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Organizational psychology and work place safety

This course presents a preventative perspective on the management, administration, and putting into practice of safety-related activities that are grounded in individual, social, organizational, and cognitive psychology.

The behavioral science perspective is of increasing importance as technical/organizational systems expand, interact, and become more complex. New systems are being introduced in existing organizational structures as institutionalized types of organization are giving way to temporary and less fixed constellations.

This carries with it a new operational framework with risks for error at the individual level and in connection with organizational decision-making. Focusing on preventative safety is therefore all the more important. The course takes into account the interplay of humans, technology, and organizations (HTO), but the course also gives an introduction and orientation of basic risk philosophy, causality theory, risk and incident analysis, and accident investigations.

  • Course structure

    As a registered student on this course you will find detailed course information and communication in the learning platform Athena. Login with your university account.

    This course will be given in the third quarter of the semester.

    Course syllabus

    Organizational Psychology and Workplace Safety, 7,5 credits. Autumn 2021 (254 Kb)

    Teaching format

    The course is comprised of a series of lectures and each lecture focuses on a key safety related area in accordance with the readings and topics on the schedule. The readings are in the form of book chapters and scientific articles.

    The course also contains obligatory seminaries with exercises in which the students apply what they have read. The seminars will also include discussions based on the lectures and assigned readings. Students are expected to have a good understanding of the assigned readings in order to contribute to the class discussion.

    The course concludes with an obligatory examination seminar in which individually written papers will be presented and discussed.

    Expected learning outcomes

    After completing the course, participants are expected to be able to:

    • To be able to critically and systematically integrate the knowledge as well as analyze, judge, and utilize complex phenomena and issues that are relevant to safety considerations in organizations.
    • To be able to critically, independently, and creatively identify and formulate lines of inquiry as well as design and carry out advanced assignments using appropriate methods within given timeframes.
    • To be able to orally and in writing clearly present and discuss scientific work in relation to psychological aspects on risk, safety and accident in working life.


    Course assessment is based on (1) preparation, oral presentation and active participation in the discussion seminars and (2) an individually written essay.

    See details in the course syllabus.


    Course leader: Associate Professor Johnny Hellgren,

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    A complete list of course readings is found in the course syllabus.

    The list is subject to change until two months prior to the start of the course. In case the new course syllabus is missing on this page by then, please check with the course leader before you buy any expensive books etc.

  • Course reports

  • More information

    This course is compulsory for the Master's programme in Personnel, Work, and Organisation, 120 credits, and offered as an elective course, with limited admission, in the International two-year master’s program in psychology, 120 credits.

  • Contact

    Registered students should primarily use Athena for teacher communication.

    To contact the Student office or a Student Councellor, see below.

    More contacts in Education

    Student office - Master's level
    Study councellor - Master's level