What is Business Psychology?
Business Psychology is the study and practice of improving working life. It combines an understanding of the science of human behaviour with experience of the world of work to attain effective and sustainable performance for both individuals and organizations”
Business Psychology is an applied science that investigates how to make people and organizations more effective. It uses social scientific research methods to study people, workplaces and organizations in order to better align their multiple and sometimes competing needs. Its goal is to create healthy and productive relationships between people and organizations for mutual benefit.
As an applied science, Business Psychology does dictate to organizations what constitutes effective organizational practice. It has a reciprocal relationship with business and draws insights from those with experience of what works at work. This enables psychological research to be applied pragmatically and in a way that is appropriate to the situation. It also allows a cross fertilization of experience from business into psychology and of academic knowledge and rigour from psychology into business.
Practitioners of Business Psychology typically work in the following ways
- Advise – Practitioners give advice on a wide range of people issues at work – from careers to large scale organisational change. They are also independent professionals who can be trusted to offer an unbiased, scientifically credible perspective.
- Diagnose – Practitioners help organisations to better understand issues and challenges (e.g. high turnover and low engagement). They use social scientific research methods to investigate human behaviour at work.
- Design – Practitioners design solutions to organizational challenges. For example, they might design a psychometric tool to help an organization select better employees or an assessment exercise.
- Deliver – Practitioners often implement solutions to organizational problems for clients. Their role is usually to facilitate a solution and not to take ownership of the problem for the client.
- Evaluate ¬– Practitioners measure the effectiveness of interventions. Demonstrating evidence of individual and organizational benefits is a core principle of Business Psychology.
The Masters in Business Psychology offered by Heriot Watt University (HWU) provides an understanding of all the fundamental psychological issues concerning the behaviour of individuals at work, including their job performance, motivation, and organizational culture. The MSc includes eight core modules, which includes Social and Organizational Change, Psychology of Coaching, Consumer Ergonomics, Organizational Culture, Diversity, Psychology for Marketing, Leadership and Research Methods, as well as a Dissertation.
This Masters in Business Psychology will equip all students with a wide range of skills, methods and theories concerning key applications of psychology to organizations and businesses today. The MSc will emphasize applied, consulting and practical skills to enhance students’ employability by helping them develop key psychological business skills and knowledge.
Business Psychology is a growing area of applied psychology and includes well established organisational processes, such as staffing and human resources, training and development, employee engagement surveys, and performance management. In broad terms, this sub-branch of Psychology deals with human capital issues and is instrumental in helping businesses become more effective and profitable, as well as improving employees‘ well-being and performance.
Why should I select Heriot Watt’s Masters in Business Psychology?
In line with the tradition of HWU’s School of Life Science, students will receive the most advanced methodological training and conduct state of-the-art research in areas relevant to business psychology. HWU’s School of Life Science is one of the top Psychology departments in the world HWU usually rates as in the top 5% of universities in the world and has been consistently ranked within the top 20 in the UK over the past 10 years. The course will be international in its perspective and is taught by Professors and industry experts with extensive international business experience. The transfer of knowledge provided by this program will apply worldwide, particularly the US, Europe and Asia. The prestige of Heriot Watt University, its School of Life Science, and unique academic expertise at Oxford College of Business in the offered areas makes this a unique program.
This was the first MSc of its kind in the Sri Lanka when launched in 2010.The program will offer good networking opportunities with diverse organizations and the possibility to work closely with businesses during the MSc research dissertation. The academic staff at Oxford College of Business has a track record consulting to leading organizations in both public and private sector.
10 reasons to read for the Masters in Business Psychology awarded by Heriot Watt Universty
- Students are provided with full text teaching materials. The teaching and assessment in each module ask students, in effect, to consider how the material relates to their own business practice. The MSc project also gives students the opportunity to use the literature to devise a set of policies and procedures that will enhance a particular area of their business practice.
- Why do this rather than a management MSc? Business is about people, namely designing products that people can use safely and which appeal to people, encouraging people to buy products, and managing people. Business psychology helps you to understand the ‘people’ aspects of business, and so is relevant to anyone involved in management, product design, or sales.
- Why do this rather than an MSc in Organizational Psychology? An MSc in Organizational Psychology has far more emphasis on research methods. While there will always be some psychologists working within business that actually carry out research and administer personality tests, psychology is relevant to a much broader range of business topics.
- Course materials devised with input from advisory board of business leaders.
- International relevance, as the course contains a strong coverage of how the material applies in differing global regions (e.g., the module on organizational culture). It equips you well for working overseas or with multinationals.
- No prior knowledge of business or psychology is assumed. As the course is relevant to people with a business background we can’t assume that students on the course will have studied psychology before: as the course is relevant to people with a psychology background we can’t assume that students on the course will have studied business before.
- Excellent e-Library facilities (e.g., electronic access to the full text of 500+ journals and a large number of ebooks)
- Flexible entry requirements. A degree in any subject is required for entry to the MSc. Extensive business experience alone allows entry on to the Diploma, and five years of business experience allows entry to the Certificate. We can grant an exemption from one module based on approved prior learning. Students with no qualifications can take individual modules for career development (and can actually use these for course credit so that they can matriculate themselves simply by completing the course one module at a time!)
- Each module contains a line manager guide, which in effect a letter is written by the course leader to a prospective employer to explain what a student who has completed the module will bring to the workplace.
- Psychology at Heriot Watt came top in the most recent National Student Survey, the main measure of teaching quality and student satisfaction undertaken by British universities.
Heriot Watt University’s current rankings: