Change Management Certification: MSc in People and Organisational Development

Dates are being finalised for 2020/2021, please contact us for more details.

Roffey Park’s MSc in People and Organisational Development is an innovative two-year, part-time Masters Qualification validated by the University of Sussex

This programme deepens your theoretical knowledge and practical ability to transform organisations in a holistic way which brings the people along with you. It will increase your confidence, your personal impact, effectiveness and credibility in your role either inside an organisation or as an external consultant or change management practitioner.

Roffey Park’s unique academic approach will empower you to pursue your own study path through the programme to tailor the outcomes to your current and future needs.

Is this programme for me?

This programme is ideal for you if you are:

  • An HR professional wanting to deepen your practical skillset in organisational development. The programme helps you to develop greater awareness, knowledge and practical ability to bridge the gap between organisational development within the HR function, and organisational development and design within a top-down free-standing independent business unit. You will emerge more confident, more credible and a strong voice in ensuring your people rise to the occasion.
  • A Learning & Development and Talent manager looking to interpret the requirements of culture change and organisational transformation. This programme will give you a more systemic understanding of organisational design and will leave you with clarity, confidence and theoretical knowledge to move your people in the right direction in full collaboration with the transformation team.
  • A Transformation officer/CTO/Change lead looking for the maximum guarantee of project success. Typically you’ll be working independently from HR and L&D functions. Your primary objective may be to implement a new structure with KPIs around delivery deadlines and financial constraints. Yet the purpose of transformation is generally one of business success. This programme opens the lid on the messy ‘people side’ of change management. It will provide you with the insight to address the human component and deliver the ultimate legacy project – a success transformation process which leads to superior business outcomes.
  • A CEO or senior director/partner in need of the full picture of the organisational change process. This programme will allow you to understand all perspectives and draw the organisation’s departments or divisions together to function effectively throughout the change process. You are possibly the one person in need of seeing a tangible, measurable increase in organisational efficiency, profitability, morale, creativity and effectiveness as opposed to just a well-executed process.
  • An Independent or Internal consultant in organisation development and change, now or in the future. As a consultant, you will be expected to demonstrate superior knowledge and expertise, and others will look to you for your calm, unflappable ability to see the bigger picture. This programme will give you that wide-ranging view of change management and all its facets, enabling you to engage with all stakeholders, from C-level executives and board members through to external or internal transformation teams, HR and L&D practitioners, business unit managers and other staff.

What this programme is:

The MSc in People and Organisational Development is fundamentally about understanding what makes you and other people tick – it brings into sharp focus the human dimension of organisational change and development and gives structure and shape to the unpredictability and irrationality of human behaviour in the face of change. It is at the leading edge of OD and will provide you with a formidable set of tools with which to facilitate large-scale change initiatives.

What this programme isn’t:

This is not a Masters programme in project management. We won’t be focused on agile, scrum, project gantt charts or other mainly top down techniques of change management (although sometimes a group asks for a session on one of these things and we would cater for it).

This is a form of change certification, but one that acknowledges that technology, structures and procedures – is only part of holistic organisational transformation. We take a broader view. You get to confront the whole messy picture, and learn how to succeed at organisational transformation in the face of that complexity, looking particularly at the human side of change and development.

Other people’s reasons for attending the MSc programme

Here’s what people like you have stated as their reasons for enrolling on the Roffey Park MSc:

  • “To build more confidence to get the bigger picture of transformation”
  • “To consolidate my knowledge and experience and “get the badge” which others will take seriously”
  • “To get more involved in big change programmes”
  • “To help bring about significant and lasting culture change”
  • “To switch from HR into change management”
  • “To transition from one organisation or industry to another, or to switch in or out of “independent consultancy”
  • “To be taken more seriously, to have more credibility with senior leadership”
  • “To better understand and align with the CEO’s viewpoint, rather than my own of HR/L&D”.

At Roffey Park participants get the results they want by deciding what they learn and how.

Tom Kenward, Head of Qualifications

Cutting-edge, self-managed learning

Self-managed learning teaches you to take responsibility for your own learning pathway, and you work with the academic team on a one-to-one basis to develop a unique programme which fits you, how you think and work, your role and your personal and work objectives.

In short, we put you at the centre, supporting and challenging you to find your full authority and purpose as a practitioner, a leader and a learner.

During the programme you will:

  • Self-assess your own work
  • Assess your peers’ work
  • Collaborate with members of faculty (to keep you on the right tracks)
  • Develop a highly empowering approach to your own learning and development
  • Design elements of your own programme
  • Develop your self-awareness and eliminate blind spots
  • Feel invigorated and stretched.

This is a radical approach to education. After three decades, this MSc remains the only academic qualification of its kind in Europe.

Tom Kenward, Head of Qualifications

MSc format

This is a two-year, part-time MSc qualification which uses an exciting combination of:

  • Residential learning in our purpose-built centre at Roffey Park in Sussex
  • Unrivalled faculty contact time
  • Peer learning
  • Blended learning
  • Virtual exchange and social collaboration

Designed and delivered by highly experienced practitioners and leaders, and validated by the world-renowned University of Sussex. Find out more about the learning environment at Roffey Park and see how the MSc programme is structured.


£16,500 + VAT

Year 1:
£8,250 + VAT
Year 2:
£8,250 + VAT  

Payment by instalment is available on request, please contact us for more information.

Fees are fully inclusive of:

  • Residentials and facilitated learning set meetings
  • All accommodation and meals during residentials including use of the facilities, fitness suite and swimming pool
  • Full Learning Resources Centre services
  • All materials
  • University of Sussex Enrolment Fee
  • External Examiner Fees

Find out more about the MSc fees and bursaries here

What will I study on the MSc in People and Organisational Development?

Whilst you will ultimately take charge of the direction and content of your programme, we start by introducing you to the core elements and key influencers of up-to-the-minute OD practice.

Input sessions are designed and delivered by practising OD professionals and leaders including Roffey Park’s faculty, visiting fellows and an ever-growing network of visiting speakers. Recent speakers include established global figures such as Dr Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge, Professor Cliff Oswick, Professor Gervase Bushe, Professor Ralph Stacey, Dr Glenda Eoyang and Dr Naomi Stanford as well as young, rapidly rising stars such as the Corporate Rebels Pim de Moree and Joost Minaar..

Programme contents

Whilst much of the programme is crafted uniquely by the cohort with help from faculty,the following are some of the building blocks of the programme which we are likely to draw on early in your course of study:

Use of Self

A command of theory, models and methods is important, but unless you have a good understanding of who you are and how your personality, history and perspective influences how you do your work and how people experience you, you will not reach your full potential. We can share various theory and methods to help you take the next steps for you in this part of your development, wherever you are starting from.


Power is everywhere in organisations and in life. It’s is not generally a word that people are comfortable with because of its negative connotations… you have power over others.

If you want to bring about change, you’re going to have to accept you’ll have to use power in order to do that. Power therefore needs to be understood, it need to be worked with, it needs to be acknowledged, and you need to build up your capability to read power within an organisation, to see where it is and how it’s manifesting.

Depending on the scenarios you’re dealing with, we might also look at gender and societal issues around the abuse of power, inequality, diversity, inclusion, presence and how this might be of interest within your context of transformation, organisation design and culture change.

Group Dynamics

No MSc programme in change, development or organisation design can be complete without looking at group dynamics. Whether you’re dealing with a small team or huge multinational organisation, you need the tools to understand the dynamics at play, not just at the task level but also what’s deep beneath the surface: Who likes who? Who disagrees with who? What are the real agendas at play? Who’s not speaking up? Who is leaving still not committed to the official plan?

In group dynamics we look at small groups and teams up to 12-15 people through to very large groups, such as entire departments, divisions or geographical regions consisting of thousands of people. We access a variety of models and approaches to help you gain better awareness and work with your organisation’s group dynamics.


Facilitation is about ensuring your organisation’s groups and teams are functioning as a healthy dynamic of people who trust and respect each other, and will continue to want to work with each other not only until the completion of the task, but also for subsequent tasks – possibly after you’ve left them to it. This is the stuff that your legacy and reputation as a transformation and organisational change expert is built on.

We can share different models of facilitation and give you the opportunity to practise and develop your own skills over the duration of the MSc programme and beyond.

Complexity Theory

Research into the science of complexity has shown how unpredictableorganisational behaviour is. Just as with most contemporary natural science computer modelling, any predictive capacity in social systems breaks down over anything beyond the very short term.

In a transformation role, you may be looking for simplicity and a straightforward, bullet-proof approach to organisational design and development. But the one thing guaranteed to clog up gantt charts and challenge the success of your project is the group of unpredictable, irrational human beings this change is happening with and to. However, there are an increasing number of useful theories and methods that are helping practitioners and leaders navigate this terrain now, and we can share these.

We draw on new and emerging social research which points to ways of understanding and navigating complexity in organisations. Sometimes the very small organisational changes finish up leveraging the most significant breakthroughs in culture shift and transformation.

Diagnostic versus Dialogic Organisational Development Theory

Diagnostic OD as it is sometimes labelled today refers to the sequential, predictive, rational approach to change and development. It is still commonly applied in organisational change for good reasons: it seems more logical andstraightforward and is easier to quantify and predict.

Dialogic OD theory and practice, as coined by Gervase Bushe and Bob Marshak, is more iterative and adaptive, emerging from the self-organising realities created in the minds of the people in your organisation.

Dialogic Theory still uses structured approaches to manage what emerges from your people.  At its heart, a dialogic approach gives you a framework which comfortably includes the human, people-based side of the equation, and strengthens your chances of successful implementation.

Applied Leadership

Despite the continual flow of articles and best-practice recommendations on what leadership is and should be, many organisations still exhibit some or all of the classic ‘command and control’, ‘hero-based’  practices, and perhaps there’s still a place for them.

We can explore some of the theories, look at their links to power, control, risk, responsibility, engagement, motivation and productivity and seek to find leadership models and approaches which will rise to support your objectives around change and organisational transformation.

Other areas which we might draw on include:

  • Culture and culture change
  • Organisation Design
  • The role of technology in change
  • The place of data in change
  • Embodiment
  • Neuroscience
  • Social media and other technology platforms
  • Storytelling, narrative and metaphor
  • Large-group intervention methodologies
  • Action research
  • Poetry, improv and other art forms in change and development work
  • Almost anything you want, if you can make a case for its relevance

Your personal effectiveness

Whilst you may be leading a process of change within your organisation or planning to do this kind of work in the future, it is likely that your self and your personal approaches will have a make-or-break effect on outcomes.

In addition to the specific material referred to above under Use of Self, during the programme you will gradually develop other directly relevant skills throughout the two years:

  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Access a range of personal development resources including an extensive faculty and wider network of experts.
  • Develop deep skills in giving and receiving high quality feedback and assessment
  • Tap into your innate initiative, creativity and confidence
  • Learn how to become more influential and effective at supporting and challenging others through clearer leadership.


How the MSc in People and Organisational Development will help you and your organisation

We believe that you will:

  • Develop how you work with organisations and people: it will challenge your assumptions, provide new tools and techniques; and improve your skills and confidence
  • Gain strategic perspective on the latest thinking around people and organisational development
  • Connect theory and practice powerfully from the start
  • Develop your analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Interact face to face and online with a community of peers, Roffey Park’s own faculty and a network of experienced OD practitioners
  • Learn how to rigorously self-assess your thinking and action, and review the work of others in a sensitive yet robust way.
  • Interact with peers through social media and an online learning platform to continue your learning set and wider community learning between monthly meetings and residentials
  • Gain a highly regarded and internationally recognised masters qualification.

How your organisation will benefit:

The MSc represents a three-way partnership between you, your organisation and Roffey Park.

As Year One unfolds we encourage you to work with your employer to shape your learning goals for year two so that by the end, your research, dissertation and skills development outputs can directly benefit your business beyond the benefit of your significantly improved practice alone.

Watch the testimonials of past and present course participants


If you want to empower yourself to learn deeply and extend your initiative, confidence and credibility, look no further.

Tom Kenward, Head of Qualifications

What would you like to do next?