Taught course

Coaching Psychology

Birkbeck, University of London · Organizational Psychology

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) in any discipline, or sufficient experience of helping relationships and/or people-oriented activities such as extensive line management experience.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry


Course content

Working life is complex and organisations are looking to executive coaching to help them work through the demands and challenges they face. At Birkbeck we recognise the issues that organisations experience and have the expertise to support those demands.

Organisations have woken up to the fact that most employees need some additional perspective to help them be successful in their roles. Coaching as an intervention to address this has grown exponentially. Some pertinent questions remain, and need reflection: Why has coaching emerged now? Why is it seen to be so relevant? How can we tell when/if it works? Is it different from counselling and psychotherapy? Are certain types of coaching more effective, under certain conditions, with certain people?

The coaching psychology course combines practical and theoretical study to not only develop your professional expertise but also give you greater self-awareness and understanding. You will investigate pragmatically and critically how coaching works in organisations and how it is an important skill for leaders.

You will be introduced to the history and variety of coaching and helping relationships. You will review a range of coaching techniques, discussing their relevance and efficacy, and consider pertinent issues that face the contemporary coach.

Using case studies and client work you will have the opportunity to analyse and understand your own work through a range of lenses, allowing for different interpretations. You will learn to supervise effectively, explore different responses and reflect on the coaching relationship process. Issues that are often overlooked, such as ethics, change, boundaries and defences, are highlighted. Rather than looking at coaching in isolation, you will consider it in the context of evidence frameworks, organisational systems and practices, and organisations as political arenas.

The skills and knowledge you gain from this course can be applied within your organisation and to leadership roles and help you progress a career in coaching.

We offer this course as a Master’s and a Postgraduate Certificate. For the Certificate, you study fewer modules and do not complete a dissertation.

  • This course is accredited by the Association for Business Psychology, building a community of coaching psychologists with the highest educational standards and training.
  • We are renowned for the quality of our teaching in organisational psychology and for our expertise in the delivery of part-time programmes. We offer an optimum environment for studying coaching psychology, learning with other working professionals, and offering a network of colleagues keen to share their knowledge and expertise.
  • You will have access to an extensive range of electronic resources, including specially prepared texts for each module, and use of the online learning environment, with a high level of staff support.
Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue career paths in coaching, psychology, human resources and business. Possible professions include:

  • career coach
  • occupational psychologist
  • human resources officer
  • careers adviser.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, 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 and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700