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Psychological and organizational perspectives on work, stress and health

  • 7.5 credits

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 syllabusPsychological and organizational perspectives on work, stress and health, 7,5 credits, Autumn 2019. (PDF)

    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 leader: Professor Magnus Sverke,

  • Schedule

    This is a preliminary schedule and is subject to continuous change. For this reason, we do not recommend print-outs. At the start of the course, your institution 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.

    The course schedule provides information on what literature should be read for each lecture and for Case seminar 1.

    Books (Available as e-books at
    Day, A., Kelloway, E. K., & Hurrell, J. (2014). (Eds.). Workplace well-being: How to
    build psychologically healthy workplaces. New York: Wiley (selected readings; the
    numbers in the schedule refer to the chapters).

    Näswall, K., Hellgren, J., & Sverke, M. (2008). (Eds.). The individual in the changing
    working life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (selected readings; the numbers in the schedule refer to the chapters).

    See the course syllabus.

  • 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

    To contact the course leader, see Programme overview => Examiner.

    Student administration

    Study advisor