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Introduction to the Master’s programme Work, Organisation and Health (WOH)

The Master’s programme Work, Organisation and Health (WOH) focuses on the behaviour and well-being (motivation, health and performance) of working people. Employee behaviour and well-being is the key to a successful organisation . Companies are challenged to organise work processes  in such a way that people conduct their work tasks with pleasure and productively, and that they are able to do so till they retire, in a healthy working environment.

Questions that arise are: "What motivates people at work?", "What contributes to effective leadership and good mutual cooperation?", "How can we prevent work-related stress and burnout?" "How can we encourage employees to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle?, " How can we get employees involved in necessary organisational changes? And “How can we ensure sustainable workability until advanced age?”. 'As a psychologist and behavioural expert you are of great importance in answering these kind of questions.

In this Master's specialisation you will learn to explain the behaviour of working people and to organise work processes in such a way that people can function optimally. We use work-, organisation -, and person-oriented interventions for this purpose. In this one-year master programme, knowledge and skills are provided using the scientist-practitioner model: you learn to base your own professional practice on current scientific insights and to develop a critical scientific attitude that will be of great value in the professional field. Experienced lecturers and professionals  from the work field will contribute to all theoretical and practical courses. In addition to gaining theoretical understanding, you learn how to apply acquired knowledge to practical situations and to master the most important professional and research skills. You have a lot of input (and responsibility) into your own learning process. Through varied, challenging and activating teaching methods, you acquire knowledge and skills and we expect an active and inquisitive attitude from you.

Three areas
This Master’s specialisation focuses on three specific (and interrelated) areas, which are clearly recognisable in the (inter)national professional field: occupational health psychology, personnel psychology (HRM) and organisational psychology.

  1. Occupational health psychology (also including a focus on sport and exercise). You will explore the factors that play a role in health and performance in both the work context and the sport context. Topics that will be examined include healthy working conditions, new ways of working, work time arrangements, fatigue, burnout, recovery, sustainable workability and performance, work-life balance and lifestyle. In addition, we focus on sport and exercise as means to prevent stress, fatigue and absenteeism and to promote health and reintegration into work. In the practical course, you will learn to apply your knowledge to promote a healthy lifestyle and to develop evidence-based work- and worker-directed interventions. Moreover, you will develop diagnostic-, coaching-, and advisory skills to promote health and performance in a work and sport context.
  2. Personnel psychology. Within this area, we focus on the fit between the individual and the organisation. Topics that will be addressed include: recruitment and selection, retaining, training, and developing staff competencies and skills, assessing and rewarding staff, strategic HRM policy and the changing role of the HRM professional. In the HRM practical course, you will develop the skills that are necessary for working in the field of Personnel Psychology and HRM.
  3. Organisational Psychology. Here we study the behaviour of individual employees in their social organisational context, such as their work team and their supervisors. Organisational and behavioural change is the core focus, that is, developing organisations into healthy and productive learning organisations. You analyse the desired goals of interventions and the effects that have been achieved through these interventions at individual, group and organisational level. In the practical course, you will develop your professional skills as an organisational consultant within a training environment.

Career prospects
Within companies and organisations, you will encounter economists, jurists, communication experts, policy makers: people who possess substantive knowledge of a particular field. As a graduate psychologist, you will have knowledge of these people and knowledge of their behaviour. This behaviour may be unpredictable and may be influenced by a range of things, such as emotions, trust or resistance. These are topics that are difficult to grasp, but they are of great importance for an organisation. For example, a well-thought-out intervention may not lead to the desired result, because people's behaviour does not change. Psychologists with expertise in the field of work, organisation and health play a crucial role here.

Once you have finished your studies, you will be a general psychologist. You will use state-of-the-art knowledge/insights to make well-informed decisions when advising companies. You will have developed expertise in areas such as occupational health and safety issues, stress and health, motivation and performance, recruitment and selection, training and education, reintegration, a healthy lifestyle, HRM, organisational development and organisational consultancy.

You will be able to focus on a job in both the profit sector (in commercial companies and agencies) and the non-profit sector (government organisations, educational institutions and the healthcare sector). Most graduates end up working in positions that deal with one of the following, for example:

  • Advising on a healthy work environment and on working hours and work breaks
  • Counselling (and referring) employees who are forced to leave their job or who have already left their job
  • Developing effective lifestyle and vitality programmes
  • Select the appropriate candidate for the right job
  • Designing selection and development tools
  • Developing training programmes or training employees to use certain skills
  • Support employee career development
  • Advise companies on organizational change processes that require employee support
  • Advising companies on strategic HRM policies, remuneration and assessment and sustainable employability
  • Counselling and advising teams and/or management on conflict management, collaboration or team changes.

Why Radboud University

  • The programme offers a wide range of courses, which allows you to focus on a specific area within occupational and health psychology, personnel psychology or organisational psychology.
  • The programme successfully combines science (theory and in-depth study) and practice (practicums, training courses, guest lecturers and an internship).
  • The internship forms an integral part of the Master’s programme, which is assisted by an active network of alliance partners. Course lectures are regularly given by experts from the professional field.
  • The career prospects are favourable; most graduates find a suitable job fairly quickly.
  • This study programme is ranked top 50 worldwide in its field (Source: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019)
  • In an evaluation of student-teacher contact, students deemed the lecturers and supervisors to be stimulating and approachable and the general atmosphere of the programme also scored exceptionally well.
  • The Argon Study Association plays an active and bridging role. The association organises a range of activities, such as excursions, workshops and informal get-togethers.
  • The study programme complies with the three focal points of the European Standards of Education: work, personnel and organisation.
    You can also take a sports psychology track, so that you can obtain the Dutch Basisaantekening Sportpsycholoog (BASP)[Basic Sports Psychology Certificate (BSPC)].

Learning objectives Master's programme Work, Organisation and Health (WOH)
As a graduate master WOH ...

  • ... you have state-of-the-art knowledge of and advanced insight into WOH psychology;
  • ... you can integrate this knowledge and apply it to new and complex practical situations;
  • ... you will be able to make well-considered judgements about WOH issues on the basis of professional and scientific knowledge;
  • ... you have professional skills relevant to the practical field of WOH;
  • ... you have good social-communicative skills;
  • ... you are prepared to continue to develop your professional knowledge and skills;
  • ... you have built up a broad and inspiring network of fellow WOH students (and access to the LinkedIn network in which graduate WOH students are active).