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Psychological and organizational perspectives on work, stress and health

The aim of the course is to illustrate deepened theoretical and practical aspects of work, stress, and health/ill-health from psychological and organizational perspectives.

This includes the gradual transition towards more flexible work arrangements in terms of time, space and job content, insecure employment conditions, working hours, working conditions and organizational changes.

Issues regarding gender, ethnicity, and social status will also be discussed in the course. A central characteristic concerns how both individuals and organizations can contribute to a sustainable working life.

  • 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 first half of the semester, half-time studies.

    Course syllabus:  Psychological and organizational perspectives on work, stress and health, 7,5 credits (188 Kb) , Autumn 2022.

    Teaching format

    The course consists of lectures and seminars. The lectures provide a general introduction to the various topics included in the course and provide the theoretical foundation for the seminars. For the case seminars, the class will be divided into smaller groups (each divided into smaller units of around 2-3 students). The course concludes with an examination seminar, which is based on the presentation and discussion of individually authored papers.

    The following requirements must also be met to receive a final grade in the course:

    (a) Submission of written group assignments before the case seminars

    (b) An individually authored paper

    (c) Oral presentation of the examination paper at the concluding examination seminar

    (d) Opposition on another student’s examination paper.

    Attendance at all seminars is mandatory.

    For detailed information, see the course syllabus.

    Expected learning outcomes

    Upon course completion, students are expected to be able to:

    • Describe and analyze how stress and health/ill-health may be affected by various factors related to the work environment and how work is managed in an organization
    • Critically analyze and compare theories and models relevant to work, stress, and health/ill-health
    • Evaluate the importance of individual differences when it comes to stress and stress-related health problems (e.g., in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, education, personality, and life experience)
    • Based on the literature, plan health-promoting organizational interventions as well as investigations of work, stress, and health/ill-health in different contexts by analyzing and evaluating specific cases using appropriate methods
    • Both orally and in writing, evaluate, critically examine, and give feedback on academic work regarding work, stress, and health/ill-health as well as discuss the theories and methods that underlie the conclusions made in such work


    The examination will be based on an individually authored paper based on the case seminars. The paper is assessed according to the following criteria:

    • Identification of a relevant topic based on the work environment problem characteristic of the selected organization, sector, or occupation
    • The quality of the analysis of the organizational and structural basis of the work environment problem
    • Connection to the course literature and other theoretical and empirical literature relevant to the assignment
    • Clarity and structure of the description
    • Inclusion of reflection and original reasoning about the problem.

    Please refer to the course syllabus for more details.


    Course leaders: Helena Falkenberg,, and Magnus Sverke,

  • 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