Work and Organisational Psychology

Module titleWork and Organisational Psychology
Module codePSY3416
Academic year2017/8
Module staff

Dr Teri Kirby (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This work and organisational psychology (WOP) module provides students with both basic and state-of-the-art knowledge in the area of WOP. During this module, we will cover two main areas of WOP: psychological problems connected with the person-job interaction and organisational processes. This module is designed to show the importance of the field and the role of organisational psychologists in helping organisations to perform better and ensure the well-being of the employees in the organisations in the contemporary world. The module will require students to interrogate and evaluate theory, to analyse real-world examples of organisational behaviour, and to consider practical ways to tackle psychological problems at work.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will allow you to study big questions about work and organisations: (e.g. does a perfect leader exist? Is it possible to be a happy and a productive worker? How to deal with work stress?). The primary aim of this module is to provide you with a thorough grounding in some key areas of WOP. The aim will be to examine the contribution that WOP theory and research can make in contemporary organisations. The module aims to provide you with a critical understanding of research in the area by giving you the opportunity to discuss the cutting edge research findings and some WOP interventions. Also, the module will encourage you to take a scientist-practitioner perspective to organisational behaviour. As such, the module will be relevant to those students who hope to develop expertise in the area of WOP which is central to ensure productivity and well-being at work in the contemporary organisations.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Evaluate traditional and contemporary approaches to the study of work and organisational psychology
  • 2. Translate these approaches into organisational practice
  • 3. Explain how WOP theory and practice can inform understanding of human behaviour at the level of the individual, the group and the organisation
  • 4. Understand and apply theoretical ideas to the development of practical strategies for tackling organisational behaviour and promoting well-being and productivity at work
  • 5. Analyse and synthesise complex theories about human behaviour and organisational processes, engage in argument and persuasion about human behaviour at work and explain how to understand organisational behaviour
  • 6. Draw on WOP theory to plan practical intervention strategies in organisations (i.e. to promote health at work, prevent stress, or create productive virtual teams)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Acquire basic and essential factual and conceptual knowledge of the subject, and demonstrate a critical understanding of this knowledge
  • 8. Address systematically complex problems which may be framed within unpredictable contexts, think critically, creatively, and independently, and fully appreciate the complexities of the issues at an advanced level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Identify complex problems and apply appropriate knowledge and methods for their solution with confidence and flexibility
  • 10. Select and manage information, and undertake competently study tasks with minimum guidance
  • 11. Take responsibility for your own work and criticise it
  • 12. Engage effectively in debate in a professional manner and produce detailed and coherent written work
  • 13. Manage time effectively to meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction – what is work and organisational psychology?
  • Occupational Stress
  • Groups and teams at work – cooperation problems and negotiations
  • Leadership
  • Communication in organisations
  • Reading week
  • Gender in the workplace
  • Diversity
  • Space and Performance
  • Organisational Justice
  • Psychometrics
  • Summary

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching33Seminars (11 x 3 hours)
Guided Independent Study100Preparation for seminars
Guided Independent Study17Preparation for essay and examination


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Debates and small-group discussions within seminars1-11, 13-14Oral, within plenary sessions

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination503 hoursAllGeneric feedback via module ELE page
Essay402000 wordsAllWritten on script and feedback form
Oral presentation1015 minutesAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination Examination AllAugust Ref/Def
EssayEssayAllAugust Ref/Def
Oral presentationOral presentationAllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Three assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in the examination you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August/September re-assessment period. Where you have been referred/deferred in the essay you will be required to resubmit the essay. For a deferred presentation, reassessment will be by arrangement with the module convenor. For a referred presentation, reassessment shall be by individual presentation in the August Ref/Def period. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core readings:

  • Haslam, S. A. (2004). Psychology in organizations: The social identity approach (2nd Ed.). London: Sage.
  • Schein, E. H. (1987). Organizational Psychology (3rd Ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Recommended readings:

  • Anderson, N., Ones, D. S., Sinangil, H. K., Viswesvaran, C. (Eds.) (2001), Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology. Volume 2: Organizational Psychology, SAGE
  • Haslam, S. A., van Knippenberg, D., Platow, M., and Ellemers, N. (Eds, 2003). Social identity at work:
  • Developing theory for organizational practice. New York: Taylor and Francis.
  • Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D. and Platow, M. J. (2011). The new psychology of leadership: Identity, influence and power. London and New York: Psychology Press.
  • Bartram, D. and Roe, R. (2005). Definition and assessment of competences in the context of the European Diploma in Psychology, European Psychologist, 10(2), 93-102.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Organisational psychology, work psychology, behaviour

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date