Explore workplace culture and conflict from a psychological perspective.

If you want to make positive change and manage cultural differences and conflict issues within any organisation, you need to understand the reasons for human behaviour.

Join our psychologists online to explore human behaviour at work. You’ll examine:

  • the role of culture and impact of cultural variation on organisations
  • the causes of conflict at work, its effects on workers, safety and performance
  • strategies to help manage and avoid conflict in the workplace.

Study with us anywhere, online, with academics and active researchers from our School of Psychology. And set your own study hours on this flexible short course that fits around full-time work.

Who is this online psychology course for?

This distance-learning course is for anyone keen to understand and manage the factors influencing human interactions within their company or organisation.

You do not need a background or qualification in psychology to join this course.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards either of these postgraduate qualifications.

What you’ll study

You’ll study two areas vital for the performance and safety of organisations and their workers: culture and conflict.

Culture: ‘The way we do things around here’

  • Organisational culture and norms are the implicit rules or guidelines around accepted behaviours within an organisation.
  • Organisational safety culture is the shared perception of safety, guidelines and hazards.

Together, these should guide employee behaviour and interactions.

But there are other cultural influences that impact our perceptions and worker interactions. In this first half of the course, you’ll focus on these four culture types:

  • Organisational culture.
  • Safety culture.
  • Professional culture.
  • National culture.

Looking at the latest research literature, including Human Factors research, you’ll examine:

  • the impact each culture type has on worker effectiveness and safety
  • cultural influences within accident reports
  • cultural influences within your own job role and organisation, to better understand how these cultural issues play out in practice.


In the second half of the course, you’ll focus on issues surrounding conflict and resolution in the workplace:

  • Sources of conflict – including differences in staff values, needs, opinions or goals.
  • Incivility and rudeness.
  • Harassment and bullying.
  • Conflict management and resolution.

Research indicates that conflict in the workplace can have a range of adverse impacts, from emotional distress to performance reduction – including increased errors and reduced levels of safety.

You’ll use the latest research to examine each aspect of workplace conflict. We’ll also cover the impact on worker well-being, job satisfaction and performance.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of both culture (organisational, safety, professional, national) and conflict in a workplace setting.
  • Evaluate the impact of cultural variation on employee behaviour (including non-technical skills) within the workplace.
  • Evaluate the impact of conflict on employee behaviour and wellbeing within the workplace.
  • Reflect on culture and conflict within your own organisation in order to conceptualise both factors in practice.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning organisational psychology course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

The course is taught at Masters level.

Your teaching

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • video lectures to stream or download
  • slide shows
  • quizzes
  • reading materials – including journal articles and latest research
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from experienced academics and active researchers from our School of Psychology.

Your course coordinator

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Build your learning

This course is part of our series of online workplace psychology courses.

Use these short courses to build your skills and earn more credits towards postgraduate qualifications:

All these online courses are part-time and fit around full-time work.


In today’s global economy, with multicultural organisations and teams, understanding culture and its impact on staff behaviour is more important than ever.

Completing this online organisational psychology course will help you:

  • better understand people, teams and organisations
  • make positive change towards managing cultural differences and conflict within any organisation
  • progress in a career in Human Factors
  • move towards a career in Human Factors consultation.

You’ll gain valuable skills and expertise in Human Factors, applicable to industries including:

  • aviation, healthcare, oil and gas, renewables, manufacturing, farming, nuclear, water, transport.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 September 2023
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