Organisational Development professionals put people at the heart of organisations. Together they create a positive and inclusive working environment, encouraging collaboration, removing inequality, increasing performance. OD enables people to thrive. Roffey Park’s MSc in People and Organisational Development is the leading, internationally recognised Masters level qualification in the field of organisational development.
The MSc in People and Organisational Development is designed as a practical, experiential and OD qualification. The programme is delivered through a mixture of virtually delivered taught components, online materials and self-directed group learning. The latter takes the form of Dialogic Learning Groups in which learners work together, share their experiences, provide each other feedback and expand their horizons. This form of social learning has been a speciality of Roffey Park Institute for many years and offers a powerful and impactful learning experience. Throughout the Masters in Organisational Development you will be challenged to think critically and creatively about organisations, their people and their role in the wider society.
The programme has recently been reviewed, renewed and converted into an online delivery format. In addition to the thorough grounding in organisational development practice that the Masters has long-delivered, the new version allows us to open the programme to fully international cohorts: allowing for global networking among experienced OD professionals and diversity of opinions and perspectives
The MSc in People and Organisational Development is currently undergoing a revalidation process at the University of Sussex after a full redesign. The start dates for the first cohorts on the new programme will become available once that process is complete.
Applications open on 25 January – register your interest now in the MSc in People and Organisational Development!
This organisational development masters programme is for you if you are…
An HR professional wanting to deepen your practical skillset in organisational development.
A Learning & Development and Talent manager looking to interpret the requirements of culture change and organisational transformation.
A Transformation officer/CTO/Change lead looking for the maximum guarantee of project success.
A CEO or senior director/partner in need of the full picture of the organisational change process.
An Independent or Internal consultant in organisation development and change, now or in the future.
Our faculty team are experienced OD professionals with expertise across private, public and not for profit sectors. They have international experience in working with clients in the field of organisational development, leadership, management and HR.
Benefits for you
You will graduate with a Masters qualification in organisational development, an internationally recognised qualification, which will grow your impact and career as an OD professional.
Express a thorough knowledge of Organisational Development theory and its evolution.
Critically analyse change dynamics within an organisation
Function as a professional OD practitioner
Lead the application of group dynamics and dialogic methods as key OD tools
Critically analyse and demonstrate the relationship between Organisational Development and Organisational Design
Develop and critically evaluate plans for OD interventions
Generate and integrate a variety of media and materials to build a reflective OD portfolio.
Build an international network of OD contacts.
Academic Reading and Writing
This module develops the essential skills and understanding of the reading and writing requirements for the Masters programme. At the end of the module, you will:
Be able to express yourself clearly and confidently in plain English in writing and orally
Construct an accurate and complete bibliography
Cite secondary works accurately
Write without committing plagiarism accidentally or deliberately
People and Dialogic Practice
This module introduces the principles of dialogic practice and the specific function of the Dialogic Learning Group (DLG) in developing OD strategies and implementing them. Learners will be provided with opportunities to practice the key skills associated with dialogue in their DLG, work as a group to generate an OD plan and to interrogate the differences between diagnostic and dialogic OD. At the end of this module, you will:
Be able to articulate the principles of dialogic practice and the difference between dialogic and diagnostic OD
Use dialogic practice to generate organisational development solutions
Translate the findings of a DLG into an OD plan
Mapping the Field of OD
This module introduces learners to the history and development of organisational development theory and practice. It examines what OD brings to the world of work and analyses the underpinning values and key characteristics that inform OD practice. At the end of this module, you will:
Write a critical overview of the field of organisational development
Assess the contributions of several founders of OD
Contextualise your own practice in the wider field and history of OD
Be able to articulate the importance of the different theories that shape OD practice
This module analyses and explores the significance of change expertise in the development of effective OD solutions. Learners will be introduced to the psychology of change and how to manage the response of people in organisations to transformation. At the end of this module, you will:
Articulate the core concepts in the psychology of change
Analyse an OD plan to identify those areas mostly likely to create tension and anxiety
Develop a people and change strategy that explains how change anxiety can be mitigated
Use the DLG to explore the peer group’s experience of managing people through change
Values and Influence
This module explores the importance of values and influence in developing OD solutions. Values are explored from a n umber of perspectives including OD practitioner values, the link between personal values and underlying values of OD and the challenge for some organisations to live their values. To influence and implement an OD solution, key skills will be addressed (including communication, negotiation, unconscious bias and influencing) so you can implement an OD intervention and bring people along with you. At the end of this module, you will:
Be able to articulate how values can impact OD practice
Understand how to handle a conflict of values in the Dialogic Learning Group
Be able to demonstrate in practice the use of influencing techniques
This module explores the different dimensions of organisational consulting in the analysis, design and delivery of development interventions within an organisation. Learners will use their own experience and that of their DLG to reflect on their own practice, develop their consulting style and mitigate unconscious bias in complex consultancy. At the end of this module, you will:
Be able to articulate the principles of organisational consulting in practice
Be able to explain the appropriate uses of organisational consulting approaches
Articulate the potential impact and influence of unconscious bias in consulting
Be able to demonstrate reflective practice in organisational consulting
Case Study 1
During this module you will develop a reflective case study of an organisational development process either in your own organisation or in another by research). This case study should focus on ways in which values and influence have (or have not) been deployed effectively in the process. At the end of this module, you will:
Develop a critical case study of OD in practice
Analyse the importance of values and influence in the case study
Use the DLG to receive, accept and mobilise critical formative feedback to their peer group.
Case Study 2
This module requires you to develop a reflective case study of an organisational development process (either in their own organisation or in another by research). The Case Study is conducted largely by individual learning but brought to and discussed in the DLG at two points during the module for both ideas exchange and formative feedback. Case Study 2 should focus on the ways in which change expertise and the techniques of organisational consulting have (or have not) been deployed effectively in the process. At the end of the module, you will:
Develop a critical case study of OD in practice
Analyse the importance of change expertise in the success or failure of the Case Study
Analyse the importance of organisational consulting techniques in the success or failure of the Case Study
Use the DLG to provide critical formative feedback
Accept and mobilise critical feedback from your DLG to create a completed Case Study
Research Methods and Ethics
This module prepares learners for their portfolio research by outlining and practising key research methods – both qualitative and quantitative. Learners will practice interview techniques within their DLGs, complete data analysis tasks, and map out research proposals and delivery plans. The module will cover the research ethics process and take each learner through it for their project. At the end of the module, you will:
Successfully complete the formal research ethics process
Articulate the main research methods available to you
Develop a detailed research proposal including a draft methodology
Conduct original research using appropriate research methods
Working independently and with formative support through their DLG, you will research and create a dissertation/portfolio. The portfolio element is curated you from the assessment outputs over the programme. You will then develop a reflective dissertation, combining the findings from the portfolio with original research to explore your personal learning journey over the programme, any ways in which your OD practice has changed as well as a development plan for you and/or your organisation.
Dialogic Learning Groups
Dialogic Learning Groups are a key element of the MSc in People and Organisational Development. Dialogic practice is also a key OD methodology so practising it over the extended period of the programme is important experiential training. Activity within the DLG will be monitored and course mentors will periodically check in on the group but most DLG meetings will be learner-led. This is an important element to the Masters programme as the DLGs will become strong professional networking hubs for learners. Each DLG is given access to course mentors which enables them to access advice and guidance from the faculty team when they need it, but without comprising the autonomy of the DLG itself.
Programme Start Date and Fees
The MSc in People and Organisational Development is currently undergoing a revalidation process at the University of Sussex after a full redesign. The start dates for the first cohorts on the new programme will become available once that process is complete
Our MSc in People and Organisational Development is delivered online over the course of two years.
Start date: March 2021 – dates will be confirmed when applications open
Course Entry Requirements
To qualify for entry to the MSc in People and Organisational Development will need to hold at least a lower second (2.2) UK Bachelor’s degree or international equivalent. As this is a professional organisational development masters, you will need to demonstrate that you have at least four years relevant business/industrial experience (this need not be in OD). If you do not have these qualifications but believe that this is the course for you, please apply and we will conduct an interview process to ensure that the programme would be right for you. The programme is taught entirely in internationally accessible English, but if English is not your first language you will need to hold a minimum IELTS 6.0, with at least a 6.5 in writing.
Applications for the Masters in People and Organisational Development
Applications open on 25 January. You will be asked to complete an application form to demonstrate your experience. We may interview you tp ensure that the programme would be right for you.
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