Research course

Professional Practice in Occupational Psychology

Birkbeck, University of London · Organizational Psychology

Entry requirements

Graduate Basis for Chartership and an accredited master's degree in organisational/ occupational and/or business psychology (at Merit or above) required.

You must be in relevant employment and able to apply your learning to the workplace as an integral part of the programme. You must be competent in written and spoken English and have good social and communication skills.

Students who have already completed Stage Two of the BPS Chartership process (and are therefore, or are eligible to be, both Chartered and hold Registered Psychologist status with the HCPC) will be exempt from Part One (Professional Practice Portfolio) which includes six modules at Level 7. Selection to the course will be through completion of an application form, and an interview.

Months of entry


Course content

This Professional Doctorate in Occupational Psychology is an accredited University of London doctoral degree. It is accredited by the British Psychological Society as an alternative to the British Psychological Society's (BPS) Stage 2 Qualification in Occupational Psychology, meaning that successful completion of the programme confers eligibility for chartership through the BPS (subject to holding Graduate Basis for Registration).

If you hold a BPS-accredited master's degree in organisational/occupational and/or business psychology, and you are in related employment, this doctorate will let you apply your learning directly in the workplace and use your work experience to inform your research.

The first two years will develop your professional competence and prepare you for independent research and practice through the following six professional practice portfolios:

If you successfully complete this stage, you can either graduate with an MRes in Professional Practice in Occupational Psychology or progress to Years 3 and 4 to develop your competence in research methods and consolidate your skills as an evidence-based practitioner and researcher so that you can complete a 40,000-50,000-word doctoral thesis.

We have expertise in both qualitative and quantitative techniques and are well placed to supervise all research topics in occupational psychology. Our particular interests include:

  • Coaching, careers and lifespan development
  • Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Decision making, heuristics and bias
  • Leadership and critical management studies
  • Organisational sociology
  • Professional development and training
  • Selection and assessment
  • Worklife balance, boundary management and digitisation of work
  • Well-being and occupational health.

Information for international students

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.

Fees and funding

PhD students resident in England can apply for government loans of over £26,000 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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • ProfDoc
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    56 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700