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Organizational Psychology (MPhil / PhD)

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research. Find out more about undertaking a research degree at Birkbeck.

The MPhil/PhD in Organizational Psychology aims to train you to conduct research of a high academic standard and to make an original contribution to the subject through your thesis. It will not only prepare you to undertake research for your own dissertation, but will also equip you to be able to evaluate research results and reports more widely.

Our research interests include: selection and assessment; training; organisational communication; organisation studies and organisational sociology; well-being and emotion; technology development and organisational change; human resource management; employment and psychological contracts; pay; careers and innovation. We also have expertise in, and are committed to, both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.

Please note, the PhD in Organizational Psychology is a research degree. If you are a practitioner, our Professional Doctorate in Organizational Psychology and associated British Psychological Society and Health and Care Professions Council accreditations might be more suitable.


  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Good first degree or Master's qualification in a relevant subject area.

    Applicants who do not hold a Master's degree in a relevant subject may be required to take some MSc modules.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

  • Fees


    Part-time home/EU students: £2296 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £4327 pa
    Part-time international students: £6375 pa
    Full-time international students: £12625 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    Fees and finance

    From 2018-19, PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of up to £25,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, maintenance and other study-related costs.

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    The School of Business, Economics and Informatics attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a limited number of fully funded research opportunities.

  • Our Research Culture

    Our Research Culture

    Birkbeck's Department of Organizational Psychology is the only specialist department of its kind in the UK and has a long-standing reputation. It engages in significant collaborative research and has excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.

    As a research student, you will receive training in theory and research methodology during your first year (full-time) or two years (part-time), provided partly by the Department and partly by other University of London institutions. You will also complete an annual report on your progress. You will be invited to attend research student seminars held four or five times each term at Birkbeck in the evenings. We offer a wide range of student support and study facilities.

    Find out more about studying for an MPhil/PhD in Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck.

    Read more about our vibrant research culture and watch interviews with our Organizational Psychology staff.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    Contact our admissions tutor, Dr Rebecca Whiting, for further details.

    Follow these steps to apply to an MPhil/PhD research degree at Birkbeck:

    1. Check that you meet the entry requirements, including English language requirements, as described on this page.

    2. Find a potential supervisor for your MPhil/PhD research. You can look at the Find a Supervisor area on this page for an overview, or search our Experts’ Database or browse our staff pages for more in-depth information. You may also find it helpful to view the research projects of our current students

    3. Contact the academic member of staff - or the department they teach in - for an informal discussion about your research interests and to establish if they are willing and able to supervise your research. (Please note: finding a potential supervisor does not guarantee admission to the research degree, as this decision is made using your whole application.) Find out more about the supervisory relationship and how your supervisor will support your research.

    4. Draft a research proposal. This needs to demonstrate your knowledge of the field, the specific research questions you wish to pursue, and how your ideas will lead to the creation of new knowledge and understanding. Find out more about writing a research proposal.

    5. Apply directly to Birkbeck, using the online application link on this page. All research students are initially registered on an MPhil and then upgrade to a PhD after making sufficient progress.

    Find out more about the application process, writing a research proposal and the timeframe

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You can apply at any time during the year. Entry months for the programme are October, January and April of each year.

    If you wish to apply for funding, you will need to apply by certain deadlines. Consult the websites of relevant bodies for details.

  • Finding a supervisor

    Finding a supervisor

    A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in organisational psychology is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the Department.

    Find out more about the research interests of our academic staff:

    • Professor Raymond Caldwell, MBA, PhD: organisational change theory with a critical focus on the meaning, scope and limitations of change agency and leadership discourses in organisations; the changing nature of the HR function; concepts of agency and change in organisations.
    • Professor Thomas Cox, BSc, PhD, CBE: Director of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life: psychosocial risk management; chronic illness, cancer survivorship and working life; disaster management.
    • Chris Dewberry, BA, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS: personnel selection, including decision-making and self-regulation; the effects of everyday psychological processes on selection; psychometric testing.
    • Julie Dickinson, BSc, PhD: issues surrounding pay determination, particularly fairness of pay, pay and motivation, performance-related pay, gender pay equity and executive pay; occupational choice.
    • Andreas Liefooghe, BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol(Occ): power and politics at work; bullying in the workplace; job redesign; organisational structure; morale; uniformed forces; critical management theory.
    • Kate Mackenzie Davey, BSc, PGCE, MSc, PhD, CPsychol(Occ): the individual/organisation relationship; identity, marginality and gender; organisational socialisation and acculturation; organisational politics.
    • Rebecca Whiting, BA (Cantab), MSc, PhD: issues relating to age at work; the role of digital technologies on ways of working; discursive and visual analysis within a social constructionist approach, in particular to concepts such as work-life balance and identities such as the older worker.
    • Skills tutor: Stewart Beever, BA, PGCE, DipCG, DipStCoun, MBAP, MBPC: application of psychodynamic ideas in career consultation.