PSYCHOL 4308 - Organisational Psychology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

The objective of this course is to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of organisational psychology in its historical context and of some of the contemporary issues important for psychologists working and conducting research in organisations. The course also covers contemporary organisational topics in organisations; the nature and role of leadership; and organisational culture and fit.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 4308
    Course Organisational Psychology
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to B.Psychological Science (Honours) and B. Psychology (Advanced) (Honours) students only
    Assessment Mid-semester test and final essay-based examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Daniel Sturman

    Other Academic Staff
    Dr Jaime Auton
    Ph - 8313 7464
    Location: Room 726, Level 7, Hughes Building

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge in organisational psychology, including a discussion of its historical origins and development

    2. Examine critically the conceptual and theoretical frameworks relating to organisational psychology

    3. Review critically contemporary organisational psychology topics

    4. Evaluate critically the nature of leadership and its role and development within organisations

    5. Examine critically the role of organisational culture and fit in relation to organisational functioning, staff satisfaction and retention
    and organisational performance

    6. Explain how basic organisational psychology intervention strategies can be applied across a range of organisational contexts
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    1,2, 3, 6

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    References for use in class will be presented via the online Canvas course and distributed in class.
    Recommended Resources
    Barr Smith Library – Psychology on the Web The Library is a major resource centre for students. The Research Librarian
    for Psychology, Maureen Bell, provides some useful information through the Internet at The website contains a list of databases, links to tutorials and help with searching methods.For additional information regarding recommended resources please refer to the Honours Program Handbook at the following link:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The six 2 hour seminars will be conducted in face-to-face mode with additional content available via MyUni.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lectures:  6 x 2 hours  = 12 hours
    Mid-semester exercise: 20 hours
    Exam preparation:  30 hours
    Independent reading:  85 hours
    Final exam: 3 hours


    Learning Activities Summary

    SEMINAR 1     
    Groups and Teamwork 


    Organisational Culture

    Stress and Performance

    Human Factors

    The role of the Organisational Psychologist

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment for this course will comprise a multiple choice test to be undertaken within the School of Psychology (30%) and a final essay-based examination (70%) to be administered by the School of Psychology (see the Psychology Honours Handbook for details).

    Assessment Detail
    The mid-semester exercise is a multiple choice test (1 hour). Questions will cover each of the topics covered and will require an understanding of knowledge gained in each seminar.

    The examination (3 hours) will include a question from each of the topics of the course presented in two sections. You will be required to answer 3 questions in total (with at least one question from each of the two sections). Questions will require advanced conceptual knowledge concerning each topic and a demonstration of independent reading and/ or research. 

    For additional information regarding assessment please refer to the Honours Psychology Handbook and the Undergraduate Program Handbook at the following link:
    All submissions will be made electronically via MyUni. Details on assessment for this course will be presented in the seminar in week 1.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.