Industrial Psychology

Study Industrial Psychology and gain an understanding of the thought processes that take place in the minds of people at work - improve staff motivation and performance. Study for professional development.

Course CodeBPS103
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Study Industrial Psychology to understand more about how organisations work.


Understand the psychology behind motivating staff and improving their performance. Study by Distance Learning and start at any time to suit you.

  • Study the psychology of the workplace.

  • Apply what you learn to be a better supervisor, manager or business operator.

  • Improve your skills, advance your career, improve your staff management.

  • Develop an understanding of how the psychological state of employees in the workplace, affects both their work, and their overall well-being.


Suitable for

Professional development studies for -

  • Supervisors
  • Foremen
  • Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Business owners, or anyone with a desire to better understand how people think at work.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Free Will versus Determinism
    • Developmental and Interactive Expressions of Behaviour
    • Nature versus Nurture
    • Influence of Environment on Learning Behaviour
    • Modelling and Conformity
    • Conditioning involves Certain Environmental Factors which Encourage Learning to Take Place
    • Classical Conditioning
    • Operant Conditioning
    • Reinforcement & Punishment
  2. Understanding the Employees Thinking
    • Sensation and Perception
    • Thinking and Day Dreaming
    • The Gestalt Approach
    • Unconscious and Conscious Psychic Elements
    • Explaining Behaviour
    • Knowledge of Brain Processes
    • Personal Interpretation of a Given Situation
    • Instinct
    • Terminology including: Mating, Curiosity, Maternal, Acquiring, Repulsion, Constructiveness, Rivalry, Laughter, Fighting, Walking, Swallowing, Play, Imitation, Sleep, Modesty, Domineering, Religion, Self Asserting, Sneezing, Thirst, Cleanliness, Workmanship, Parenting, Food seeking, Flight, Collecting, Sympathy.
  3. Personality & Temperament
    • Mature & Immature Temperaments (e.g. Sanguine, Melancholic, Choleric, Phlegmatic
    • Emotional Types
    • Fear
    • Intelligence
    • Knowledge
    • Deviation
  4. Psychological Testing
    • The Application Form
    • Psychological Test
    • The Interview
    • Intelligence Tests
    • Laws of Learning
    • Devising Tests
    • Selecting Appropriate Tests
  5. Management & Managers
    • Qualities of Managers
    • Understanding Morale
    • Discipline
    • Training, etc.
  6. The Work Environment
    • Noise
    • Space
    • Light
    • Temperature
    • Speed of Work, etc.
    • Accidents
    • Breakages
    • Fatigue etc.
  7. Motivation and Incentives
    • Maslow's Model of Self-Actualisation
    • Security
    • Money
    • Ambition
    • Companionship
    • Social Reinforcement
    • Labour Wastage, etc
  8. Recruitment
    • Ways of Seeking Applicants
    • Types of Interview
    • Ways of Selecting Staff
  9. Social Considerations
    • Group Behaviour
    • Conformity
    • Industrial Groups
    • The Hawthorne Effect
  10. Abnormalities and Disorders
    • Psychosis
    • Neurosis
    • Personality Disorders
    • Variance
    • Partial Disability (e.g. arm, leg injuries; epilepsy, digestive disorders etc.)
    • The Psycho Neurotic

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

What Makes a Good Manager

Managers deal with a large variety of psychological problems. The characteristics of civilised people include a capacity to discipline themselves; but some people don't properly master this.


It is necessary therefore that direction and discipline be given only by those who are capable of giving these two essentials.

Controls exerted by a person, externally by a manager, work in such a manner that they check any tendency for people to become over contented, to settle in a rut, or to take unconsidered action. It can thus be seen that managers are essential in any form of organisation.

The temperamental qualities which a manager should possess in order to carry out his duties are:

  • Energy

  • Forcefulness

  • Enterprise

  • Perseverance

  • Self confidence

  • Appearance

  • Imagination

  • Foresight

  • Planning and organisational ability

  • Willingness to receive new ideas and ability to encourage them

  • Ability to criticise

  • Ability to coordinate

  • Ability to see things in perspective

  • Ability to persuade an carry into execution

  • Ability to overcome prejudice and conservatism

  • Ability to delegate

  • Ability to supervise

  • Be tolerant and sympathetic

  • Sense of justice

  • Self control

  • Absence of bullying or any excessive love of power

  • Ability to maintain morale, respect and confidence

  • Ability to select, train and develop others

Motivating Employees

Motivation at work is an important consideration in any workplace; whether the employees are high tech experts or manual labourers.
A number of different theories have been influential in understanding workplace motivation.

Classical Management Theory

Classical management theory emerged after the American Civil War. It focuses on how to maximise employee productivity and hence profits. It considers how to find the best possible way for workers to perform their tasks in order to attain these goals. It is built on the premise that money is the main motivating factor for employees, because it is needed for food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs. 

There are two main branches within this theory:

  • Classical scientific - this is concerned with attempting to increase productivity. In its heyday, it was focused on the use of mechanical and rote methods of learning and doing work tasks to enhance organisational efficiency and productivity. Division of tasks amongst employees and standardised procedures were emphasised. 

  • Classical administrative - this is concerned with organising management to attain productivity. Some ways this can be done are by proposing a unified work direction amongst managers, through highlighting discipline, emphasising team building and bonding, and promoting fairness.

This Course Is More Than Just Learning Theory

Reading is a wonderful way to learn new things; but there's always more to learning than simply reading.

When you encounter ideas in a variety of different ways, and different situations; you will develop an ever expanding perspective on the subject you are studying.
This course involves just such a diversity in learning experiences. You will of course read things, but you will also undertake research, discuss things with different people, and observe things in different contexts, interacting with expert tutors; both broadening and deepening your understanding of psychology in the workplace, as you move through the course.

Here are examples of what you may do:

1. Discuss the following questions with one or two friends, and make notes of the answers you consider.

  • Discuss the environmental circumstances that you feel have affected your life.

  • In your opinion, to what extent are mental characteristics inherited?

  • 'In certain conditions, a committee may pass a resolution for which no member of the committee will hold themselves responsible'. What is your interpretation of the meaning of the previous statement.
  • "The environment can give or withhold the requisite stimuli for the development of mental abilities". Discuss this statement.

2. Interview at least four people. Two of these should have a management role in a business or similar organisation. Two should be involved in a non-managerial position. Ask each of them such questions as:

  • The role of morale and discipline in their workplace.

  • Do they feel that they have good morale and discipline in their workplaces? Why do they think this?

  • Who do they feel should be responsible for ensuring suitable levels of morale and discipline in their workplace (e.g. management, workplace groups, all employees, etc.)?

  • How is morale and discipline maintained in their workplace?

After Studying This Course

The study of industrial, organisational or occupational psychology is applicable to all workplaces. Since it is concerned with the health and well-being of employees and how this relates to productivity, it can be of value to business owners as much as psychologists who advise businesses on better practices. This course covers a wide range of workplace issues so that graduates will be adept in their understanding of the influence of the physical environment, personality and motivation of employees, the value of psychological testing, and the behaviour of work groups.

This course is most likely to appeal to people in the following fields:

  • Occupational psychology

  • Personnel management

  • Business coaching

  • Business management

  • Team leadership

  • Business ownership

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Workplace training


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Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Jacinda Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,
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