Module code: MAN2135

Module Overview

This module builds upon the basic introduction to the complexity of organizations studied from an organizational psychology perspective provided in OBA (HEQ4).  Work and Organisational Psychology is the study of people and their behaviour at work, and of the organisations in which people work; work psychologists develop psychological theory and apply the rigour and methods of psychology to issues that are important to businesses and organisations, in order to promote, and advance understanding of individual, group and organisational effectiveness at work, and the well being and satisfaction of people working in or served by organisations. In this module, the topics of Work and Organizational Psychology are covered in three sections:

  • Foundations: Models, research and theory on which the discipline is built

  • Professional Practice: Major areas of practical application of the discipline

  • Organizations: Macro-perspectives and topics in the discipline

By the end of the module students will have gained an understanding of how organizational psychological research and practice influence different levels at work including the individual, group, organization and society.  A central feature of the module will focus upon developing critical thinking skills which will aid analysis of sometimes ‘messy’ empirical data and organizational problems. 

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: N211

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

MAN1073 (Organisational Behaviour and Analysis) or a similar module is a pre-requisite for this module

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to Work and Organizational Psychology

This session will familiarise students with the different fields within organizational psychology, history and contemporary challenges, and map the landscape of the module content. 

  • Individual Differences and Attitudes at Work

This session will build on theory of individual differences covered in OBA and extend to consider the interplay of individual differences with attitudes, emotion and social factors are considered in this session.

  • Advanced Perspectives on Motivation at Work

Building upon the basics of motivation theory covered in OBA students will be provided with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of contemporary psychological techniques concerning motivation in non-profit, public and private sector organisations. Job design literature is also introduced.

  • HRM and Psychology: Recruitment, Selection, Learning and Development

Work and Organizational Psychology perspectives on the core HRM functions of Recruitment and Selection, and Learning and Development are considered. An evidence-based, strategic approach is presented and developed.

  • Performance Measurement and Management

This session considers issues in the assessment and modelling of job performance in organizations alongside consideration of techniques of job performance improvement and management.

  • Vocational Psychology

This session covers the application of psychology to the understanding of careers and career management. Individual, developmental and socio-demographic perspectives are considered.

  • Work and Stress

This session covers theories and research of work stress versus well-being. The causes, processes and consequences (psychological and physiological) are covered, and applied to understand a case study example.

  • Teams and Groups at Work   

This session concerns the psychology of building and managing effective teams. Building on OBA a critical focus upon new forms of psychological interventions to improve group behaviour within virtual organizations and multi-disciplinary/diverse groups will be examined.

  • Leadership

In this session, a variety of theoretical perspectives on leadership in organizations are presented, discussed and integrated. A focus on relational models of leadership is also developed during the session.

  • Organizational Development and Change 

Organizational Psychology is concerned with the study of whole organizations. This session considers the contributions of psychology to understanding organizational culture, development and change. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework GROUP ASSIGNMENT (3000 WORDS) 45

Alternative Assessment

If an individual student fails the coursework and subsequently the module, he or she will be given an individual project assignment as the re-assessment.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the learning outcomes. The module is assessed by 45% coursework and 55% examination.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of

Students’ knowledge and understanding will assessed by a summative one hour examination.  (Unseen paper with a choice of essay questions).  A mock paper and examination techniques session will be provided to ensure that students are fully prepared for the examination.

Formative assessment and feedback The first assessment mid-way through the module will be based upon a group assignment. Students will be required to focus upon a selection of topics which look at innovative, pragmatic psychological-based solutions to organizational problems.  Students will be required to work in small groups of 3-4, and produce a 3,000 word essay. Feedback will be provided from tutors and peers. 

Marking & Feedback

This module adopts an enquiry based approach to feedback where the emphasis is on providing resources to students which allow them to identify their own strengths and weaknesses in order to develop learning strategies which will allow them to improve their performance. These resources include :

Prior to the assignment, lecture time will be spent discussing the assignment and feedback process.

A marking scheme which provides guidance on how marks will be awarded for each element of assessment. This marking scheme has benefits for both staff and students: a) for staff it allows for consistency of marking between markers, and for prompt and rigorous marking; b) for students it makes it absolutely clear what is expected of them. Students will receive a mark for each element of the assignment which they can reference to the marking scheme for details of individual feedback.

Generic feedback which explains what students did well and did less well overall. This will take two forms. In the first lecture after submission, time will be spent explaining the key learning issues from the assignment and, once marking is completed, students will receive detailed comments on their own individual assignment. .

Marking will be carried out by the module leader and tutors. The module leader will be responsible for moderation. Marks and feedback will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date.

Module aims

  • To provide a theoretical and pragmatic understanding of the psychology of organizations.
  • To enable students to exercise significant judgement, critiquing and synthesizing a range of theories in the field of business/organizational psychology.
  • To encourage awareness of the rigour and relevance of applied research to aiding the management profession.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of selective theories of organizational psychology. KC
2 Recognise the complexities of analysis at the level of the individual, group, organization, society. CP
3 Critically evaluate and discuss applications of organizational psychology for managerial success. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 1

Independent Study Hours: 116

Lecture Hours: 33

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: adopt a problem –based learning approach, applying key theoretical frameworks to organizational issues via case-based techniques.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 3 hour weekly sessions will provide taught lectures and interactive problem-based learning exercises which link theory and practice.

  • 1 hour workshop on Week 3 will facilitate group assignment set up and process. 

  • Groups will also have one 30-minute appointment with the Module Leader to discuss their group assignment.

  • SurreyLearn is used for resources and further on-line discussions.

Total learning time is 150 hours including: 1) Weekly taught/facilitated sessions (33 hrs of weekly lectures - 3 hrs x 11 weeks; 1 hour workshop on Week 3)

2) Independent learning (116 hours for reading, research, group discussion and assignment/examination study.)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Management (Marketing) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Entrepreneurship) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (HRM) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
International Business Management (Dual degree with SII-DUFE) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and French BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and Spanish BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.