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Different course options

Study mode

Part time evening


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Psychology (General) Coaching (Teaching / Training)

Course type


Course Summary


Working life is complex and organisations are looking to executive coaching to help them work through the demands and challenges they face. In the Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck we recognise the issues that organisations experience and have the expertise to support those demands.

Organisations have woken up to the fact that most employees need some additional perspective to help them be successful in their roles. Coaching as an intervention to address this has grown exponentially. Some pertinent questions remain, and need reflection: Why has coaching emerged now? Why is it seen to be so relevant? How can we tell when/if it works? Is it different from counselling and psychotherapy? Are certain types of coaching more effective, under certain conditions, with certain people?

The coaching psychology course combines practical and theoretical study to not only develop your professional expertise but also give you greater self-awareness and understanding. You will investigate pragmatically and critically how coaching works in organisations and how it is an important skill for leaders.

You will be introduced to the history and variety of coaching and helping relationships. You will review a range of coaching techniques, discussing their relevance and efficacy, and consider pertinent issues that face the contemporary coach.

Using case studies and client work you will have the opportunity to analyse and understand your own work through a range of lenses, allowing for different interpretations. You will learn to supervise effectively, explore different responses and reflect on the coaching relationship process. Issues that are often overlooked, such as ethics, change, boundaries and defences, are highlighted. Rather than looking at coaching in isolation, you will consider it in the context of evidence frameworks, organisational systems and practices, and organisations as political arenas.

The skills and knowledge you gain from this course can be applied within your organisation and to leadership roles and help you progress a career in coaching.

We offer this course as a Master’s and a Postgraduate Certificate. For the Certificate, you study fewer modules and do not complete a dissertation.


This module covers key issues in organisational research that apply to both academic and applied contexts. Three main areas are covered, including (a) foundations of research, including ethics, epistemology, ontology, theories, reliability, validity, databases, literature searches, writing research questions and hypotheses, avoiding plagiarism, and practical issues when engaging with a research project; (b) qualitative methods, including assumptions, paradigms, reflexivity, value and credibility, data gathering and analytic techniques, interviews, thematic analysis, collecting and analysing digital data, discourse analysis, and visual approaches; and (c) quantitative methods, including item and scale analysis, an introduction to generalisability theory, multiple regression, factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. We also host an online, self-study statistics bridging course for students who require extra support on statistics, or those who would like a refresher. This bridging course is entirely optional and is not assessed.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

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Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) in any discipline, or sufficient experience of helping relationships and/or people-oriented activities such as extensive line management experience. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

University information

Birkbeck, University of London is a university which continues to change lives. In 2023 the institution marks its 200th anniversary. Established in 1823, Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution, well known for being London’s premier evening university. Most classes take place in the evening, and this makes Birkbeck stand out from the crowd. Students have the freedom to use their daytimes however they like – a benefit that has...more

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