Psychology & Business

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

Why choose this course?

  • Business at Aston is currently ranked Top 20 in the UK for both Student Satisfaction and Employability in the 2015 Complete University Guide.
  • Study a business curriculum which is robust, relevant and rooted in the real world.
  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • Integrated placement year allows you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience.
  • Specialise in the areas of particular interest and relevance to your career.

4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: CN81

Typical offers:
A Levels: ABB 
IB: 33 points
BTEC, Access & other:

Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject area considered on an individual basis from mature applicants (21+) only.

  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D plus two A Levels including 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. Eligibility dependant on modules.      


Specific subject requirements: A Level/AS: Science subject/subjects welcomed, but not essential. General Studies not accepted. GCSE: Two sciences or double award science at grade C. English at grade C and Maths at grade B.

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

Tuition Fee: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students. (2014). More on fees

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. 

Download the course flyer PDF >

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.

Year 1

  • Research Methods and Statistics (20 credit module)

  • Cognitive Psychology 1

  • Social Psychology 1

  • Developmental Psychology

  • Introduction to Psychology

  • Introduction to organisational behaviour

  • Personal, Professional and Academic Effectiveness  

  • Introduction to marketing management

  • Principles of Financial Accounting 

  • IT for Business

  • Economic Environment of Business

Year 2

  • Advanced Statistics

  • Language & Communication

  • Psychological Research Methods

  • Individual Differences

  • Cognitive Psychology 2

  • Personality Practical

  • Theories and Practice of Human Resource Management (20 credit module)

  • Psychology & Work (20 credit module)

  • Developing creativity at work

  • Effective teamwork  

Placement year

At Aston the placement year is an integral part of your course, and contributes to your final grade. Find out more about the Psychology & Business placement year.

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.

  • Critical Social Psychology

  • Cognitive Neuropsychology

  • Child Development

  • Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management (20 credit module)

  • Employee Relations and Legal Issues in Human Resource Management (20 credit module)

  • Consumer Behaviour - (Elective module)

  • Advanced Consumer Behaviour - (Elective module)

  • Learning Training and Development - (Elective module)

  • Strategic aspects of Organisational Performance - (Elective module)

  • Theory and Practice of Leadership (20 credit module) - Core module for CIPD accreditation or elective if not

  • Final Year Project (Psychology) or Final Year Project (Work Psychology) - (30 credit module)

Learning, teaching & assessment

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.

For further information, see the programme specification (PDF).

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 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.


Career prospects

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.

Personal development

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.

Facilities & equipment

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. 

Further information

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

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

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.




Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research