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Occupational Health Psychology (MRes/Professional Doctorate)

Birkbeck's MRes/Professional Doctorate in Occupational Health Psychology is the only one of its kind offered in the UK. 

This research degree, run by Birkbeck's Centre for Sustainable Working Life, combines advanced education in applied research and professional development with the opportunity to conduct real-world research under the guidance of world-leading academics. Assessment is 100% coursework in Year 1 and research in Years 2 and 3, culminating in a doctoral thesis. 

The programme will appeal to those in the UK and Europe who are looking to develop, advance or change careers in occupational health psychology and management or in an associated area. 

Indicative areas of research conducted under the auspices of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life include: 

  • Assessment and coaching 
  • Chronic illness - including cancer and PTSD - and working life 
  • Health and safety management 
  • Healthcare 
  • High performance occupations such as the performing arts (eg musicians, dancers, actors)
  • Occupational and social psychology 
  • Occupational epidemiology 
  • Organisational communication and relationships 
  • Organisational risk management 
  • Psychosocial approaches to occupational health 
  • Stress in the workplace and work-life balance 
  • Sustainable health and wellbeing in the workplace

Please note, the Professional Doctorate in Occupational Health Psychology specialises in health at work and is open to practitioners working across allied disciplines. Alternatively, you may be interested in our Professional Doctorate in Organizational Psychology and associated British Psychological Society and Health and Care Professions Council accreditations.

Highlights

  • Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • This is the only such programme currently offered in the UK and can be tailored to students’ interests and, if appropriate, to those of their employing or professional organisations.
  • Teaching staff and supervisors will be acknowledged occupational health psychologists or experts in health and safety management and/or actively involved in occupational health.
  • 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

    Fees(2019/20)

    Part-time home/EU students, Year 1&2: £4725 pa
    Part-time international students, Year 1&2: £7600 pa
    Part-time home/EU students, Year 3&4: £2296 pa
    Part-time international students, Year 3&4: £6375 pa

    Please note: the tuition fee indicated here is for 2019/20. The tuition fee for 2020/21 is subject to an inflationary increase.

    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.

  • Our Research Culture

    Our Research Culture

    Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

    Find out more about Birkbeck research offering insights and expertise to inform business, contribute to economic success and develop ground-breaking technologies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    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. 

    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 of 1500 words. 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. It should clearly evidence how your core research interests align with those of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life. Prior to submitting an application and research proposal online, you are encouraged to contact Dr Laura Thompson (Director of Learning) and CC Professor Tom Cox (Head of Centre), to discuss your interests and request further information regarding the organisation of the programme. 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

    The entry month for the programme is October each year.

    You can apply at any time during the year, until September.

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

  • Finding a supervisor

    Finding a supervisor

    A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in occupational health 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 Centre for Sustainable Working Life staff.