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UCC Postgraduate courses

Work & Organisational Behaviour

Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time; 2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModeFull-time, Part-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Psychology applied to the domain of work is a fascinating area offering many employment opportunities. From improving recruitment decisions to understanding how technology affects our work performance and experience, from coaching individuals to developing organisational capacity, psychology can be applied to enhancing peoples’ well-being and performance at work and contributing to organisational effectiveness. This programme will be of interest to graduates wishing to pursue careers as work and organisational behaviour specialists, human resource managers, trainers, people managers, consultants, or researchers.

By engaging with the programme, you will develop a range of practical skills in conducting research, critical thinking and analysis, and a range of competencies relevant to professional organisational behaviourists such as selection and assessment, negotiation, consulting etc. The aim is to equip graduates of this programme with the building blocks to operate as effective and reflective professionals.

The MA in Work and Organisational Behaviour for non-psychology graduates can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis and is designed to advance your knowledge of the discipline of psychology applied in work settings. To achieve this the course content emphasises the application of high-quality psychological research to real-world concerns and issues in the workplace.

Full-Time Option

The 90-credit full-time MA in Work and Organisational Behaviour runs over one calendar year (12 months):

Part I (60 credits total)

Core Modules (50 credits)

  • AP6061 Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analysis (5 credits)
  • AP6062 Quantitative Research Methods for Professionals (5 credits)
  • AP6169 Learning, Well-Being and Participation at Work (10 credits)
  • AP6166 Personnel Selection and Assessment (10 credits)
  • AP6170 Professional Skills (5 credits)
  • MG6020 Changing, Leading and Developing Organisations (5 credits)
  • AP6168 Designing in Work and Workplaces (10 credits)

Elective Modules (choose 10 credits)

  • AP6159 Positive Organisational Psychology (5 credits)
  • AP6160 Private Practice (5 credits)
  • AP6161 Coaching Skills (5 credits)
  • AP6176 Cognitive Enhancement (5 credits)
Part II (30 credits)
  • AP6171 Research Dissertation in Applied Psychology (Work and Organisational Behaviour (30 credits)
Part-Time Option

The 90-credit part-time MA in Work and Organisational Behaviour runs over two calendar years (24 months):

  • Part I comprises modules worth 60 credits running across Semesters 1 and 2 of Year 1, and Semester 1 of Year 2.
  • Part II comprises a research dissertation worth 30 credits, which is submitted at the end of the summer in Year 2.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

Entry Routes

There are two entry routes to the MA: one for psychology graduates and one for non-psychology graduates.

The MA in Work And Organisational Behaviour for non-psychology graduates is delivered via a blended learning format. This format offers our students flexibility in directing and scheduling their learning. Our blended-learning approach includes a combination of self-guided online materials, some web-based lectures and seminars, occasional online discussion groups, and online assessments that supplement our on-campus face-to-face teachings.

As a guide, all Part I core classes* are scheduled for one day per week from 2pm-8pm on campus. Students can benefit from face-to-face contact with staff and peers during campus lectures while still enjoying the flexibility and widened access afforded by blended learning.

*Electives vary from this schedule and some require attendance on campus outside of the core hours of 2pm-8pm.


There is a mix of assessments for this programme including online assessments, written reports and essays, examinations, and a research dissertation.

Why Choose This Course

Read our Student Testimonials...

MA Work & Organisational Psychology/Behaviour Graduates, UCC

Find Out More

Programme Flexibility

The blended nature of this programme (delivered partly online and partly on campus) offers students flexible access to pursue a Masters's qualification. In our experience, this combination supports all those students who are already in employment or are sponsored by their employer to attend this programme.

School Expertise

This programme is underpinned by three key themes that differentiate it from other programmes in Ireland. These themes are based on our school’s particular areas of expertise and address contemporary workplace concerns and challenges. Drawing on our digital futures research team we address themes around technology-mediated work and organisations; from our resilience and transition team we address themes of well-being, resilience and diversity at work; and finally, from our individual differences experts, we address themes of recognising and assessing individual abilities and potential in the workplace.

Knowledge Exchange - Your Experience Counts!

We welcome students from all walks of life. As a result, we tend to have a good mix of students with and without human resource/training/coaching/consulting experience in our cohorts. This combination usually supports knowledge exchange (e.g., research methods know-how in exchange for practical insights).

Practice-Oriented Dissertation

Dissertation supervision is managed by a number of faculty associated with this MA programme, but also other MA programmes in our Schools. This ensures that our students have access, via our faculty, to different areas of expertise and knowledge of different professional domains (e.g., mental health/healthcare, coaching, and guidance counselling).

Students are positively encouraged to select a dissertation topic that may pave the way for their envisioned future career goals. When students are already in employment, the option to study a topic close to their employers’ interest is supported as long as the dissertation requirements are met. Students are encouraged to seek out potential dissertation advisors within one month of starting the programme to facilitate a well-coordinated and timely delivery of the dissertation in the first (for part-time students' second) year. 

The benefits of linking research to practice are apparent in a number of success stories, for example:

My dissertation supervisor emphasised the importance of making sure that my research was directly applicable to the workplace. Having a large piece of work, with findings and recommendations relevant to organisations really makes you stand out during the interview process. The organisation I worked with as part of my research actually asked me to interview for a position that became available during the year.

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of this programme can look forward to a wide range of career options across both the public and private sectors applying psychology at work. Graduates may consider careers in human resource management, human resource development, consultancy, organizational research, or academic/research careers.

To date, a number of our alumni have been recruited nationally and internationally as an outcome of completing this MA in Work and Organisational Behaviour. For alumni who were already in employment, a number of our former students were subsequently promoted to new roles. Examples of areas where alumni ended up working include Human Resources positions, organisers or facilitators of Organisational Development and Change/Community Development initiatives, occupational psychologists in training, and consultants (e.g., recruitment and selection).

Practice Opportunities - Supporting Employability

What I loved the most about the programme was the practical combination of Psychology and Human Resources concepts and applied studies. Real case scenarios and lived experiences were at the centre of all the lectures and equipped me with the tools needed to land a job as an HR Analyst the week after I handed in my dissertation project. Only one year later, I was able to move to a role as an HR Business Partner.

Where possible, we also support practical skills training. A number of our alumni have been introduced to practitioners in the field who offered internships and other training opportunities. We continue to support such initiatives to marry the academic with the practical aspects of this degree to support graduate employability. 

For those students interested in research careers, our graduates may also consider progressing to doctoral studies in the area or engage in further specialisation in the area of work psychology. Our School offers both funded and self-funded PhD opportunities.


1. Applicants must hold a Second Class Honours Grade 1 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in subjects such as business, psychology, human resource management, organisational behaviour, and the sociology of work. Applicants with a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any discipline and who have a minimum of three years of relevant work experience will also be considered.

2. Applicants must supply statements detailing:

  • Relevant work experience whether professional or voluntary
  • Motivation and readiness, which must be ~500 words and must include information on:
    • Reasons for applying to the programme and how your reasons fit with your experience, interests and career objectives within work and organisational behaviour
    • Experience of group work in an education setting or teamwork in a workplace setting
    • Experience in managing time and workloads effectively
    • Experience in effectively managing conflict in work or educational settings.

Statements will be evaluated based on your responses to the above bullet points.

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may also be given to applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements as stated above but who present with a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in any discipline and have significant and directly relevant work experience or has performed impressively in a relevant Master's degree acceptable to the School selection committee. In such cases, the applicant must clearly set out the grounds upon which they wish to be considered in the motivation and readiness statement. Such applicants may also be called for interview and will be selected based on the following:

  • Academic performance
  • Commitment to, or work experience in, the area of work and organisational behaviour

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.


Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.


Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

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For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact