MSc in Occupational Psychology

  • Length
    1 year full-time
  • Department
    Institute of Management Studies

Course overview

Training as an Occupational Psychologist in the Institute of Management Studies will equip you with the scientific knowledge and practical skills to challenge the status quo and offer innovative solutions to workplace problems. 

Occupational Psychology, both as a professional and academic field, seeks to address questions of critical importance in business and enterprise.

  • How can we select the best employees?
  • How can we enhance health and performance?
  • What does effective leadership look like?
  • What impact does coaching really have? 

The MSc in Occupational Psychology, run by the Institute of Management Studies, will equip you with the knowledge and skills to begin considering these questions. The programme has been designed in line with British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) requirements and has been accredited since 1995. We recently updated our programme content in line with the 2014 changes to the DOP Occupational Psychology curriculum and, as of September 2014, we are teaching in line with the new curriculum.

The MSc in Occupational Psychology aims to equip you with a thorough grounding in the application of psychological theory to work settings, to provide you with the skills necessary to conduct cutting-edge research in applied research projects to a high level of competence, and to impart core practitioner techniques and awareness.

Excellent employment rates

The programme’s success is increasingly reflected in the excellent employment rates of our former MSc students in both public and private sectors. Some students also go on to carry out PhD level study with us to become academic Occupational Psychologists.

Develop a theoretical and empirical knowledge base

In the IMS we work to the academic-practitioner model. That is, our Occupational Psychology programme is specifically designed to equip you with a theoretical and empirical knowledge base that you can bring to your consultancy and practice. To that end, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in both cutting edge research, as well as practical skills sessions. For your research dissertation you’ll have access to academics with expertise in areas such as occupational health and wellbeing, talent management and entrepreneurship.

Distinguished Speakers Series

In addition, in the IMS we have an invited speakers’ programme called the Distinguished Speakers Series. This series provides specialised talks by either academic or practising experts in various fields of business, enterprise and occupational psychology. 

You can find out more about the programme on our Facebook page.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Jo Lloyd

Modules & structure


The MSc programme runs for one year, starting in September. Most lectures and seminars are in the first two terms of the academic year, however the programme is structured in such a way that you are expected to pursue your studies beyond formal term times. Apart from the individual module-units listed in the syllabus, you will be required to attend other seminars and workshop series.

As far as is practicable, the majority of lectures and seminars will be timetabled for Mondays and Tuesdays.

Occupational Test User Training

(Formerly known as Level A and B training)

During your MSc you will be provided with the opportunity to partake in training that will allow you to qualify for the BPS certificates in “Test User: Occupational, Ability” and “Test User: Occupational, Personality.” This qualification recognizes you as an expert in the administration, scoring and interpretation of ability tests and personality questionnaires. Your training will be delivered by Criterion Partnership, a world-recognised authority on objective assessment.

Module title Credits
  Organisational Behaviour and Health 15 credits
  Training, Coaching and Counselling 15 credits
  Global Leadership and Talent Management 15 credits
  Assessment and Selection 15 credits
  Research Design and Applied Statistics 15 credits
  Professional and Applied Research Skills n/a
  Option 15 credits

Research Project (60 credits)
The research dissertation requires you to execute and document an original research investigation. The focus can be on any area related to occupational psychology, and can take place in either a laboratory or field setting, using a specific population (eg salespersons) or the general public. It is also possible to conduct a piece of archival research (eg meta-analysis), if your supervisor agrees that this is appropriate.

You normally begin the research dissertation in the second term (January), together with necessary literature reviews and research design, and the submission deadline is late August. 


Your performance will be assessed by formal examinations, essays, presentations, business reports and a research dissertation of not more than 10,000 words.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


Learn how to lead people, create business opportunities,
and understand and influence consumers

Institute of Management Studies

The Institute of Management Studies fuses Goldsmiths’ academic rigour and creative culture with industry-informed research and core strengths in management and psychology.

Our degrees

Our degree programmes focus on training you how to lead people, create business opportunities, and understand and influence consumers.

Our staff

Our teaching staff include leaders and entrepreneurs who have set up and run their own successful ventures, and who carry out leading research in leadership and psychology, and complementary disciplines like design and sociology.

Our connections with industry

We also have connections with leaders in the creative and cultural industries, social enterprises and business, and regularly invite guest speakers to the department. Recent visitors include fashion designer Sir Paul Smith and ‘city superwoman’ Nicola Horlick.

Find out more about the Institute of Management Studies.


MSc in Occupational Psychology staff

Academic staff in the Department who will be contributing to this programme include: 

Find out more about staff in the Institute of Management Studies.

Staff in the Institute of Management Studies

Skills & careers


You'll develop technical skills related to occupational psychology including:

  • stress and safety risk assessment procedures
  • work re-design procedures
  • designing assessment strategies
  • training needs analysis

You’ll also develop the analytical skills that you will need as a professional psychologist.


Through the Professional Skills Workshops you will be able to interact closely with experts from the world's leading organisations and enhance your professional development.

The programme’s success is increasingly reflected in the excellent employment rates of our former MSc students in both public and private sectors. Some students also go on to carry out PhD level study with us to become academic Occupational Psychologists.

You may go on to work as an independent consultant, as an ‘in-house’ consultant for a private or public sector organisation, in a consultancy, or in academia.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



"The course is expertly run by academics at the forefront of their field who are infectious in their passion for occupational psychology."

"From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew there was something special about Goldsmiths and that I would enjoy my time here. After a break from education it has been wonderful to feel enriched by learning alongside people who share similar passions and career interests as myself.

The course, which resides in the Institute of Management Studies (IMS), is expertly run by academics at the forefront of their field who are infectious in their passion for occupational psychology and actively encourage expression of opinions and debate. The course content is varied but remains in depth to the degree it provides me with the confidence that I will have considerable relevant knowledge as a result. Furthermore, the guest talks in the Distinguished Speakers and Professional Skills Workshops have been very useful in providing insight into potential careers and proof that the course facilitators are keen to produce employable as well as informed students.

I was delighted and surprised to receive the IMS bursary to study this year. It has enabled me to focus my time on reading and most recently I've been able to take a week of unpaid work experience. The bursary has also given me a boost to do my utmost in giving the course my all. I am very grateful for the opportunity provided by the Institute."


"The IMS is a supportive study environment, whilst at the same time encouraging you to stretch yourself and think about occupational psychology in new ways."

"I chose to study at Goldsmiths as I felt the Institute of Management Studies would be an exciting and dynamic place to study Occupational Psychology. I like how the department combines innovation and entrepreneurial aspects of business with the core skills and knowledge required for occupational psychology. 

Prior to starting the course I worked for 10 years in management consulting and so I was looking for a course that would give me a competitive edge in the job market. The college has an excellent reputation, and as the programme is BPS accredited, I will be able to gain chartered status in the future.

I have found the course to be both challenging and hugely enjoyable. I have met some great people on the programme with very diverse backgrounds. I think this gave good depth to the discussions we had in the lectures and tutorials. 

The IMS is a supportive study environment, whilst at the same time encouraging you to stretch yourself and think about occupational psychology in new ways."


"I now work at Towers Watson, a global professional services firm in their Employee Engagement Surveys practice, along with two of my classmates from Goldsmiths!"

"I was part of the great Occupational Psychology Masters class of 2009. We had a terrific group of around 20, which was made up of a mixture of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities. I thoroughly enjoyed the year at Goldsmiths. I was and remain very interested in both employee engagement and entrepreneurship, both of which formed topics for pieces of research whilst on the course.

I now work at Towers Watson, a global professional services firm in their Employee Engagement Surveys practice, along with two of my classmates from Goldsmiths! We are working with global clients, helping to assess the engagement and overall culture within their workforce, and advising them on how to improve this. In fact TW were one of the companies that came in to talk to us during a professional skills workshop as part of the course, so this is where I first heard of them. My colleague and I recently came back to Goldsmiths to take part in this year’s professional skills workshop to the current MSc class. It was very interesting being on the other side of the projector! I am very thankful to the team of lecturers and professors who helped to make my time there so enjoyable, and I keep contact with a few of them still."


"I chose Goldsmiths because I was already aware of its good reputation."

I knew I was interested in the MSc but this was further confirmed on meeting and being taught by very senior experts and professionals in the field. I am now working for a talent management company called Kenexa in the surveys business unit which I feel is directly linked to the Masters. I have also experienced working in two other companies – one an assessment and development centre specialist, and a smaller, niche consultancy that gave me different experiences in the field. Goldsmiths was a great place to study as it was laid back, autonomous, friendly and modern and being taught by people who have made a name for themselves in my chosen field was also inspiring."

Entry requirements

You should have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, or in a relevant subject (not necessarily Psychology), of at least upper second class standard. Relevant work experience will be an advantage.

For those students who have an undergraduate degree in Psychology from a university that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) (otherwise known as Graduate Basis for Chartership; GBC), the Goldsmiths’ MSc in Occupational Psychology will allow you to progress to Stage 2 training with the BPS in order to attain professional chartership in occupational psychology. If your undergraduate degree is not accredited by the BPS, then you will not be eligible for the BPS chartership route, but will nevertheless welcome to apply for the MSc Occupational Psychology programme.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you'll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply 

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process 

Selection is by personal application, references and interview.


Due to the popularity of this programme we ask you for a deposit of £450 to secure any offer made to you after applying for the programme. The deposit will be credited against your tuition fees when you enrol.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Find out more about tuition fees.

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