Understanding more about the MSc

Who is the programme for?

As the testimonials show, professionals in many contexts gain great value from the programme. That diversity of experience and perspective is highly valued by participants. HR leaders and practitioners, change and OD practitioners and CEOs alike find the programme provides a depth and breadth of insight for working to develop people and organisations in these complex times.

Is it worth the time and money?

Participants complete the programme saying it is the best and most useful learning journey they have ever undertaken. It is cheaper than most other fully validated MSc and MBA programmes in the UK, and has more faculty contact time than most programmes in the market. This qualification is a serious commitment for people serious about making the best of their capabilities to do great work, whilst having fun in the process! Participants often find that the programme impacts their whole life in positive ways, so the return is felt personally beyond work too. In terms of making the case to an employer for contributions of working time and money, a huge strength of the programme is its self managed nature, allowing you to craft a set of learning goals that meet your needs whilst also meeting needs for your employer.

Are Masters qualifications still recognised as essential to progress in this field?

Graduates continue to report that this MSc and Roffey Park’s reputation have been key factors in progressing in their career. Many employers and clients know that, as well as it being a well regarded academic qualification, the learning process grounds participants’ thinking and practice, making them more relevant and innovative in the work they do, and therefore extremely valuable.

Why does the programme continue to have a large component of contact time?

For the depth of learning the programme promises, it is essential. Virtual and blended inputs play a part in priming participants in particular content and skills, but there is no substitute for the social process of support and challenge feedback for participants academic and practical development.

Can I be sure I will learn what I need – what if I don’t know what I don’t know?

The mapping process that is undertaken during the early part of the programme provides participants with a foundation of understanding, both about the breadth of possibilities open to them in the field of study, and about their own present stage of development and what is therefore most important for them to prioritise. Coupled with the peer and faculty support throughout the programme, there is every opportunity for participants to chart their learning journey in a well informed and focused way.

What happens at residentials?

In the initial residential you will spend some time building a learning community, learning about the study and thinking skills needed for the programme and starting to map the filed of personal and organisational development. Subsequent residentials are jointly planned with participants on the programme. They provide a mix of expert speakers, both practitioners and academics. We encourage creativity in designing the residential. There is also opportunity for discussion and learning from the process of being in a learning community.

What work will I have to produce?

Over the 2 years you will produce a comprehensive and varied portfolio of work covering both the theory and practice of personal and organisational development.

 Year 1  Year 2
 Position Paper  Skills Development
 Inquiry into Critically Reflective Practice  Primary Research
 Map of the Field of People and Organisational Development  Dissertation
 Development Agreement  Linking Document
 Seminar Paper

How will my work be assessed?

There are no written exams. However all your work will be peer reviewed in your set to make sure it is of masters standards. The set acts as the internal ‘examiners’ for the programme. This is no soft option. It is a challenging process that means that by the end of the programme you will have developed excellent feedback and assessment skills.

What does masters standards mean?

This will be something you will discuss and clarify in your set. It means that your work will demonstrate an ability to critically reflect

  • on different theories and concept.
  • on your own practice and the assumptions that underpin it.
  • different methodologies and ways of data collection.
  • the wider organisational and societal context within which personal and organisational development is carried out.

What is the time commitment?

Over the two years there are 5 residentials at Roffey Park, totalling 18 days, in blocks of 3 and 4 days. You will also attend 10 x 1 day set meetings each year of the programme at a venue agreed by the set. In addition you will need to commit study time to complete your assignments and review those of your set members. It is a significant commitment overall, especially as most participants continue to work full –time.

What if English isn’t my first language?

If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate that you meet Roffey Park’s English language requirements for your chosen course. You can do this in a number of ways.

Firstly, if you have at least six months’ experience of working in the English Language in your work in any country, can demonstrate evidence of proficiency through the written and oral aspects of the application process to your chosen programme, and can provide references confirming that English is your prime working language, this may be deemed sufficient.

Alternatively, applicants can:

  • provide evidence of English qualifications as per those listed by the University of Sussex
  • provide evidence that you meet one of the English language exemptions as set out by the University of Sussex
  • take an English language proficiency test, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

If you have not taken an English language test yet, or do not have a current valid test score, you can still apply for courses, but any offer you receive will normally be conditional on meeting our language requirement.