It is common for many psychology students, when they begin their degree, to think about becoming clinical psychologists. However, as the degree progresses, they realize that there are other fields of work that can be accessed as a psychologist.

Currently, one of the most successful is the psychology of work and organizations, in which many psychologists become part of the human resources department of a company.

  • If you want to know which are the best Masters in Psychology, you can visit our article: “The 20 best Masters in Psychology”

Organizational Psychology and Human Resources are not the same

Many may think that being an organizational psychologist is the same as being a human resources professional, and it is not exactly so. Both disciplines are related, but there are some differences.

To begin with, to be a human resources professional you don’t need to be a psychologist. Instead, an organizational psychologist is a psychologist who has specialized in organizations. .


Functions of the occupational and organizational psychologist

Work and organizational psychologists can not only work in the human resources department, but can also perform their duties at the management level or in the area of commercial research and marketing.

This means that its areas of research and intervention are very varied. For example, they can work on team building by improving the way in which a team coordinates itself and gets the best out of its members , or they can detect errors in the organisation of work on a day-to-day basis (which leads to a loss of time and resources), they can participate in the selection of personnel through interviews and the use of personality and competence tests, or they can participate in the improvement of the working climate.

On the other hand, they can direct processes of studying the consumer and the purchase behavior , in the design of a brand or product, or tracking market niches with potential buyers and consumers.

In addition, are experts in occupational health (e.g., stress reduction or burnout) and in intervention in this area, and possess skills for the detection and manipulation of psychological variables related to work performance and productivity. For example, role conflict, motivation, feeling of belonging to an organization, etc.

And… what are the functions of the Human Resources department?

If you have recently finished your degree in psychology, it is important that you know this distinction in order to know if you want to study a master’s degree in organizational or human resources psychology. Generally, the admission criteria are different .

For example, students of Labor Relations or ADE (Business Administration and Management) are a very competent profile to enter a postgraduate course in human resources, but the same does not apply to a postgraduate course in organizational psychology, where it is necessary to be a psychologist.

This is mainly because the Human Resources department not only performs recruitment or training functions, but can also carry out collective bargaining or tasks such as payroll management. In short, in a master’s degree in human resources, in addition to subjects related to psychology, other subjects such as labour and trade union law or personal taxation are also taught.

Best Masters in Organizational Psychology and Human Resources

If you are a psychologist (or student) and you find this field of application attractive, in this article you will find a list of the best Masters in Organizational Psychology and Human Resources .

This ranking has been elaborated following the criteria of some specialized institutions according to their recommendations, and the training actions shown below do not follow an order, but all are considered of excellent quality.

1. University Master’s Degree in Talent Selection and Management (UMA)

  • Faculty or school: University of Málaga
  • Location : Malaga
  • Duration: 15 months
  • Price: 3,750 euros

This Master’s Degree promoted by the University of Málaga is an excellent option for training in the two fundamental pillars of Human Resources: selection and management of talent in the teams of workers that make up the organisation.

While many other training programs focus only on the former, this one considers the promotion and retention of talent a key aspect that allows the development of viable projects capable of growing and generating products and services with the appropriate added value, without depending on the constant recruitment of new personnel.

On the other hand, in the University Master’s Degree in Talent Selection and Management , the most useful practical and technical aspects in everyday life , such as recruitment processes, the establishment of compensation systems or the management of payrolls, also receive the attention they deserve, so that students do not have any unpleasant surprises when they launch themselves into the world of work (for which the practices associated with this Master’s Degree are also useful).

  • To see more information about this specialization and professionalization program, click here.

2. Erasmus Mundus Interuniversity Master’s Degree in the Psychology of Work, Organizations and Human Resources (WOP-P)

  • Center: Various
  • Location: Various
  • Duration: 2 courses
  • Price: 5,200 euros

The Master’s Degree in Work, Organizational and Human Resource Psychology (WOP-P) is one of the best in this field. It is part of the Erasmus Mundus Program (European Union) and has the highest level of excellence. Not only is it ideal for acquiring specific knowledge and skills and the best professional aptitude, but it also allows its students to develop research skills to take advantage of their full potential in this field.

The master’s degree is taught at seven universities: Universidad de Valencia, Universidad de Barcelona, Università di Bologna (Italy), Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal), Université René Descartes Paris V (France), University of Guelph (Canada) and Universidade de Brasilia (Brazil). It has a duration of 120 ECTS credits, and it is compulsory to study one semester in another university in addition to the home university. Classes are taught in English for this reason.

3. University Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management (UAM)

  • Faculty or school: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Location: Madrid
  • Duration: 1.5 courses
  • Price: –

This master’s degree is official and lasts 90 ECTS credits. The Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid has been designed to provide advanced training of excellence to its students. Its curriculum is planned for in-depth study, both theoretical and practical, in the different professional areas of Human Resources, and takes into account the entire organizational and social environment, from a comprehensive and strategic approach.

4. Master’s Degree in the Psychology of Work, Organizations and Human Resource Management (UCP)

  • Faculty or school: Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Location: Madrid
  • Duration: 2 courses
  • Price: 3,200 euros (approx.)

Another of the most recognized masters in organizational psychology in Spain . It was introduced in 2007 and since then has been a great success. The central axes of the training are to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to develop a good professional function in the specific areas of intervention in Work and Organizational Psychology. The Master consists of 60 ECTS credits and its price is approximately 3,200 euros.

5. Master’s Degree in Management and Development of People and Teams in Organizations (UB)

  • Faculty or school: University of Barcelona
  • Location: Barcelona
  • Duration: 2 courses
  • Price: 3,000 euros (approx.)

The University Master’s Degree in Management and Development of People and Teams in Organizations (GDO) is a program aimed at those people who want to continue their professional career in the field of managing people and groups within the company environment. The training action allows its students to achieve the necessary training to be able to incorporate a correct methodology in professional practice, and also promotes clear and practical handling of the techniques of analysis and psychosocial intervention in the organizational environment.

6. University Master’s Degree in Organizational and Labour Psychology

  1. Faculty or school: University of Seville
  2. Location: Seville
  3. Duration: 2 courses
  4. Price: 2.631 ?

The University Master’s Degree in Organizational and Work Psychology at the University of Seville is the cheapest option on the list, as the total price is 2,631 euros. Its duration is 90 ECTS credits and its main objective is to convert its students into competent professionals in Organizational, Labor and Human Resources Psychology. This master’s degree also provides knowledge of the most current trends endorsed by the scientific community.

7. Human Resources Management

  • Center: Carlos III University
  • Location: Madrid
  • Duration: 1 course
  • Price: 9000 ?

This master’s degree provides advanced training in the field of human resources and provides the knowledge and skills required for professional activity in this sector. The University Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management at Carlos III University is unique in that it offers students three options for studying it.

These include the Madrid option, the Madrid-London option and the Madrid-Paris option. In other words, the master’s degree can be taken in two other European cities in addition to Madrid. In case of choosing this last alternative, and once the master’s degree has been completed, students will receive the degree from the Carlos III University of Madrid and also the degree from the European university where they have done the mobility. The master’s degree is taught in English.

8. Master in Human Resources Management

  • Center: UNED
  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 1 course
  • Price: 4,992

The director of human resources is nowadays one of the key figures in companies, and that is why the Universidad Nacional a Distancia (UNED) decided to give the Master in Human Resources Management in Companies . Hundreds of students have benefited from this training programme, because it is an ideal option for those people who are working and want to study a master’s degree online.

  • Related article: “Online training: 7 advantages and 7 disadvantages of learning online”

9. Master in Human Resources Management in Organizations

  • Faculty or school: Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Location: Barcelona
  • Duration: 1 course
  • Price: 3,600 euros

The main objective of this master’s degree is for students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to help them to be competent in the field of human resources in organizations. After completing the master’s degree, the most frequent career opportunities for students are as technicians in the selection, training and development of people within private and public companies. The Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona is one of the best Spanish universities, as it is in the 101-151 range of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015.

  • Related article: “The 10 best universities to study Psychology in Spain”

10. Master in Managing People in Organizations

  • Faculty or school: University of Navarra
  • Location: Navarra
  • Duration: 1 course
  • Price:17,856

This master’s degree is a great alternative for training and qualifying oneself in the management of people within the organizational environment. Unlike other postgraduate courses in this area, the Master’s in Management of People in Organizations pays special attention to strategic management and also offers students a specific module on business and another on innovation. It is an expensive master’s degree, but of the highest quality. In addition, for one week, students travel to IESE Business School in Barcelona to broaden their knowledge in the area of “Management Skills”.