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 Code: BPS103
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement 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

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

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We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

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 Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

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, editing, education, psychology, and business. Tracey has several books and hundreds of articles published; in both fiction and non fiction.

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 for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Michael Brugman

Mike is a graduate of Rhodes University and has experience in the Earth Science field. His working experience includes working as a consultant in geology, environmental and atmospheric science.

More recently he has been focused on research and academia including research interests in areas such as air quality and carbon emissions.

Jade Sciascia

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

Lyn Quirk

Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

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