module specification

PC6056 - Work Psychology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Work Psychology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Essay (max 2000 words)
Unseen Examination 40%   2 hour exam
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module will examine a range of topics from the field of applied work, business and relevant aspects of work psychology. Participants will be exposed to a range of academic disciplines/pillars that will make up the syllabus of this module. These pillars are Occupational Psychology and Business Psychology.

Module aims

Students will gain a critical understanding of a range of theories, models, applied research and application within work and organisational contexts. They will work with organisational case studies and problem-based contexts, and thereby develop skills in applying psychological knowledge to the understanding of client needs and learn to provide solutions to address work problems, taking into account aspects of ethics and safety. In covering the eight core areas of occupational psychology, as defined by the BPS, students will have an enhanced opportunity to enter related postgraduate studies – business psychology and/or occupational psychology.  To enhance employability skills, students are presented with mini project based learning opportunities followed by group presentations.  Specifically business related case studies are provided necessitating self managed problem solving within groups. Students are thus given the opportunities to take effective and appropriate action,  work effectively with others and develop self management skills.

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.


The Work Psychology topics will be drawn from selection, appraisal and performance, management methods, ergonomics, work design and health & safety, organisational change, counselling and well being in the workplace, training & personal development.  This syllabus include the eight core areas of occupational psychology as defined by the BPS.

Learning and teaching

Acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be promoted through lecturer-led lectures and workshops (45 hours) and through the guided use of student-centred learning resources (105 hours)with self managed time and private study.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe key theories and applied models in Work/Organisational Psychology;
  2. Use relevant research studies to evaluate the theories and models in (1), including their applicability and application to work contexts;
  3. Develop and apply acceptable solutions for organisations by application of analytical skills and synthesis of psychology theory and established practice.
  4. Develop personal strengths and clarify personal weaknesses through personal development planning and reflective learning of applied work

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment will be via an unseen examination of 2 hrs (40%) with topics identified 8 weeks prior to examination; a coursework component essay of 2500 words (60%).  
Additional formative assessment can be gained from an in class test and web based tests.

Component Percentage of Marks Learning outcomes
Essay (max 2000 words) 60 1,2, 3, 4
2 hour unseen exam 40 1, 2, 3



Arnold , J., et al  (2010). (5th Edition) Work Psychology. Prentice Hall. (Core)
Cooper, C.L., Campbell-Quick,J., Schabracq, M  (Eds) (2009). International Handbook of work and health psychology. (3rd Edition).  Wiley-Blackwell, E Resource.
Jex, S. M & Britt, T.W (2007). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Approach. Wiley
Lewis, R and Zibarras, L (2013)  Work and Occupational Psychology: Integrating theory and practice.  Sage (Core)
Matthewman, L, Rose, A and Hetherington, A (2009) Work Psychology: An Essential Guide to Human Behaviour in the Workplace. Oxford University Press
Sutton, A (2015)  Work psychology in action.  Palgrave Macmillan (Core)
Woods, S.A and West, M.A  (2010) The Psychology of work and organizations.  Cengage Learning
Journal Of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.  Wiley
European Journal of work and Organizational Psychology.  Taylor and Francis.
Journal of Business and Psychology. Springer