MSc in People and Organisational Development

Change Management Certification

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Dates are being finalised for 2020/2021 and will be published soon. Please contact us for more details


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Roffey Park’s MSc in People and Organisational Development is an innovative two-year, part-time Masters Qualification validated by the University of Sussex.

This programme deepens your theoretical knowledge and practical ability to transform organisations in a holistic way which brings the people along with you. It will increase your confidence, your personal impact, effectiveness and credibility in your role either inside an organisation or as an external consultant or change management practitioner.

Roffey Park’s unique academic approach will empower you to pursue your own study path through the programme to tailor the outcomes to your current and future needs.

This programme is for you if you are…

  • An HR professional wanting to deepen your practical skillset in organisational development. The programme helps you to develop greater awareness, knowledge and practical ability to bridge the gap between organisational development within the HR function, and organisational development and design within a top-down free-standing independent business unit. You will emerge more confident, more credible and a strong voice in ensuring your people rise to the occasion.
  • A Learning & Development and Talent manager looking to interpret the requirements of culture change and organisational transformation. This programme will give you a more systemic understanding of organisational design and will leave you with clarity, confidence and theoretical knowledge to move your people in the right direction in full collaboration with the transformation team.
  • A Transformation officer/CTO/Change lead looking for the maximum guarantee of project success. Typically, you’ll be working independently from HR and L&D functions. Your primary objective may be to implement a new structure with KPIs around delivery deadlines and financial constraints. Yet the purpose of transformation is generally one of business success. This programme opens the lid on the messy ‘people side’ of change management. It will provide you with the insight to address the human component and deliver the ultimate legacy project – a success transformation process which leads to superior business outcomes.
  • A CEO or senior director/partner in need of the full picture of the organisational change process. This programme will allow you to understand all perspectives and draw the organisation’s departments or divisions together to function effectively throughout the change process. You are possibly the one person in need of seeing a tangible, measurable increase in organisational efficiency, profitability, morale, creativity and effectiveness as opposed to just a well-executed process.
  • An Independent or Internal consultant in organisation development and change, now or in the future. As a consultant, you will be expected to demonstrate superior knowledge and expertise, and others will look to you for your calm, unflappable ability to see the bigger picture. This programme will give you that wide-ranging view of change management and all its facets, enabling you to engage with all stakeholders, from C-level executives and board members through to external or internal transformation teams, HR and L&D practitioners, business unit managers and other staff.
  • Develop how you work with organisations and people: it will challenge your assumptions, provide new tools and techniques; and improve your skills and confidence
  • Gain strategic perspective on the latest thinking around people and organisational development
  • Connect theory and practice powerfully from the start
  • Develop your analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Interact face to face and online with a community of peers, Roffey Park’s own faculty and a network of experienced OD practitioners
  • Learn how to rigorously self-assess your thinking and action, and review the work of others in a sensitive yet robust way.
  • Interact with peers through social media and an online learning platform to continue your learning set and wider community learning between monthly meetings and residentials
  • Gain a highly regarded and internationally recognised masters qualification.

The MSc represents a three-way partnership between you, your organisation and Roffey Park.

As Year One unfolds we encourage you to work with your employer to shape your learning goals for year two so that by the end, your research, dissertation and skills development outputs can directly benefit your business beyond the benefit of your significantly improved practice alone.

Programme Details

This is not a Masters programme in project management. We won’t be focused on agile, scrum, project gantt charts or other mainly top down techniques of change management (although sometimes a group asks for a session on one of these things and we would cater for it).

This is a form of change certification, but one that acknowledges that technology, structures and procedures – is only part of holistic organisational transformation. We take a broader view. You get to confront the whole messy picture, and learn how to succeed at organisational transformation in the face of that complexity, looking particularly at the human side of change and development.

This is a two-year, part-time MSc qualification which uses an exciting combination of:

  • Residential learning in our purpose-built centre at Roffey Park in Sussex
  • Unrivalled faculty contact time
  • Peer learning
  • Blended learning
  • Virtual exchange and social collaboration

Designed and delivered by highly experienced practitioners and leaders, and validated by the world renowned University of Sussex


Whilst you  will ultimately take charge of the direction and content of your programme, we start by introducing you  to the core elements and key influencers of up-to-the minute OD practice.

Input sessions are designed and delivered by practising OD professionsals and leaders including Roffey Park faculty, visiting fellows and an ever-growing network of visiting speakers. Recent speakers include established global figures such as DrMee-Yan Cheung- Judge, Professor Cliff Oswick, Professor Gervase Bushe, Professor Ralph Stacey, Dr Glenda Eoyang and Dr Naomi Stanford, as well as young rapidly rising stars such as the Corporate Rebels Pim de Moree and Jooost Minaar.


Whilst much of the programme is crafted uniquely by the cohort with help from faculty, the following are some of the building blocks of the programme which we are likely to draw on early in your course of study:

Use of Self

A command of theory, models and methods is important, but unless you have a good understanding of who you are and how your personality, history and perspective influences how you do your work and how people experience you, you will not reach your full potential. We can share various theory and methods to help you take the next steps for you in this part of your development, wherever you are starting from.


Power is everywhere in organisations and in life. It’s is not generally a word that people are comfortable with because of its negative connotations… you have power over others.

If you want to bring about change, you’re going to have to accept you’ll have to use power in order to do that. Power therefore needs to be understood, it need to be worked with, it needs to be acknowledged, and you need to build up your capability to read power within an organisation, to see where it is and how it’s manifesting.

Depending on the scenarios you’re dealing with, we might also look at gender and societal issues around the abuse of power, inequality, diversity, inclusion, presence and how this might be of interest within your context of transformation, organisation design and culture change.

Group Dynamics

No MSc programme in change, development or organisation design can be complete without looking at group dynamics. Whether you’re dealing with a small team or huge multinational organisation, you need the tools to understand the dynamics at play, not just at the task level but also what’s deep beneath the surface: Who likes who? Who disagrees with who? What are the real agendas at play? Who’s not speaking up? Who is leaving still not committed to the official plan?

In group dynamics we look at small groups and teams up to 12-15 people through to very large groups, such as entire departments, divisions or geographical regions consisting of thousands of people. We access a variety of models and approaches to help you gain better awareness and work with your organisation’s group dynamics.


Facilitation is about ensuring your organisation’s groups and teams are functioning as a healthy dynamic of people who trust and respect each other, and will continue to want to work with each other not only until the completion of the task, but also for subsequent tasks – possibly after you’ve left them to it. This is the stuff that your legacy and reputation as a transformation and organisational change expert is built on.

We can share different models of facilitation and give you the opportunity to practise and develop your own skills over the duration of the MSc programme and beyond.

Complexity Theory

Research into the science of complexity has shown how unpredictable organisational behaviour is. Just as with most contemporary natural science computer modelling, any predictive capacity in social systems breaks down over anything beyond the very short term.

In a transformation role, you may be looking for simplicity and a straightforward, bullet-proof approach to organisational design and development. But the one thing guaranteed to clog up gantt charts and challenge the success of your project is the group of unpredictable, irrational human beings this change is happening with and to. However, there are an increasing number of useful theories and methods that are helping practitioners and leaders navigate this terrain now, and we can share these.

We draw on new and emerging social research which points to ways of understanding and navigating complexity in organisations. Sometimes the very small organisational changes finish up leveraging the most significant breakthroughs in culture shift and transformation.

Diagnostic versus Dialogic Organisational Development Theory

Diagnostic OD as it is sometimes labelled today refers to the sequential, predictive, rational approach to change and development. It is still commonly applied in organisational change for good reasons: it seems more logical and straightforward and is easier to quantify and predict.

Dialogic OD theory and practice, as coined by Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak, is more iterative and adaptive, emerging from the self-organising realities created in the minds of the people in your organisation.

Dialogic Theory still uses structured approaches to manage what emerges from your people.  At its heart, a dialogic approach gives you a framework which comfortably includes the human, people-based side of the equation, and strengthens your chances of successful implementation.

Applied Leadership

Despite the continual flow of articles and best-practice recommendations on what leadership is and should be, many organisations still exhibit some or all of the classic ‘command and control’, ‘hero-based’ practices, and perhaps there’s still a place for them.

We can explore some of the theories, look at their links to power, control, risk, responsibility, engagement, motivation and productivity and seek to find leadership models and approaches which will rise to support your objectives around change and organisational transformation.

Other areas which we might draw on include:

  • Culture and culture change
  • Organisation Design
  • The role of technology in change
  • The place of data in change
  • Embodiment
  • Neuroscience
  • Social media and other technology platforms
  • Storytelling, narrative and metaphor
  • Large-group intervention methodologies
  • Action research
  • Poetry, improv and other art forms in change and development work
  • Almost anything you want, if you can make a case for its relevance




Roffey Park is taking bookings for face-to-face programmes. You can book in confidence, safe in the knowledge that if government restrictions prevent your attendance, we will transfer you to an online version of programme. We are also able to offer a range of facilitated, online learning modules on an open, in-house or bespoke basis, please contact us to find out more.

How to Contact Us

In the UK


+44 (0) 1293 854042

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In Europe


+353 (0) 87188 3370

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In Asia Pacific


+65 6386 0590

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