do people process information during the performance of tasks’. In the second semester, you will continue to develop professional skills, complete a research project and write your master’s thesis.
See website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fpn/masters