Module PSP-3003:
Organisational Psychology

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Gareth Harvey

Overall aims and purpose

Unfortunately for most adults we spend the majority of our waking weekdays (and for some weekends) at work. According to the latest research by the European Union, people in the UK spend on average 43 hours at work. In reality this means that we spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our partners.

This module will focus on people at work in an organizational context and by using psychological principles, theories and research seek to explore topics such as: Why do people work? What motivates employees? Why do some teams thrive when others fail? How can organizations recruit employees who are a ‘good fit’? However, as part of the module we will take a relatively loose interpretation of the workplace. This is because the factors that influence employee’s behaviour occurs both inside and outside our physical place of work, for example family responsibilities, personality, and previous experiences. We will explore the role of an organisation’s psychology and the tools they have available to enable the successful design and functioning of organisations.

Course content

Content covered will include broad domains of psychological theory and their application to organisational context. This will include topics such as: motivation, leadership, teamwork, communication, group formation, work design, conflict, power, culture training and development.

Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material. No real development of arguments.


Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured. Good understanding of the material.


Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically analyse the different perspectives and approaches used to study organisational psychology, including the individual, the organisation and the dynamic between the two.

  2. Evaluate a range of psychological theory and empirical evidence as it relates to the successful functioning of organisations.

  3. Analyse the core issues in Organisational Psychology and how they affect individuals in the workplace and evaluate real problems experienced in organisations.

  4. Evaluate research methods and theoretical frameworks of human behaviour in Organisational Psychology and relate them to contemporary theory and practice.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Applied Exam 60
Midterm 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


The course is taught via a combination of traditional lectures (2 hours per week) and small-group workshops (1 hour per week) based around the themes of the lectures

Practical classes and workshops

Applied Exam

Private study 159

The course is taught via a combination of traditional lectures (2 hours per week) and small-group workshops (1 hour per week) based around the themes of the lectures



Resource implications for students

Although it will clearly be beneficial for students to purchase a textbook, this will not be compulsory. Textbooks will be available for students to borrow from the library.

Reading list

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: