Academic subjects and principles

Based on the efforts by the ENOP Reference Model and the Specialist EuroPsy Certificate in WOP Psychology to define the criteria for the training of WOP-P psychologists in Europe, the WOP-P Master presents the general subjects shown in Figure 1 below. The workload for students is divided into 4 semesters of 30 ECTS each.


After the orientation course (4 ECTS) dedicated to the socialization of the student in the different aspects of the WOP-P Master (competencies to be developed, ethics, scientist-practitioner, databases, electronic platform, etc.), the first year is completed with explanatory courses, free-content courses, and research training. From an explanatory perspective, students receive six courses on four parallel tracks: work psychology (8 ECTS), organizational psychology (8 ECTS), personnel psychology (4 ECTS), and methodology (4 ECTS). During the first year, students also receive two free-content courses (8 ECTS) in areas that are complementary for WOP-P psychologists (work law, economy, etc.) and necessary for their adequate professional activity. Finally, students develop 24 ECTS dedicated to research training, including the position paper (or project), the research paper (first version of the student scientific manuscript), and a specific methodology course especially related to the research work of each student.


The second year focuses on change-oriented courses and, more specifically, professional intervention in each of the four tracks: work psychology (4 ECTS); organizational psychology (4 ECTS); personnel psychology (8 ECTS); and methodology (4 ECTS). In addition, students are trained in three areas: the Joint Intensive Learning Unit (or Winter School) (12 ECTS); the Master Thesis (improved student research manuscript) (4 ECTS); professional internship (20 ECTS); and professional report (integration of theory and practice) (4 ECTS).


First, combination explanatory vs. intervention (or change oriented) approaches to the WOP-P discipline. The scientific explanatory approach is needed because WOP psychologists aim to understand and explain the reality scientifically as the basis of their professional practice. However, the activity of the WOP psychologist cannot be restricted to scientific explanation. The reality at the workplace and in organizations is usually created and modified by humans, and it is expected that WOP psychologists can professionally contribute to the change and improvement of this reality when needed. Second, The contextualized scientist-practitioner model is also a principle. The aim of grounding the interventions on evidence-based practice is fulfilled, taking into account the relevant information about the context. Third, the WOP-P Master differentiates among the three fields of the discipline: work, organizational, and personnel psychology. Fourth, the WOP-P Master permits two general employability tracks (as a practitioner; and as a researcher). However, they are not separate areas. Although roles are different for practitioners vs. researchers, mutual interaction is necessary. Fifth, the WOP-P Master combines classical contents of the discipline (e.g., personnel selection) and new-emergent topics and perspectives: sustainability, project management, humanitarian WOP psychology, etc.