MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Occupational Psychology

Entry year
Course code
Health and Social Sciences
One year full-time, two years part-time
Full-time; part-time; starts September
Programme leader
Kate Bradley

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 7 February 2023


Applied Masters-level Occupational Psychology focuses on skills, knowledge and attributes employers and organisations seek. This British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited programme has input from leading researchers and practicing occupational psychologists.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Occupational Psychology applies psychological understanding to workplace, business and organisational issues, and is one of the key applied fields of psychology. Many businesses and organisations employ occupational psychologists to help identify and address many of the key issues organisations face today, like how to select the best talent, train leaders, manage teams, engage employees and develop a culture of innovation all using evidence-based solutions.

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), our MSc Occupational Psychology offers Stage-1 training, which is your first step towards becoming a Practitioner Occupational Psychologist. The course has been designed to reflect the most up-to-date BPS guidelines and has been developed in conjunction with the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology.

As well as covering the BPS core curriculum, you'll enjoy a particular emphasis on highly transferable practical, professional and employment-related skills and the opportunity to gain course credit through your own practical work in business and organisational settings.

Whether you're a recent bachelor graduate or a professional looking to develop and enhance skills, the course offers an excellent grounding in the key skills of an Occupational Psychologist. UWE Bristol stands out for its focus on applying skills and competencies to real-world scenarios. The department has excellent links with local organisations who provide connections and invaluable insights.



The course covers the core areas of the BPS curriculum in Occupational Psychology. The core modules are:

  • Leadership, Engagement and Motivation - This module examines theories of work motivation, engagement and satisfaction, and how they relate to engagement and performance at work. We also study issues around leadership, and what makes a successful leader within organisations.
  • Learning, Training and Development - How do individuals learn and develop skills and competencies in the context of work and organisations? We focus on the effectiveness of work-based training, understanding development at work and training needs.
  • Wellbeing and Work - Here we integrate links between work and individual and organisational wellbeing, focusing on issues such as stress and burnout, how to promote wellbeing at work, and the individual and organisational factors that come into play.
  • Psychological Assessment at Work - This module focuses on an understanding of theory and practice in applying psychological assessment techniques in the workplace. These can be used in assessment centres for selection, or to identify talent or develop skills within organisations.
  • Work Design, Organisational Change and Organisational Development - Here we take a closer look at the design of working environments and how organisations change and develop. We widen the perspective in occupational psychology to take into account the impact of globalisation.
  • Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations - This module allows you to reflect on the skills and competencies you've learnt throughout the course and those obtained from 50 hours of work based learning. The module focuses on evidence-based practice and specific tools and techniques for gathering, analysing and feeding back data in organisational contexts. You will need to be prepared to organise your own work based learning experiences, with the support of a supervisor.
  • Dissertation in Psychology for the MSc route - This module gives students the opportunity to conduct a large-scale, in-depth research project into a psychological issue of organisational or business relevance.
  • Conducting and Evaluating Psychological Research - Here you learn and develop the key skills in understanding, evaluating and conducting psychological research that generates quantitative and qualitative data. This supports your dissertation, but also your understanding of the science behind psychology in organisations.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we'll inform you.

Learning and Teaching

This course is designed to offer a superb balance of theory, knowledge and applicable skills. The course is a mixture of online and face to face learning. You'll learn through online seminars and discussions as well as face to face workshops, supervised research and work based learning. Some of your learning will be independent, but we also encourage peer learning and taking advantage of the department's resources and staff expertise.

For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

One year full-time, two years part-time. This course is flexible and uses a variety of learning methods, with most materials being presented online and using online learning resources and support. The full-time course will have approximately seven one-day workshops in semester one and eight one-day workshops in semester two, so around 15 workshops in total throughout the year, where you will come to UWE Bristol to discuss your learning, develop your skills and competencies and connect with other students and staff. In addition, there will be exams periods to attend, as well as a one day induction. Additional optional sessions will be available, such as a research methods refresher, writing skills workshop, and Stage-2 review.


We assess the modules through a variety of formative and summative methods, including case studies and critical essays, pitches and portfolios, videos and interviews. We've designed the assessments to support your learning, cover a variety of skills, reflect real world practice, engage you in the learning material, and develop your personal and professional abilities.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Study facilities

You have access to an excellent library, on campus and online, and a wide range of online resources available through both UWE and Blackboard, our virtual learning environment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Get a feel for the Psychology, Sociology and Criminology facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.


Careers / Further study

UWE Bristol offers two MSc routes into work psychology:

Our Occupational Psychology MSc is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and provides the BPS Stage-1 qualification in Occupational Psychology.

On completion, you'll be able to progress to the BPS Stage-2 qualification in Occupational Psychology to become a Chartered Psychologist (providing you hold graduate basis for chartership with the BPS).

As an alternative route, our MSc Business Psychology is accredited by the Association for Business Psychology (ABP). It offers a cross-disciplinary approach, blending psychology and business to advance your career.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.


Supplementary fee information

Further information about fees and funding.

See details of scholarship opportunities for international students.

Please also check whether you might be eligible for a bursary for this course.


English Language Requirement

International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English language requirements.

How to apply

You should have either:

  • a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree awarded by a UK institute of higher education in Psychology or a relevant subject
  • a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in Psychology and be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) for membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • qualifications deemed equivalent by the Course Leader.

In order to be eligible to progress from the MSc to Stage 2 training in Occupational Psychology and become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist you must have GBC status. Applicants that do not have GBC status would not be eligible, under current BPS and HCPC arrangements, to go on to Chartered Psychologist status. This may change in future. Please contact the BPS or the HCPC for further advice.

If you have gained your degree from abroad you may be eligible for GBC and you should contact the BPS to clarify this. In many cases this can be a time consuming process so it is advisable to complete these enquiries prior to applying for the MSc, and well in advance of the application deadline to ensure your application can be considered for September entry.

We also offer the modules that make up this MSc as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) stand-alone courses. If you are interested in this option please contact the Course Leader for more details.

Advice on typical offers

You must have a minimum of a 2:1 degree in Psychology or a related discipline. In exceptional circumstances, applicants with substantive relevant work experience or further training and a strong academic background will be considered. Please contact the programme leader if you are unsure whether your academic background is suitable preparation for this course.

We particularly welcome graduates with experience in organisational settings. Newer graduates with an academic background incorporating Psychology with a plan for acquiring work experience alongside the course are also welcome to apply. We welcome applications from a variety of professional disciplines and backgrounds as well as geographical locations. Please include details regarding your relevant experience, skills and motivation in your application.

For further information