Focus Areas in the in Psychology

Personnel and Business Psychology

The Master's training programme with the research focus, Personnel and Business Psychology, comprehensively transmits psychologically-sound knowledge of the various practice areas based on relevant research findings in work and economic issues and prepares students in this way for multifaceted professional careers as psychologists (for example, in personnel selection or development, as a team or project managert, in corporate consulting, in company healthcare management or as a Change Manager in organizational development). The research and content-specific curriclua of this M.Sc. focus area are taught by the working groups, Organisational and Business Psychology (Prof. Dr. Guido Hertel), and  Work-Employment Psychology (Prof. Dr. Carmen Binnewies).

Contents of the Programme

Building upon the foundations of industrial and organisational psychology imparted in the corresponding B.Sc. programme, the M.Sc. research focus in Personnel and Business Psychology conveys, among other things, substantiated competencies in the following areas:

  • Systematic analysis and workflow design
  • Analysis of organisational processess, conducting employee surveys (e.g., online)
  • Occupational and operational safety
  • Recruitment and selection of employees (from requirement analysis to onboarding)
  • Personnel management and motivation
  • Team evaluation and development
  • Change management and organizational development
  • Techniques in moderation and conflict management
  • Concepts and processes of company healthcare management
  • Stress prevention and stress management
  • Electronic human resource management, user experience and online research
  • Methods for the evaluation of business psychological processes

At the start of the master's programme, you will aquire the necessary knowledge for the acquisition of the European 'A-license (Contractor's License)' for job-related proficiency assessment according to DIN 33430. This license makes it easier for companies to identify skilled experts forpersonnel selection procedures, and thus represents an important contribution to quality assurance. The Department for Oranisation and Business Psychology at the University of Münster is the first higher education institute to enable its students  to acquire appropriate certification according to DIN 33430.

In addition, students will develop practical approaches for dealing with current and future challenges in the workplace, for example, adaptation to demographic changes or to the growing globalization of labor. A particular focus is on the use of web-based communication and collaborative media based upon the Internet or intranets. Core modules from personnel and business psychology are meaningfully complemented by modules from other psychological disciplines (diagnosis, methodology, educational psychology, clinical psychology). Thus, it is possible for students in the context of our master's programme to aquire sufficient ECTs points in order to qualify, among others, for psychotherapy training. Furthermore, modules from related disciplines on topics such as business administration, occupational medicine and labor law round out the training program.

Research and Practice

The research focus in Personnel and Business Psychology at the University of Münster prepare students for both the requirements of professional practice and for furtue research. Our guiding concept is that of a 'scientific practitioner' who can utilize solid foundations in evidence-based knowledge to face various personnel and business psychological issues and challenges. An important source of support in this case is provided by the BFO (office for "consulting and training for organisations"), which arranges practical contacts for theses, internships, and project seminars. For example, in the first semester of the programme, lectures already take place with the involvement of corporate partners with whom research knowledge in practical concepts are implemented and reflected.  Moreover, through the orientation on international research and on scientific-based research results, in addition to the frequent inclusion of students in current research projects, the M.Sc. programme, Personnel and Business Psychology, also qualifies students for the pursuit of doctoral programmes and research-related occupations in the area of personnel and business psychology (or in industrial and organisational psychology). This is supported by the excellent international visibility and networking of teachers in the programme, which is reflected for example through the organisation of international congresses. As a result,  attractive opportunities also arise for research internships abroad.

Thesis Paper and Employment Outlooks

By linking research and practice, attractive opportunities for master's theses result in the frame of the central module in second half of the of the programme. The master thesis provides important foundations for future employment. Due to the size and diversity of the personnel and business psychology opportunities in Münster it is possible to cover themes from the entire breadth of personnel and business psychology; from laboratory studies to field studies in a practical project a company. For more information und examples for thesis papers, see  Current Topics in the AE Prof. Hertel and Theses in AE Prof. Binnewies.

The master's thesis and the integration of different practice partners into our seminars and lectures provide important guidance for exploring fields of activity and career paths in business psychology, and therefore for your future career. Contacts for internships and tips for starting your career are also offered at the Annual Career Day for Occupation and Organizational Psychology, which is carried out in collaboration with the student association, "Psychology in Business and the Media". In addition, the BFO support master's students in finding attractive internships and suitable partners for their theses.