New curriculum will equip graduates with scarce skills

01 November 2004

The School of Management Studies in the commerce faculty has announced the launch next year of a new curriculum for organisational psychology, one of the school's sections.

At undergraduate level, the new courses provide students with a clear occupational identity and a sense of what organisational psychology is all about. Students are introduced to the routine transactions of people management, taught within the context of new developments within modern workplaces.

At honours level, the course offers a one-year, full-time programme consisting of coursework and a research paper. The entire programme focuses on the topic of organisational change. Students emerge with the necessary knowledge and skills to take up the role of change agents within organisations.

Honours students complete three compulsory modules:

  • Organisational Change
  • Change Consulting
  • Research Methods.

To complete the honours programme, students choose three modules from the following electives: Labour Relations in a Changing Environment; Human Resource Information Systems; Organisational Culture; Psychological Assessment; and Organisational Learning.

The one-year, full-time master's programme is the flagship course and consists of coursework and a dissertation. Nowhere in South Africa are senior students equipped to take up the role of a strategic people management partner in an organisation.

The theme of the programme is the human resource practitioner as a strategic partner and the learning outcomes are competencies for managing at a strategic level (for example, scanning the external and internal business environments, recognising and prioritising emerging trends, and influencing high-level decision-making).

All master's students do two modules:
  • Organisational Context
  • Research Methods.

Master's students can choose four of the following elective modules: Human Resource Programme Evaluation, Strategic Labour Relations, Reward Management and Talent Retention, Strategic Interventions, Psychological Assessment, and New Worlds of Work. Occasional students are welcome to enrol for one or more of the honours and master's programme modules.

Professor Joha Louw-Potgieter, head of the organisational psychology stream, said the course would equip students with a sound understanding of the subject area and the modern workplace.

"They will also have scarce skills in the areas of organisational change and strategic partnership that will make them sought-after candidates for employment in South Africa and elsewhere."

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