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Occupational Psychology - Prof Doc

Why study this course?

The Occupational Psychology Professional Doctorate will equip you with all the knowledge you need to advance in your career, whether you're looking to move into a senior position, take on more interesting work or improve the effectiveness of your workplace. It's ideal for experienced, practising psychologists with extensive knowledge of occupational, business/related areas of psychology.

You’ll produce a thesis that can be based on your work experience and projects. To support your thesis, we provide you with free access to a range of statistical software including SPSS, AMOS and LISREL.

By the end of the course, you’ll have demonstrated expertise through your unique contribution to the theory, knowledge and professional practice of occupational and business psychology.

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Our professional doctorate allows you to base your thesis on workplace experience or projects. The course runs part-time, so you can easily fit it around your work commitments.

You'll engage in original research, developing a wide range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to the workplace. We’ll help you plan and conduct this research so that it’s conceptually sound, ethically approved and firmly acceptable within the scientist-practitioner framework.

Critically evaluating the research and published work of other psychologists, as well as your own professional work, is important to the development of your thesis. Through this and other forms of self-managed learning you’ll develop high-level professional skills.

You’ll analyse and synthesise data, and present your findings in written reports of a professional and publishable standard. Your reports will provide insights that can be used by real-world organisations in their own strategic decision-making process.

Thesis ideas

Your thesis can be based on a topic related to your work experience and projects. It could feature a combination of ideas including:

  • an advancement in occupational psychology
  • a breakthrough in current theory or practice
  • a formulation of a new theory or practice
  • new insights into specific problems and professional areas

Overall, we’re looking for an independent and original contribution to the advancement of occupational or business psychology. By reporting your findings in both written and oral form, you’ll become more confident as an expert in your particular field.

Specialist resources

We can provide access to AMOS, LISREL, Envia, SPSS and other statistical resources, depending on your research. You’ll receive guidance and help with the software as needed.

You’ll also have access to other University facilities including the library, computers and video suites.

Teaching support

You’ll receive a lot more support from our teaching staff than on traditional PhD courses. This includes guidance in your personal and professional development.

For example, our previous students have been joined by our staff on trips to the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP). 

Many of our students have gone onto have their papers published in journals or books on a regular basis.

Alongside the support you’ll receive from our highly-qualified staff, you’ll have the chance to attend talks from guest lecturers who also have a strong track record in research and psychology consultant work.

Where appropriate, we’ll encourage you to take part in Professional Development Seminars associated with the Occupational and Business Psychology MSc and the Post-MSc Practitioner supervision programme.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you’ll have acquired a thorough and critical understanding of the ideas in client-consultant relationships and practice. These include ethics, power, contextual and commercial issues and implications.

You’ll also acquire high-level skills in reflective learning and development that integrate both your academic and professional knowledge. This means you’ll have an in-depth understanding of the philosophy, theory and practice relevant to your professional practice.

Overall, you’ll have made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge associated with research and professional practice in occupational / business psychology.


Your thesis is assessed on a pass/fail basis. You must then defend your thesis through a viva voce examination (oral test).

The viva voce examination is conducted by examiners who are independent of your supervisory team.

You will be required to have:

  • a relevant MSc (or equivalent)
  • experience as a professional who is able to meet the requirements of the doctorate
  • evidence of the ability to conduct organisationally-relevant and ethically-sound research

We’ll take into account your overall performance at a bachelor's and/or master's level, particularly in respect to achievements in research methods courses.
You’ll be required to submit a suitable research/work proposal and evidence of a suitable organisational setting.

The availability of supervisory staff most suitable to your thesis will also be a factor in selection.

Please note, this course is not eligible for Tier 4 student sponsorship.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Your thesis is worth 360 credits.

It is based on a specific theme and divided into a prologue, four central components and an epilogue:


The prologue highlights the overarching theme of your thesis and the reflective process of professional development you’ve undertaken.

Empirical Research Project

This component is consistent with the format typically associated with PhD research. 25,000 words.

Case Study

An analysis based on one case study of quantitative and/or qualitative research. 6,000 words (or two linked cases of 3,000 words each, if agreed to with the course leader).

Intervention Process Analysis

A process report typically examining a period of up to one year in duration and containing a qualitative element. 5,000 words.

Critical Literature

A review within an area of occupational psychology that demonstrates how your thinking has developed. 5,000 words.


Ties the thesis components together, referring back to the statements set out in the prologue. 1,000 to 1,500 words.

You may be encouraged to take selected modules from the School of Social Science’s relevant masters courses, depending on discussion with your supervisor. The programme itself consists of work towards the doctoral thesis only.

On completing the programme, you'll have developed a critical understanding of your chosen field of professional occupational psychology. Like other graduates of this course, you could go on to a more senior position, improve the effectiveness of your organisation or change roles entirely.

With their improved skills and knowledge, our graduates have taken up new roles such as independent consultant, performance auditor for the European Union and talent manager.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Before applying, you’re advised to read the Professional Doctorate in Occupational Psychology: Guidance for Applicants for further information on the course.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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