Information regarding our 2023/24 admissions cycle

Our 2023/24 postgraduate taught admissions cycle will open on Monday, 10 October. For most programmes, the application form will not open until this date.

MSc Business Psychology

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Professional Skills for Organisational and Business Psychologists

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN71951
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course consists of weekly, three-hour sessions delivered over ten weeks. The course provides a foundation to support students in applying the knowledge of organisational and business-related psychology acquired during the MSc programme and to become competent practitioners.     The course is based on the ‘scientist-practitioner’ model of consultancy. Topics covered include the consultancy cycle, ethics in practice, working effectively with others, and communication skills. In addition, the course includes an option for students to gain a qualification in psychometric testing in occupational settings and to apply for entry to the British Psychological Society (BPS) Register of Qualifications in Test Use (please note that the BPS charges a fee for this registration).



BMAN71951 Programme Req: BMAN71951 is only available as a core unit to students on MSc Business Psychology and MSc Organisational Psychology


The course aims to provide a foundation for applying organisational psychology theory and research evidence in the workplace. In addition, it gives students a sound understanding of psychometric test use in the workplace and the practical skills required to administer psychometric tests in occupational settings.


Learning outcomes

Understand and be able to apply the scientist-practitioner consultancy model;
Understand the concept of the consultancy cycle in the practice of organisational psychology
Understand the principal skills that underpin effective practice in organisational psychology, including understanding ethics in practice, evidence-based practice, working effectively with others, and oral and written communication skills
Understand the main theoretical and applied issues in psychometric tests effectively in occupational settings;

Assessment methods

Students will have the opportunity to develop a Portfolio of Competence during the course. Students will be asked to complete a reflective report on how their portfolio has developed during the first semester of their studies and how they envisage developing it during the remainder of their programme (1,500 words 40%

Competency-based feedback report on personality assessment (1,500 words, 60% weighting).

Practical assessment in test use (pass/fail criterion, 0% weighting)

NB: Students who wish to obtain the qualification in psychometric test use are required to pass the practical assessment in test use and additionally to complete a narrative report on personality assessment, which will be reviewed by the test publisher and qualification awarding body.


Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, or workshop or lab.
Online exercises and quizzes.
Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to the student cohort as a whole.
Specific course related feedback sessions.
Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.
Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall assessment performance.

Recommended reading

The main study material for the course consists of a course folder provided by CEB SHL for students: Occupational Testing (Level A) and Occupational Personality Questionnaire (Level B).
For general additional reading, the following books are recommended:

Cook. M. (2009). Personnel Selection: Adding Value Through People (5th edition). Chichester: Wiley

Smith, J. M. (2004). Testing People at Work: Competencies in Psychometric Testing.   London: Blackwell.

Topic-specific reading:

The selection paradigm, types of tests and psychometric testing:

McCloy, R.A., Campbell, J.P. and Cudeck, R. (1994).  A confirmatory test of a model of performance determinants.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 79:493-505.

Ree, M. J., Earles, J.A. and Teachout, M.S. (1995).  Predicting job performance: Not much more than G.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 79:518-524.

Robertson, I.T. and Smith, M. (2001). Personnel selection. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 74, 441-472.

Smith, J.M. (2005) Testing People at Work: Competencies in Psychometric Testing.   London: Blackwell.  Chapter 1.
Smith, M (1994).  A theory of the validity of predictors in selection.  Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 67, 19-31.

Schmidt, F.L. and Hunter, J.E. (1998).  The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings.  Psychological Bulletin, 124, 262-274.

Job analysis:

Dierdorff, E. C., & Wilson, M. A. (2003). A meta-analysis of job analysis reliability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88 (4), 635-646.

Levine, E. L., Sistrunk, F., McNutt, K. J., & Gael, S. (1988). Exemplary job analysis systems in selected organizations: A description of processes and outcomes. Journal of Business and Psychology, 3, 3-21.

Levine, E. L., Ash, R. A., & Bennett, N. (1980). Exploratory Comparative Study of Four Job Analysis Methods. Journal of Applied Psychology, 65 (5), 524-535.

Morgeson, F. P., & Campion, M. A. (2000). Accuracy in job analysis: toward an inference-based model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21, 819-827.

Reliability and Validity:

Hunter and Schmidt (1996). Measurement error in psychological research: lessons from 26 research scenarios.  Psychological Methods, 1, 199-223.

Smith, J M. (2005) Testing People at Work: competencies in psychometric testing.   London: Blackwell.  Chapters 10 & 11.

Utility and Fairness in Selection:

Boudreau. J. W. (1992).  Utility Analysis for decisions in human resource management.  In M. D. Dunnette and L. M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (pp. 621-746). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press

Smith, J M. (2005) Testing People at Work: competencies in psychometric testing.   London: Blackwell.  Chapters 12 & 13.

Introduction to Personality:

Cook. M. (2009). Personnel Selection: Adding Value through People. Chichester: Wiley.  Chapter 7

Funder, D. C. (2001).  Personality. Annual Review of Psychology. 52, 197-221.

Matthews, G., Deary, I. J. & Whiteman, M.C. (2003).  Personality Traits (2nd Ed.).  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smith, J M. (2005). Testing People at Work: Competencies in Psychometric Testing.   London: Blackwell. Chapter 4.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 118

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Elinor O'Connor Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Method

Office Hours (by appointment)

Online Learning Activities (blogs, discussions, self assessment questions).

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