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Occupational and Organisational Psychology MSc – Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our distance learning course.

If you like the sound of our Masters in Occupational and Organisational Psychology but need help making up your mind about whether or not it’s the right programme for you, we’ve pulled together the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the course, learning online, career prospects and more. 

If you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0191 278 4874 or at dlstudentenquiries@northumbria.ac.uk.

 

What is ‘Occupational and Organisational Psychology’?

Occupational and Organisational Psychology is a specialised branch of psychology that focuses on the scientific study of human behaviour and wellbeing in the workplace.  This course will help you develop a critical understanding of how you can increase the effectiveness of organisations through the application of evidence based psychological approaches within leadership, candidate assessment and employee motivation, and to improve the job satisfaction of individuals through better staff engagement, development and beyond.

 

I don’t have a background in psychology. Can I still do the course?

Yes, you can. To be eligible for this course, you need a minimum 2:2 honours undergraduate degree. However, you don’t need any previous knowledge or experience in psychology*. If you don’t meet the academic requirements but can demonstrate considerable professional experience, you may still be eligible. Contact an Enrolment Advisor at DLstudentenquiries@northumbria.ac.uk for more information. 

*Please note, if you plan to follow a career in Chartered Psychology and become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, you will need to have a psychology degree that grants you Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) to the British Psychological Society (BPS). If you do not have this before you start our course, you can take a conversion course – such as our BPS-accredited conversion MSc – after graduating. 

 

What career paths will be open to me after the course?

Students who already possess a BPS accredited degree in psychology and GBC status* can go on to complete their Stage 2, hands-on training to become Chartered Occupational Psychologists in the UK. These students could also focus on a career in research or work towards a doctorate. Alternatively, they would be able to follow a non-psychology career path too, having developed a range of transferable skills.

If you do not have a psychology background, you can make use of this degree and the practical skills and theory you’ll learn in a wide range of commercial settings. As well as gaining a better understanding of the workings of the human mind in a business context, and the qualitative and quantitative data analysis, critical thinking and research skills you will develop as part of your organisational psychology studies could be the perfect launch pads for careers in management, HR, learning and development, marketing, the public sector and beyond. 

 

*Please note, if you do not have a BPS accredited degree that makes you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) before you start our course, you can take a conversion course – such as our BPS-accredited conversion MSc – after completing this one. You should then be able to work towards your Stage 2 Chartered Occupational Psychology training after graduation from the conversion course.

What is British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation and how will it benefit my career?

The BPS is a registered charity responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in psychology in the UK. If you’re hoping to practice as a Chartered Psychologist in the UK, you’ll need to follow the BPS pathway that provides Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) by completing a BPS-accredited degree (as an undergraduate, or postgraduate through a conversion course such as Northumbria University’s Psychology MSc), either before or after completing this specialist MSc. 

Once you have achieved GBC status, the completion of this MSc will count as your Stage 1 training – an important milestone on your journey towards becoming a Chartered Occupational Psychologist in the UK. The final stage will be to undertake a minimum of two years’ supervised practice as part of the BPS Qualification in Occupational Psychology (Stage 2 training).  

For more information about the BPS, read our blog.  

 

How long will the course take to complete?

You’ll be able to complete your Occupational and Organisational Psychology MSc in around two years. However, if you need to take a break during your course for personal reasons or otherwise, our flexible course design will allow you to opt out and re-join later. Please be aware, however, that any breaks in study will affect the date of your graduation. 

 

Will any of my learning take place on campus?

The course is designed to be studied completely online – there will be no need to come to campus.   

As a distance learning student, you will have access to quality teaching, just as you would on campus, while being free to study whenever and wherever you want.  

If you wish to visit the campus at Northumbria University to make use of research and other facilities, you will of course be welcome. 

 

Is the quality of Northumbria University’s distance learning courses the same as on campus courses?

There is no difference between the qualification you will receive upon graduating from our distance learning Masters and any equivalent qualification which you might study on campus. 

You’ll be taught by academics with years of experience in the sector, who also teach our on-campus courses. Immersive modules throughout your course will give you the opportunity to collaborate with tutors and fellow students online, working on interactive tasks and placing emphasis on the practical as well as the theoretical. Your personal Student Success Advisor will be on hand from day one to offer guidance, help and support. 

 

How will I be assessed? Will there be any exams?

For each module, you’ll have regular virtual assessments to help you keep on track. The format of these will vary but they will all be submitted through Blackboard Ultra, our eLearning portal. The course will combine academic theory with real world practice. Many students will be able to tailor their projects and assessments to their current role. This means they’ll be able to apply their new knowledge in their everyday working life, even before graduation. 

As well as continuous assessment, you will complete a thesis towards the end of your course. 

 

How much time will I have to dedicate to studying?

The recommended study time for this course is 15 hours a week, so it's ideal for busy working professionals. Plus, our distance learning delivery and flexible learning “carousel” model means you’ll be able to balance your studies alongside any existing commitments – no need for a career break or to disrupt your personal life.

 

Will I need any specific tools or equipment to study online?

It is vital that you have regular internet access throughout your course to access Blackboard Ultra, our e-learning portal, which contains your online learning materials, in-course communication tools, advice and support services.

The recommended computer operating systems are:

  • Windows 7 or newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 or newer
  • Linux – chromeOS
  • Mobile – iOS 7 and newer/Android 4.2 and newer

 

What support will be available during my studies?

You’ll be part of a supportive, engaging community. During each module, you’ll participate in webinars and discussion boards with tutors and other students. Throughout, your course leader will be available to assist you with your studies and any academic questions. You’ll also be assigned a Student Success Advisor, who will be there to support you from day one to graduation. Whether you need pastoral guidance, help meeting deadlines or advice about fees, they’ll be on hand at every step. 

 

What do I need for my application and how do I apply?

Applying for our Masters is quick and easy: you can simply apply online for our next intake. A personal Enrolment Advisor will be with you at every step of the way, in case you have any questions about your application.

During the process, you’ll need to upload some important documents onto our online applicant portal including:

  • A copy of your degree certificate or transcript (if this was awarded in a language other than English, you’ll need an official translation too)
  • A photocopy of your driving licence, passport or other proof of identity
  • A 500 word personal statement (this could cover why you wish to do the course, what you think you could bring to it and why you would like to study with Northumbria University)
  • Proof of your English Language proficiency if English is your second language

After receiving your application, our Admissions Team will aim to respond to you as soon as possible.

Please note, in order to ensure BPS standards are met, and the integrity and quality of this course is upheld, places on this course are limited. Due to high demand, these places will be allocated on a first come first served basis to applicants who meet the entry criteria. To avoid disappointment, we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible if you wish to join our next intake (October 2021). Any applications submitted after the current intake is full will be considered for the following one – you will be notified if this is the case. If you would like to speak to someone about this, please feel free to call us on 0191 276 4874 or email DLstudentenquiries@northumbria.ac.uk  

 

How do I pay for the course?

The full course fees for UK, EU and international students is £9,950*.

You’ll be able to pay your fees in module-by-module instalments, spreading the cost over the duration of your course. 

For more information about this, plus any financial support you may be entitled to, please contact our Enrolment Team on (+44) 191 276 4874 or at dlstudentenquiries@northumbria.ac.uk.

*Please note, fees are reviewed regularly and may be subject to change. After the point of enquiry, you will be notified of any changes by our Enrolment Team.

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