Apply psychological principles to organisational contexts
British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited
The opportunity to study for two degrees
Learn Business. Do Business. Practical business experience as you study
"I love the city, having lived here for the last four years – there’s so much going on from music events, art galleries and shops."
Research Assistant, University of Birmingham
"I love the city, having lived here for the last four years – there’s so much going on from music events, art galleries and shops."
Research Assistant, University of Birmingham
Course outline and modules
If you’re looking to build on your psychology qualifications and gain a competitive advantage when pursuing graduate roles, then our MSc Work Psychology and Business is the ideal platform to launch your career.
This fascinating course focuses on applying psychological principles to the workplace. You’ll learn how to get the best from people in a commercial environment, develop a range of practical skills and gain the academic basis for professional accreditation from the British Psychological Society (BPS).
You’ll learn from one of the best known and most successful academic groups in applied psychology in Europe, with experienced practitioners who’ve worked for businesses across the world. They use a mix of innovative and inspiring teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course and all sessions are delivered in a friendly, supportive atmosphere.
The department is recognised internationally for its research activities principally around challenges concerning the future of work and organisations. Staff are active in research studies including aspects of leadership and innovation, strategic and international human resource management, diversity, inclusion and meaningful work, CSR, ethics and sustainability.This course is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in psychology recognised by the BPS with graduate basis for registrations (GBR). If you didn’t specialise in psychology at undergraduate level or your psychology degree doesn’t give you GBR status, then please consider our MSc in Business Psychology.
How will my skills develop?
You’ll learn advanced psychology concepts and develop your understanding of how these can be applied to various business issues, such as the assessment of individuals in the workplace, organisational behaviour as well as strategy and leadership.
You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.
You’ll develop an understanding of what makes a healthy, happy and effective organisation in a practical learning environment. For example, you’ll look at research studies about human behaviour in the workplace, as well as case studies linking employee well-being and the efficiency of organisations. This will give you the ability and confidence to practically apply psychological concepts to a business environment.
We’ll teach you effective training and development tools, various approaches to change management as well as negotiating techniques, which are key to dealing with difficult workplace situations. These practical skills will significantly enhance your employability and better equip you for a variety of graduate roles.
How will this course help my career?
This course will prepare you for a variety of roles in areas including assessment, selection, recruitment, learning and development, occupational health and wellbeing and other areas of workplace psychology.
You’ll be exposed to industry experts, employers and guest speakers throughout your studies and you’ll also have the opportunity of studying abroad or pursuing an internship in your third term.
Some of our modules are partnered with leading organisations. This means that they provide live business issues for our students to work on. Students’ present back to the organisations and the top students may be offered a placement as a result.
The course includes a Business Projector or Dissertation; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.
This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.
- Core modules
Through a mix of theory and case studies, we examine people and relationships within a professional context. We will explore what motivates employees, how people work together and relationships between managers and their staff. This helps you to understand how to manage people in working environments and how to be managed.
Learning and Talent Development
For most organisations, their biggest expense comes from their people. You will learn differing views on how to best develop people and ensure they add value to an organisation. We also look at talent management and succession planning approaches for getting capable people into more senior positions.
Workplace Design and Health
Research Methods in Human Resource Management and Business and Organisational Behaviour
This module will help prepare you, for your dissertation. We will introduce various research methods which can be used in the context of HRM Work Psychology and Organisational Behaviour. You will also look at how to effectively use primary and secondary data and develop your quantitative and qualitative research skills as well as your analytical abilities.
Assessment Performance and Reward
In this module you will be introduced to the approaches and theories for ensuring the right people are recruited into the business and that they then perform effectively. You will cover thought-provoking topics, such as how reward can be used to enhance performance, how to measure staff performance and how to manage employees who are under-performing.
Strategy, Change and Leadership
This module encourages you to consider the role of strategy and leadership in shaping and changing organisations. Through exploring the complexities of strategic change, you will be encouraged to develop critical insights on what appear to be everyday business decisions. Reflecting on the role of the leader, you will appraise different approaches to leadership and examine their impact.
Careers and Counselling
This module will help you develop an understanding of concepts and models for counselling in the workplace and use case studies to critically evaluate their effectiveness. We examine the theories of vocational development and look at the practice of executive coaching at work. You will also learn appropriate people management techniques to manage conflict situations effectively.
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
The Aston Global Advantage
The AstonGlobal Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
Business Project or Dissertation
The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.
- Optional modules
Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.
Choose from one of the following:
This module takes a strategic view of organisational development, design and the management of organisations, people and change. It achieves this by focusing on organisational diagnosis aimed at achieving strategic transformation of organisations and developing High Performance Work Systems. It also deals with recent strand of scholarly debate on the role of consultancies.
Strategic Business Sustainability
The module looks at how sustainable development as a process can lead to a certain level of sustainability within an organisational context. It places sustainability within the strategic orientation of an organisation and as such as it takes a view of sustainability both in the short-term as well as in the long-term.
Strategic and International Human Resource Management
In this module we look at the theory and practice of (International) Human Resource Management and consider how external and internal factors shape HR strategy and policy in private, public, SME and multinational companies. You’ll discover the benefits of managing people in different settings in different ways and learn to identify the appropriate people strategy for the context.
In this module you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding and critical evaluation of marketing management practices, underpinned by relevant theories and conceptual frameworks. These frameworks are applied to contemporary issues and organisational strategies within national and international contexts and culminating with the creation and the proposal of a professional marketing plan.
Management of Innovation
This module introduces you to key concepts and models of innovation management and guides you through their critical evaluation. Using recent real-world cases, the module develops your ability to analyse innovative management of business organisations in practice and to formulate and communicate innovation-based strategies for both short-and long-term successes.
In addition to our standard MSc entry requirements, you must have obtained a BSc in Psychology (UK only) or obtained a recognisable equivalent degree (overseas). Students without a BSc Psychology may be eligible to apply to study ourMSc Business Psychology.
- Entry requirements
- A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) in psychology, recognised by the British Psychological Society (GBC). Contact the British Psychological Society to check your eligibility.
- Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University which is also recognised by the British Psychological Society. Please contact the British Psychological Society to check your eligibility.
As well as:
- Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
- An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
- A completed application form.
- An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
- Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
- Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
- Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. Find out more.
- For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
- Applicants with work experience
We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.
The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.
Learning, teaching and assessment
We’re committed to delivering this course in an innovative and inspiring way. Our teaching is interactive and encourages participation. This ensures you get the most out of your studies and you enjoy the time you spend in the classroom.
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching methods, such as lectures, tutorials, case studies, workshop activities, group work and critical thinking exercises. You’ll learn from experts working in the industry, who will deliver guest lectures and share their experiences of the practical application of psychology in real-life business scenarios. Skills workshops will help you to develop various professional competencies, such as interviewing, reporting writing, presenting as well as questionnaire and survey design. This emphasis on practical skills is key to enhancing your employability and will provide you with a competitive edge when applying for graduate positions.
Our online learning platform will support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions.
Our assessment methods vary across modules but include assessed case studies, coursework essays, group or individual presentations and closed book examinations.
Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.
Post-study work visa
Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020.
Student experience and employability
We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.
Trips and visits
There will be a series of networking opportunities and guest speakers throughout your studies with us. Industry professionals visit campus to deliver guest lectures and provide you with an insight into specific roles, practises and challenges related to applied psychology.
Recruitment fairs take place regularly with graduate employers visiting campus and providing information on their graduate vacancies and training programmes. These are a great opportunity to meet with companies, get an insight into their requirements and see if they match what you’re looking for in an employer.
The School, societies and sports clubs organise various field-trips and leisure activities throughout the year. You’ll have chance to find out more about these on campus.
Fees and scholarship
UK students (2021/22): £10,900
International/EU students (2021/22): £17,000
Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.
Find out about our scholarships at Aston.
Recent graduate positions include:
- Business Psychologist (Recruitment and Assessment)
- Learning and Development Specialist
- Occupational Health and Wellbeing Scientific Advisor
- Occupational Psychologist and Research Scientist.
This has involved working for companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Network Rail, Npower, NHS and BAE Systems.
Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service'.
The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020 for its use of innovative ideas to engage a high number of students with the service in order to support them with their career planning.
Aston University has strong links with national and international organisations with over 200 employers interacting with students on campus each year.
Frequently asked questions
- Why study Work Psychology and Business at Aston University?
We have one of Europe’s leading group of researchers in this area and throughout your studies you’ll be exposed to a breadth of research as well as really practical applications of it, bringing it to life in a business setting.
We focus on developing your practical skills to help prepare you for a breadth of roles. You’ll learn how to get the best from people in a commercial environment, develop a range of practical skills and gain the academic basis for professional accreditation from the British Psychological Society (BPS).
- What kind of career could I establish with a MSc in Work Psychology and Business?
This course will prepare you for a variety of roles in areas including assessment, selection, recruitment, learning and development, occupational health and wellbeing and other areas of workplace psychology. For those students who wish to become Chartered Occupational Psychologists the BPS website explains the steps needed and Aston’s MSc Work Psychology and Business will start you on the journey.
The Aston Global Advantage module will help develop your employability skills and having the choice of studying abroad or undertaking an integrated placement will equip you with additional experience as well as give you the opportunity to better understand what area interests you most as you embark on your career.
Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing the students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business in a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships.
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