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Duration (approx) 1000 hours
Qualification Foundation Diploma
Study Organisational Diploma and Learn more about making the workplace more effective and employers happier in their work.

Organisational psychology examines people at working and using a range a psychological disciplines, it advises how to 

  • optimally manage and utilise personnel
  • improve the functioning of organisations
  • ensure the maximum wellbeing of workers.

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Take a diploma level course in organisational psychology as a starting point to improved career prospects
  • Learn about how Workplaces function - the people and the processes, and how to improve the functioning.
  • This knowledge is valuable to anyone in a workplace context from personnel managers to business owners, and marketing staff to careers advisors. 
Learn more about -
  • Selection, supervision and training of personnel
  • Managing and organising employees
  • Motivating and improving morale
  • Developing tests for personnel selection
  • Study and provide training for management communication and effectiveness
  • Relate all of the above to increasing production and efficiency
This is a practical course that produces graduates with skills that can be directly applied to the workplace.
The Foundation Diploma in Organisational Psychology is comprised of 5 core, and 5 elective modules. This allows the student to specialise in an area that most interest them.
Core Modules
Elective Modules
Select 5 from the list below
More on the Core Modules

Industrial Psychology 

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 (eg. Sanguine, Melancholic, Choleric, Phlegmatic), emotional types, fear, intelligence, knowledge, deviation, etc
  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 (eg. 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.

Introduction to Psychology 

There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

  1. The nature and scope of Psychology - Different approaches to psychology. It's all common sense isn't it? Key issues in psychology, free will and determinism, applying psychology, developing questionnaires.
  2. Neurological basis of behaviour - Structures of the nervous system, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, how nerves transmit messages, the brain and method, methods of investigating the brain, brain damage, the strange case of Phineas Gage, split brain operations, localisation of function.
  3. Environmental effects on behaviour - Learning and behaviour, modelling, conditioning, extinction, punishment, learning and memory, memory improvement strategies,
  4. Consciousness and perception - Status of consciousness in psychology, nature of consciousness, relationship between consciousness and perception, unconscious and subconscious, altered state of consciousness, day dreams, sleeping and dreaming, chemically altered perception, perception, selective attention, factors affecting perception, perceptual biases.
  5. Personality - Theories of personality, personality traits, theoretical approaches to human personality, id, ego and superego, Oedipus Complex, Electra Complex, psychological defence mechanisms, genes and personality, personality disorders, multi-trait theories.
  6. Psychological development - Nature vs nurture, environment and development, stages of development, moral development, psychosexual development, psychosocial development, adolescence, adult psychological development, criticisms of stage theories.
  7. Needs, drives and motivation - motivation, behaviourist theories of human motivation, drives, Maslow's theory of human motivation, complementary and conflicting motives.


Personnel Management 

This course contains nine lessons, as follows:

1. Human behaviour

  • Individual and group behaviour
  • Perception
  • Gestalt theory of perception
  • Influences on perception: behaviour, appearance, expectations, primary effect, attribution, schemas
  • Perception and reality
  • Selective attention
  • Central traits
  • Attribution
  • Kelley's theory of attribution
  • Changing perceptions
  • Defence mechanisms
  • Psychologically healthy individuals
  • Influences on human behaviour
  • Socialisation
  • Family influence
  • Influence of school
  • Influence of peers
  • Influence of society 

2. Workplace communications

  • Communication defined
  • Variables affecting communication: context, nature and quality of the transmitted message and the received message
  • Effective communication
  • Listening effectively 
  • Giving clear instructions

3.Workplace conditions

  • Unions
  • Duty of care
  • Workplace safety
  • Costs of illness and injury
  • Lifting and manual handling
  • Protective equipment
  • Workplace bullying and violence
  • Workplace design; physical and psychological factors
  • Colour
  • Office landscaping

4. Controlling Operations

  • Supervising staff: listening, informing, leading
  • Managing a project
  • Applying standards
  • Monitoring performance
  • Regulating progress
  • Giving directives and introducing change
  • Dealing with contingencies
  • Developing contingency plans
  • Problem solving methodology
  • Stock control
  • Quality control
  • Production control
  • Labour utilisation control
  • Financial control

5. Recruitment and Induction

  • Advertising a position
  • Interviewing
  • Interview guidelines
  • Interview questions
  • Types of questions

6. Staff training

  • Responsibilities of a trainer
  • Factors affecting learning: Attention, intelligence, self esteem. etc
  • How we learn
  • Memory
  • Assessing training needs
  • Sources of information for a needs assessment
  • Communication skills for trainers
  • Body language
  • Reasons that people do not learn -communication barriers
  • Developing conversation
  • Effective questioning
  • Motivating learners
  • Principles of learning
  • Adult learners

7. Work teams

  • Conformity -Heider's Balance Theory
  • Different styles of handling conflict
  • Delegation
  • Delegation situations: High Experience/Low Motivation; High Experience/High Motivation etc
  • Conflict handling techniques
  • Dealing with anger (in yourself and in others)
  • Negotiation
  • Joint problem solving approach
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation problems

8. Positive Discipline

  • Static and dynamic principle
  • Giving praise
  • Enforcing rules
  • The disciplinary interview
  • Changing behaviour -classic and operant conditioning
  • Reinforcement
  • Punishment

9. Grievances and Complaints

  • Detecting a problem
  • Guidelines for dealing with grievances
  • Reducing grievances
  • Applying the formal problem solving technique

10. Monitoring and Reporting

  • Monitoring performance
  • Observation
  • Regular review
  • Scheduled evaluations
  • Report writing
  • Work study
  • Techniques of work study
  • Work measurement 

Psychology and Counselling
There are seven lessons in the course.

1. Stress

  • Introduction
  • The mind to body connection
  • How to recognise stress
  • What happens to the body when you experience stress
  • The physiological response
  • Chronic and acute stress
  • Erikson's psycho social stages
  • Oral sensory stage
  • Anal muscular stage
  • Genital locomotor stage
  • Latency stage
  • Adolescence
  • Young adulthood
  • Middle adulthood
  • Late adulthood
  • Social adjustment
  • Relationship between stress and heart disease
  • What are the basic sources of stress
  • Why some people suffer more
  • How to deal with stress
  • Defence mechanisms

2. Abnormal Behaviour

  • Definition of abnormality
  • Deviation from statistical norms
  • Deviation from social norm
  • Maladaptiveness in behaviour
  • Personal distress
  • Disability
  • Wakefield's harmful dysfunction concept
  • Psychologically healthy individuals
  • Deviation in character
  • Classification of mental disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Prevalence of depression
  • Treatment of depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance related disorder
  • Disorders diagnosed in childhood
  • Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic and Cognitive disorders
  • Problems with classification

3. Individual Behaviour

  • Pro social or Altruistic behaviour
  • When do children first exhibit pro social behaviour
  • Socialisation
  • Conformity
  • Family influence
  • Disciplinary measures
  • Sibling influence
  • Influence of family structure
  • Influence of school
  • Praise
  • Influence of peers
  • Heider's Balance theory
  • Dissonance theory
  • Cognitive dissonance

4. Group Behaviour

  • Social considerations
  • Temporary group
  • Organised group
  • Organisational groups
  • The influence of groups
  • Industrial groups

5. Methods of Dealing with Abnormalities

  • Professionals in counselling and psychology
  • Therapist techniques
  • Transference
  • Directiveness and non directiveness
  • Systematic Desensitisation
  • Behaviour therapies
  • Psychoanalytical approach
  • Psychoanalytic techniques
  • Humanistic therapy
  • Eclectic approach

6. Conflict Resolution

  • Introduction
  • Conflict handling techniques
  • Anger
  • Negotiation
  • Joint problem solving
  • Problems with negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Procedure
  • Running a mediation process in a conflict situation
  • Agreements or contracts
  • Suggested timetable for a mediation session

7. Interpersonal Communication Skills

  • Introduction
  • Communication channels
  • Effective communication
  • Awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Hearing verbal messages
  • Perceiving non verbal messages
  • Responding
  • Verbal and non verbal communication
  • Body language
  • Communication barriers
  • Self awareness
  • Self esteem
  • Specific skills: listening, paraphrasing, reflective responses, etc
  • Conversation development
  • Professional relationship building

Counselling Skills I


The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

1. Learning specific skills:

  • What is Counselling?
  • Perceptions of Counselling
  • Differences between Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists
  • Counselling Theories
  • Empathy
  • Transference
  • Directiveness, non directiveness
  • Behavioural Therapies
  • Systematic Desensitisation
  • Positive Reinforcement and Extinction
  • Goals of Psychoanalytical Approach
  • Defence Mechanisms (Repression, Displacement, Rationalisation, Projection, Reaction Formulation, Intellectualisation, Denial, Sublimation)
  • Use of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy
  • Psychoanalytic Techniques
  • Analytic Framework
  • Free Associations
  • Interpretation
  • Dream Analysis
  • Resistance & Transference
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Therapies and Counsellors
  • Case Studies
  • Methods of Learning
  • Micro Skills
  • Triads
  • Modelling
  • Online and Telephone Counselling
  • Telemental Health
  • Clinical Considerations


2. Listening & bonding:

  • Scope of Listening and Bonding
  • Meeting and greeting
  • Creating a Safe Environment
  • Location
  • Time and Duration of Sessions
  • Privacy in Telephone and online counselling
  • Showing warmth on the phone
  • The contract
  • Helping the client relax
  • Listening with intent
  • Minimal Responses
  • Non Verbal Behaviour
  • Use of Voice
  • Use of Silence
  • Case Studies
  • Active Listening
  • Dealing with Silent Phone Calls


3. Reflection:

  • Non Directive Counselling
  • Paraphrasing
  • Feelings
  • Reflection of Feeling
  • Client Responses to Reflection of Feelings
  • Reflection of Content and Feeling
  • Case Studies


4. Questioning:

  • Open & Closed Questions
  • Other types of Questions (Linear, Information seeking, Strategic, Reflective, Clarification, etc)
  • Questions to Avoid
  • Goals of Questioning
  • Identification
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Case Studies


5. Interview techniques:

  • Summarising
  • Application
  • Confrontation
  • Reframing
  • Case Studies
  • Perspective
  • Summary


6. Changing beliefs and normalising:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Changing Self-Destructive Beliefs
  • Irrational Beliefs
  • Normalising
  • Case Studies
  • Designing a Questionnaire


7. Finding solutions:

  • Moving Forward
  • Choices (Reviewing, Creating, Making choices)
  • Facilitating Actions
  • Gestalt Awareness Circle
  • Psychological Blocks
  • Case Study


8. Ending the counselling:

  • Terminating the session
  • Closure
  • Further Meetings
  • Dependency
  • Confronting Dependency
  • Chronic Callers
  • Terminating Silent Phone Calls
  • Silent Endings
  • Case Study
  • Other Services



Make Sure the Job Suits the Person Doing it

Personality is an important consideration at work. Everyone who starts a job, already has certain personality traits that will affect how they approach their work.

  • Sometimes, existing personality traits will contribute to making them an effective worker.
  • A problem can arise though, if the person's natural tendencies are to do things in a way that is incompatible with the work required.

Studying a course like this can make a big difference to improving your ability to get the right person for the right job.

Some aspects of personality are closely linked to body language. For example, consider body posture. A person who holds themself inwards, who looks down a lot, stoops and walks slowly is probably quite introverted. This means that they are likely to be more withdrawn. This type of person might not be ideal as a receptionist or to take on a role as a dynamic team leader, but they could be ideal as in ideas person for the advertising or strategic marketing division of a business, or they might excel in website design or conducting market research. Conversely, someone who holds their head up and their shoulders backwards and who strides around the office booming in a loud voice may well be more of an extrovert. They could be the dynamic team leader and staff motivator you are seeking but they may flounder if taken on to write promotional material for the business, to upkeep the business website or to operate in an environment where they have little interaction with others.            

Work ethic is another consideration. It's not the same as motivation which was reviewed in the last chapter, but is more concerned with conscientiousness. It refers to a tendency to put a lot of effort into work. For some workers, their job is significant and they are likely to complete tasks efficiently and make suggestions for other tasks or areas of work. They are highly involved in what they are doing. Those with a lower work ethic may be less efficient. They might complete tasks past deadlines and with minimal effort. Generally, those with lower work ethic will need higher levels of supervision. However, work ethic is not necessarily a fixed trait. Sometimes an employee can become less interested in their work because it becomes too monotonous or familiar to them. They may stagnate for a while but finding new and different tasks for them to undertake and providing training for new skills can reignite their work ethic. 

Perfectionism is an interesting personality trait which can be a help to an organisation. If you are recruiting someone it may be something you'd like in an employee, but not always. Someone who is fastidious is likely to put a lot of care and attention into a work project. They are likely to pick up on errors and scrutinise their work thoroughly. This can be extremely useful for projects like editing written work, company letters and documents, in problem solving, and website design. However, such great attention to detail might not be advantageous when an organisation needs people to work swiftly on a project or they need someone to come up with ideas or visions for future directions where the emphasis is more about creating suggestions rather than supplying miniscule details. In reality, most organisations benefit from a mixture of employees who can attend to fine details and those who are better suited to looking at the bigger picture. 

There are other personality traits and types which may be suitable for an organisation or individual employer to consider. For example:

  • Compatibility - similar personalities might work well together. Sometimes opposites can provide different and complementary attitudes and approaches to work.
  • Lateral thinkers - some people are able to think outside the box. They are often creative types who are capable of coming up with novel and new ideas and inventive solutions to problems.   
  • Sociability - some people are more sociable and able to build friendships within the workplace. They may be the type that others will seek out for help and advice.
  • Agreeableness – people with this trait want to be liked by others. They are co-operative and attempt to form good working relationships with others. The downside is they don’t like to upset others and so are not always good at giving or taking criticism. They are quite unlike their polar opposites who can be quite antisocial and are not concerned by what others think of them.
  • Openness – some workers are much more inclined to try new things and are open to new ideas. This is very useful in new businesses and smaller organisations.
  • Emotionality – people who are relatively stable emotionally may be more reliable in high stress work environments. Those who are emotionally charged may work well in roles which require passion such as design, charities, welfare and human rights.   

Personality variables can be important whether looking for part time or full time workers, and whether in a home or workplace environment. They may also be something to consider when recruiting someone to be part of a team since any new member will change the dynamics of the whole group. In small businesses, choosing the wrong personality type may have greater repercussions since workers interact more closely with one another. It should be noted though that most people will fall somewhere between the extremes for most personality traits. They may show a tendency to lean one way in some situations, but veer in the opposite direction in others. Also, each personality trait may have its advantages in some instances. Therefore, awareness of individual differences may go a long way in helping to make a wise recruitment decision, but it is not the only consideration..  

Whilst occupational psychology can be a complex field, it can be useful knowledge for anyone working with people or wanting to employ people or use people for particular projects or work.  Getting the best out of people in their work performance can be an important part in the success of any business. 



Study organisational psychology with this diploma level course.
Take five core modules including industrial psychology, introduction to psychology, counselling skills, personnel management, psychology and counselling.
Then choose five elective modules from a list to suit YOUR requirements.





Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 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.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy

Check out our eBooks

Working With PeopleAre you a "people person" looking for a job; or a better understanding of careers that might suit you? If so, this book was written for YOU!
LeadershipWhat makes a good leader? Is it an innate personality trait or a skill that can be acquired? This book is an excellent guide to the theories and practice of leadership. It is full of interesting facts about social dynamics and examples of leadership styles. For those who are curious or in need of some leadership skills, this book will provide both entertainment and advice.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.