Prompted by a message this morning on the OU Psychology Graduates Facebook group, I’ve been re-reading the prospectus for the Occupational Psychology MSc I’ve been accepted onto at Leicester University. I’ve got until the end of this month to stump up the first of six installments, each of around £1,450 (gulp), so it’s definitely been worthwhile re-reading the course summary and brochure to remind myself what I’m letting myself in for over the next couple of years.
The course consists of six core modules plus a dissertation. There are no examinations to take as everything is based on continuous assessment. There’s also an optional three-day conference each year at the University which is covered in the cost of the course, so at least I’ll get a chance to meet others on the same path outside of the virtual environment provided by Blackboard.
Looking at the list of modules my initial thoughts, based on no more than my prejudices and assumptions, are as follows:
- Research Methods: This looks like a sensible start to the course and I hope it’s going to be relatively straightforward. I doubt if there are any statistical techniques it will throw at me that I won’t be able to get my head around having wrestled with the “fish” book and SPSS on the OU psychology degree. There’s also coverage of qualitative methods – I wonder if Q will get a mention?
- Personnel Selection and Assessment: I’ve been involved in this aspect of work, on and off, for about the last 20 years. I’d like to think that I’m a better interviewer and selector than most, but who knows. Psychometrics rears its ugly little head in this module, so I’m looking forward to unleashing some critical arguments from DD307!
- Ergonomics: Looks interesting. I wonder whether the vogue for open plan offices and hot desks is more to do with the desire to exert power over subordinates by senior management than as a way of ensuring a productive workforce or reducing overhead costs?
- The Psychology of Organising: I really hope this isn’t going to be an attempt to fit most of an MBA into 12 weeks – but the description of the module makes it potentially seem like the most interesting of the course. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into this one.
- Psychology of Occupational Training and Learning: I’m definitely not sure about this module. It sounds a little dull to be honest.
- The Individual at Work: The module description makes it sound all lovely and fluffy (work-life balance, diversity, workplace counselling and the like) – but I have this nagging feeling that it’s aimed squarely at HR professionals who want to know how far they can push people before they start to fight back. I’m hoping that the module hasn’t been written by Catbert – but if it is, at least I should end up with a better understanding of what motivates people to become HR managers.
And then finally there’s a dissertation incorporating some empirical research to tackle. I’m currently toying with a couple of ideas, both of which are connected with the world of salespeople (after all, I have a ready supply of them to work with in real life). Both of the ideas I have seem to be worthwhile investigative topics in their own right and I suspect I could even combine aspects of them together if I wanted or needed to.
So I’m enthusiastic to be starting studying again, even if I’m not quite sure where I’m going to find the time from. A minimum of 14 hours per week – slightly less than an OU 60 credit load – is suggested, but I suspect I’ll end up spending rather more time on the course than this if I do get hooked.
As I’ll be self-funding the course over the next two years, I really hope that I do.