Psychology & Business

The only programme accredited by both the BPS and the CIPD - an excellent route into HR and organisational psychology
MSc Work Psychology and Business
  • Benefit from two top ranked departments:
    Aston Business School is in the top 1% of business schools worldwide (triple accredited), the School of Life and Health Sciences ranked 5th in 97 UK universities for research in the Allied Health Professions.
  • Become an industry ready graduate
    You will study a business curriculum which is robust, relevant and rooted in the real world.
    The integrated placement year allows you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience.
  • Enjoy your student experience: 100% overall satisfaction score (NSS 2016)

4 years full-time with integrated placement year
UCAS Code: CN81

Typical offers:

  • A Level: ABB 
  • IB: 33 points
  • Access to HE: Access to Science or Social Science are considered from mature applicants only (aged 21+) on an individual basis. We typically require 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 30 at Distinction and the rest at Merit or higher.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D plus two A Levels at grade AB
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science or Social Science: DD plus A level at grade A (excluding General Studies)
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science or Social Science: D*DD.
  • We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our programmes. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate degree programme by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.  

    For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this programme by completing a Foundation Year although please note the progression requirements to our programmes.

Specific subject requirements

  • A Level/AS: Science subject/subjects welcomed, but not essential. General Studies not accepted. 
  • GCSE: At least five GCSEs at grade C or above including two sciences or double award science at grade C, English at grade C and Maths at grade B (Maths can be considered at grade C when also taking Psychology or Maths at A Level).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: In Applied Science or Social Science 
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: accepted together with two A levels at grade AB
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma: accepted with one A level (excluding general studies) at grade A

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.


  • We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who meet our GCSE requirements.You will also need to meet the A-Level requirements listed above.
  • We do not consider applications from students who are unsuccessful in obtaining the required number and/or standard of A-levels for admission to our programmes and subsequently embark on a BTEC as a second option. Instead we would encourage you to resit your A-levels (see our resit policy below).

Resit Students

  • We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications. However, if you have had more than one attempt at improving your grades, your application will be considered on an individual basis and we reserve to make an amended (higher) offer, or not make an offer.

Please note, your full educational background is taken into account and all qualifications are considered when we make a decision on your application.

Tuition Fee 2017

£9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. 

£14,630 for International students.

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

Course outline

This course looks at the practical applications of psychology and business, and the links between theory and practice.

You’ll study the theories, principles and underlying concepts of the main functions of management, people management in particular, and develop a strong understanding of business models and processes. You’ll examine how strategic decision-making within organisations takes place, and develop the ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers make decisions.

You'll gain a thorough grounding in the principles and research methods of psychology. The distinctive flavour of studying psychology at Aston is the emphasis which is placed on applied as well as theoretical studies of psychology. The course covers a wide range of issues in, and theories of, cognitive, developmental and social psychology, psychobiology, and individual differences.

Your placement year will give you the opportunity to apply your key skills and competencies within a real work-based situation.

This programme is - we believe - unique in the UK in that students have the opportunity to achieve recognition from two major professional bodies, the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD). Depending on your choice of options, it is possible to gain recognition from both bodies which will provide a further boost to your employability and your future prospects in education and employment. 


Subject guide & modules

Psychology & Business students take 120 credits of modules per year, 60 from business modules and 60 from psychology modules. A 10 credit module comprises approximately 100 learning hours and has up to three contact hours per week.Typical modules include:

Year 1

Year 2

Placement year

At Aston the placement year is an integral part of your course, and contributes to your final grade. 

Final year

During your final year you have the opportunity to specialise in the areas of business and psychology of particular interest and relevance to your career.

You'll be taught through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes, group-working, case studies. Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in an online student guide. This includes full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year with the relevant deadlines.

We use a range of assessment methods and most modules are assessed with a combination of coursework and an end of year examination. Coursework includes essays, research reports, individual and group projects, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations. 

The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience. It is highly attractive to potential employers and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Your placement year will be business focused and may be in the UK or abroad. Placements are generally paid, with the average salary being around £15,000.

In recent years our Joint Honours psychology and business degrees at Aston have undertaken placements in a variety of organisations, including the NHS, Aston Villa Football Club, British Energy, the Civil Service, Corus, Ford, University research (UK, US, Australia and Singapore) the Home Office and Marks and Spencer.

You'll receive plenty of help and advice in finding your placement and specialist support and supervision from the University during your placement.

Find out more about placement years at Aston.

This course is accredited by both the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) - this is unique in the UK.

Also, it is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS)  provided the minimum standard of a Second Class Honours is achieved. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. 

On successful graduation from the programme, including successful completion of a work placement, appropriate choice of final year modules, and payment of the appropriate membership fee to the CIPD, you will be eligible to become an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and be permitted to use the designatory letters Assoc. CIPD after your name.

CIPD, The HR and development website
the british psychological society accredited

Our Psychology & Business programme prepares you for many careers in both the public and private sector - for example advertising, management consultancy, caring and social careers, human resources management or teaching. 

The growth of the service sector puts Psychology & Business graduates at a  premium – they have insight into motivation and behaviour and know about people, relationships and group dynamics, have excellent communication and teamwork skills, are critical and analytic and can design, conduct and analyse and evaluate research. As a manager you will be a problem solver, planner and leader, and this programme aims to prepare you for these challenges.

Graduate destinations 

Graduates who have studied a Joint Honours Business or Psychology course, have a strong track record in finding jobs.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in organisations including: BBC, Civil Service, Co-operative Bank, Deloitte, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HSBC, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, KPMG, local government, Marks & Spencer, the NHS, PwC and Tesco.

This course is designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. Such work develops your team working and negotiating skills.

Our placement year gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Aston University has recently invested over £400,000 to establish dedicated  psychology laboratories for our students. These include tools for psychophysiological measurement, a driving simulator, eye tracking technology, an observation suite (with covert audiovisual recording), motion-capture technology, cubicles for computer-based cognitive experiments and larger labs for focus groups and audience based experiments.

These facilities enable our final year students to conduct high quality research projects under the supervision of our Psychology staff.

In the Business School, teaching rooms and facilities have also been recently refurbished. All lecture theatres and seminar rooms are fully equipped with the latest teaching aids and extensive use is made of our Virtual Learning Environment to help support your studies. 

Life and Health Sciences school provides psychology specific labs and equipment for hands-on practice, such as:

[ Zoom ]
Focus group room in the student psychology labs. This room can be used for focus groups and also contains a one-way mirror with recording equipment behind it.
[ Zoom ]
Lounge area in the student psychology labs.
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One of Life and Health Sciences computer labs. These labs can be used either for teaching or private study at any time. They are often used for statistics teaching.

Although based in the School of Life and Health Sciences, this course is taught jointly with staff from Aston Business School.

Dr S Hassel
Dr Stefanie Hassel, Programme Director (based in Psychology)

I returned to Aston University in July 2013, having previously graduated from the Neurosciences Research Institute / Wellcome Trust Laboratory for Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Studies here in 2005, with a PhD in applied psychology / neuroscience.

Nathan Ridout
Dr Nathan Ridout, Admissions Tutor 

Dr Ridout is Psychology admissions tutor and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is an experimental psychologist interesting in understanding processing biases and deficits that are associated with psychological disorders, most notably depression and eating disorders. He teaches a final year option in Affective Disorders as well as first year Abnormal Psychology.
ann davis
Dr Ann Davis, Deputy Programme Director and Head of Work and Organisational Psychology Group, Aston Business School

Dr Ann Davis is Head of the Work and Organisational Psychology Group in Aston Business School.  She is a chartered psychologist and a CIPD member. Her research interests centre around the relationship between the individual and the organisation, including organisational commitment, identification, and the nature of the psychological contract. She teaches modules on Organisational Behaviour. 

For more information, please contact the Life and Health Sciences Admissions Office on 0121 204 4097 or lhsadmissions@aston.ac.uk.   

Student Profile


BSc Psychology & Business

The programme offers a unique opportunity to gain a breadth of knowledge in more than one area of interest. It equips you for later life, when multi-disciplinary knowledge is often advantageous. I've enjoyed identifying connections across both of my subjects.




Excellent Different Distinctive