Business Psychology MSc

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MSc Business Psychology at Aston Business School

Aston University graduate Nina Voge discusses her experience of studying MSc Business Psychology.

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • One of the following:
    A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) in a relevant subject area. This would include degrees where psychology was the main area of study or part of the curriculum. Applications from students who have studied social sciences or business may also be considered, please see full entry requirements below.
  • For International students:
    An official academic transcript, with official English translation, of your university grades to date. Students whose native language is not English also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information
Apply January 2020

Key Dates

Course Summary

Boost your job prospects and get set to embark on a rewarding and fulfilling career thanks to our Business Psychology MSc.

This course is an ideal introduction to human behaviour in the workplace. Gain an understanding of what makes individuals thrive at work, learn how to improve organisational performance and how to make the workplace a healthier, happier environment. 

We’re part of an elite group of world-class business schools thanks to our triple accreditation. Our graduates are equipped to secure coveted roles with leading employers. Let us kick-start your career!

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry requirements

One of the following: 

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) in a relevant subject area. This would include degrees where psychology was the main area of study or part of the curriculum.  Applications from students who have studied social sciences or business may also be considered providing the degree included some evidence of human resources, psychology, or organisational behaviour content or alternatively the applicant may have had relevant work experience. 

  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.

  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements. 

  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling with Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.

  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.

  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.

Applicants with extensive work experience:

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

Why choose us?

This course is accredited by the Association for Business Psychology.

We are one of just 1% of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation.

Our reputation for student satisfaction and teaching quality is excellent. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has recognised this by presenting us with a Gold Award, its high possible accolade. TEF said that our students achieved ‘consistently outstanding outcomes’, with very high proportions of students going into highly skilled employment or further study.

Our students have been successful in securing positions with prestigious international companies, leading consultancy firms and academic institutions. We equip you with the transferable skills to work in a variety of different business functions, from human resource management to learning and development. Recent graduates gained employment with Transport for London, Ministry of Defence, Ford Motor Company and the Open Unviersity. Whatever role you want to pursue, we can help you get your foot on the career ladder.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 

Fees and scholarships

January Start 2020

UK/EU:          £ 10,400
International:  £16,300

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU:          £ 10,550
International:  £16,650

If there is sufficient demand from students you may be offered a chance to study the British Psychological Society (BPS) qualification in test use.  There will be an additional cost for this.

Scholarships
Find out more about our scholarships here

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Association for Business Psychology and students on this course are eligible for student membership while they study.

The programme is NOT accredited by the BPS and graduates would not be eligible for registration with the HCPC as a practitioner psychologist.

Course outline

This course is open to graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds, but particularly relevant to psychology, social science and business graduates at undergraduate level. We teach you the fundamental theory behind organisational behaviour and explore how this can be applied in real-life business scenarios. The programme will develop your knowledge and understanding as well as your skills in relation to human behaviour in the workplace. It will prepare you for a wide range of business and management roles across a variety of sectors.

The core modules address key topics in organisational behaviour and work psychology. You’ll examine people and relationships within a professional context and explore areas of study that influence professional practice, such as how to assess individuals, design selection procedures, employee well-being, talent management, employee reward and change management. You’ll also gain a detailed understanding of the importance of organisational behaviour in relation to its effectiveness.

We provide you with a critical understanding of the main theories of effective leadership. Through case studies, you’ll examine how leadership concepts are applied in practice and have opportunities to develop your leadership skills through group activities and workshops. This knowledge and experience will help you to understand, predict and successfully manage people in working environments in the future.

You will develop a range of specific practical skills and learn how to apply these to different organisational settings, such as the public or private sectors. We’ll teach you about effective training and development tools, methods of employee appraisal as well as negotiating techniques, which are key to dealing with difficult workplace situations.

If there is sufficient demand from students you may be offered a chance to study the British Psychological Society (BPS) qualification in test use.  There will be an additional cost for this.

You’ll benefit from learning from one of the best known and most successful academic groups in work and business psychology in Europe. The School is recognised as being at the forefront of research into this field. It also boasts experienced practitioners, who’ve many years of experience working for businesses across the world. You’ll find their practical knowledge of organisational behaviour and workplace psychology incredibly valuable.

We use a mix of innovative and inspiring teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There are practical workshops, case studies, group work, lectures and tutorials, all delivered in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. This allows you to explore, test and apply what you’ve learnt and will ensure you gain a deep understanding of organisational behaviour. 

Subject guide and modules

Core modules

  • Organisational Behaviour 
    Through a mix of theory and case studies, we examine people and relationships within a professional context. We will explore what motivates employees, how people work together and relationships between managers and their staff. This helps you to understand how to manage people in working environments and how to be managed.
  • Organisational Development 
    This module takes a strategic view of organisational development, design and the management of organisations, people and change. It achieves this by focusing on organisational diagnosis aimed at achieving strategic transformation of organisations and developing High Performance Work Systems. It also deals with recent strand of scholarly debate on the role of consultancies.
  • Learning and Talent Development 
    For most organisations, their biggest expense comes from their people. You will learn differing views on how to best develop people and ensure they add value to an organisation. We also look at talent management and succession planning approaches for getting capable people into more senior positions.
  • Research Methods
    This module will help prepare you for your dissertation. We'll introduce various research methods which can be used in the context of HRM Work Psychology and Organisational Behaviour. We'll look at how to effectively use primary and secondary data and you'll develop your quantitative and qualitative research skills as well as your analytical abilities.
  • Ethics in Research Practice 
    This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources, you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
  • Assessment, Performance and Reward 
    In this module you will be introduced to the approaches and theories for ensuring the right people are recruited into the business and that they then perform effectively. You will cover thought-provoking topics, such as how reward can be used to enhance performance, how to measure staff performance and how to manage employees who are under-performing.
  • Strategy, Change and Leadership
    This module encourages you to consider the role of strategy and leadership in shaping and changing organisations. Through exploring the complexities of strategic change, you will be encouraged to develop critical insights on what appear to be everyday business decisions. Reflecting on the role of the leader, you will appraise different approaches to leadership and examine their impact.
  • The Aston Global Advantage
    The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year. 
  • Business Project or Dissertation
    The business project/dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules - choose two from the following:

  • Employee Relations in Context  
    Relationships matter within organizations. You will often find the main reasons for people leaving a role is down to poor relationships with manager or peers. In this module we will look at the way organizations can improve working relationships, reduce employee turnover and enhance employee satisfaction.
  • Careers and Counselling
    This module will help you develop an understanding of concepts and models for counselling in the workplace and use case studies to critically evaluate their effectiveness. We examine the theories of vocational development and look at the practice of executive coaching at work. You will also learn appropriate people management techniques to manage conflict situations effectively.
  • Employee Relations and Counselling
  • Strategic and International Human Resource Management
    In this module we look at the theory and practice of (International) Human Resource Management and consider how external and internal factors shape HR strategy and policy in private, public, SME and multinational companies. You’ll discover the benefits of managing people in different settings in different ways and learn to identify the appropriate people strategy for the context.
  • Marketing Management
    In this module you will gain a comprehensive understanding and critical evaluation of marketing management practices, underpinned by relevant theories and conceptual frameworks. These frameworks are applied to contemporary issues and organisational strategies within national and international contexts and culminating with the creation and the proposal of a professional marketing plan.
  • Operations Management
    In this module you will gain a detailed understanding of how operations management contributes to business competitiveness. We examine the theories and approaches to effective planning and the organising of production and manufacturing processes, as well as those associated with the provision of services. With case studies and an innovative simulation challenge, you’ll benefit from a highly-applied learning experience.
  • Strategic Management
    This module starts with the purpose of strategy, including stakeholder and governance issues, and introduces tools and techniques for analysing external environments and internal capabilities. You will learn theories and frameworks/ models for assessing and evaluating organisations’ strategic options, which are then applied in analysing contemporary case studies and through engaging in a rich business strategy simulation that involves strategic decision-making.
  • Management of Innovation
    This module introduces you to key concepts and models of innovation management and guides you through their critical evaluation. Using recent real-world cases, the module develops your ability to analyse innovation management of business organisations in practice and to formulate and communicate innovation-based strategies for both short- and long-term successes.
  • Economic Environment of Business  
    We focus on key economic concepts and principles that are most useful for businesses and managers. Throughout this module we stress their application in an international context, drawing on their real-world significance, and the importance of communicating economic ideas in a clear and precise manner. In this way you will understand the significance of economics in a globalised world.
The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills
  • Study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.
Learning, teaching and assessment

We’re committed to delivering this course in an innovative and inspiring way. Our teaching is interactive and encourages participation. This ensures you get the most of out of your studies and you enjoy the time you spend in the classroom.

We use a range of teaching methods, such as lectures, tutorials, case studies, workshop activities, group work and critical thinking exercises. You’ll learn from experts working in the industry, who will deliver guest lectures and share their experiences of real-life business scenarios. Skills workshops will help you to develop various professional competences, such as interviewing, report writing, presenting and questionnaire and survey design. This emphasis on practical skills is key to enhancing your employability and will provide you with a competitive edge when applying for graduate positions.

Our assessment methods vary across modules but include assessed case studies, coursework essays, group or individual presentations and closed book examinations.

Our online learning platform will support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.

You’ll have the chance to gain valuable work experience as part of this course. It’s a fantastic opportunity to apply your learning within a business environment. A work placement will also enhance your CV and help you stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate roles.

You can spend up to 12 months on a work placement with a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas. Our students have been successful in gaining work placements with leading international companies, non-governmental organisations as well as small businesses. They’ve benefitted from gaining hands-on experience across a number of roles, such as Human Resources Advisor and Research Assistant.

We also give you the opportunity to support start-ups and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem for a company.

Our careers team is always on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team can also lend their expertise to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

There will be a series of networking opportunities and guest lectures during your time here. Industry professionals visit campus as guest speakers and provide you with an insight into specific roles, practises and challenges related to occupational psychology.

Recruitment fairs take place regularly with graduate employers visiting campus and providing information on their graduate vacancies and training programmes. These are a great opportunity to meet with companies, get an insight into their requirements and see if they match what you’re looking for in an employer.

Various Schools within the University, societies and sports clubs organise various field-trips and leisure activities throughout the year. You’ll have chance to find out more about these on campus.  

Erasmus+

Study or work in another country

The University has secured Erasmus+ mobility funding for students going on placement during the academic year 2019/20.  For students planning their placement in the academic year 2020/21, Erasmus+ mobility funding will be dependent on the Exit date and whether a Withdrawal deal is agreed. The University’s Brexit information page is regularly being updated and will have the latest information.   

 

January Start 2020/21

Students starting their studies in January 2020 will study a 12 month programme, but with a different structure to the September 2019 starters.

January to April 2020

You will study the first set of core taught modules from January to April 2020.  In total, over your full degree, there are 8 taught modules plus a business project or dissertation.  In January to April you will study 4 or 5 of these taught modules, depending on the options that you choose.

You will also participate in workshops that form part of the Aston Professional Development Programme (PDP). 

You will benefit from engaging with students who are studying the same degree programme who started their study in September as this will give you the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge with a wider group of students.  You will also be matched to a current student from your chosen degree subject prior to starting your studies to ensure you are fully prepared for your studies.

April to September 2020

You will continue to study the Aston Professional Development Programme (PDP) module. In addition, you will be able to start work on your dissertation.

You do not have to complete your dissertation during this time, but you are encouraged to start initial planning and data collection.

The Aston Professional Development Programme (PDP) offers you three streams to choose from as part of this programme (you will select one stream):

  • Work experience: If you select to gain work experience you will need to have your proposed work experience approved before proceeding. We will support you in finding work experience, and we do source a number of projects for students to undertake, however we do not find work placements for students.
  • Business simulation: This will involve attending a series of on-campus seminars and activities over a five-week period during May/June 2020.
  • PIPE Club - Support in setting up your own business: This will involve attending a series of on-campus seminars and activities over a five-week period during May/June 2020.

Please note

Due to the timing of the second set of taught modules it is not possible for January Start students to study abroad as part of the Professional Development (PDP) module. However, it might be possible to join a summer school at one of our partner institutions, further details will be given to you when you join us.

If you want to study abroad this will be possible at the end of your degree, therefore starting in January 2021.

There are a limited number of partner institutions with whom you could study a double degree, with the degree with our partner running from January 2021 to December 2021. Further details will be available when you join us.

Business Project/Dissertation

The business project/dissertation is a major piece of work, with the exact requirements varying according to your degree programme. Your programme director will explain the requirements for your degree to you.

You will be assigned a supervisor to support you in your studies. You will be able to start work on your dissertation between the two groups of taught modules, and you will have the option to submit your dissertation at three points in the programme (specific dates to be confirmed):

Early September 2020 (which would allow you to graduate in April 2021 if you pass all modules)

December 2020 (which would allow you to graduate in April 2021 if you pass all modules)

March 2021 (which would allow you to graduate in July 2021 if you pass all modules)

 

September 2020 to January 2021

The remaining taught modules will be undertaken from September through to the end of December, with examinations taking place in early January 2021.

 


 

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