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Masters in People and Organisational Development

An international masters in organisational development delivered online

Apply now to start in October 2024


Organisational development professionals put people at the heart of organisations. Together they create a positive and inclusive working environment that encourages collaboration, aims to removes inequality and increase performance. Roffey Park’s Masters in People and Organisational Development is an established, internationally recognised master’s qualification.

The MSc in People and Organisational Development is designed as a practical and experiential OD qualification. The programme is delivered through a mixture of virtually taught components, online materials and self-directed group learning. The latter takes the form of Dialogic Learning Groups in which learners work together, share their experiences, provide each other with feedback and expand their horizons. This form of social learning has been a speciality of Roffey Park Institute for many years and offers a powerful and impactful learning experience. Throughout the masters in organisational development you will be challenged to think critically and creatively about organisations, their people and their role in the wider society.

The programme has recently been reviewed, renewed and converted into an online delivery format. In addition to the thorough grounding in organisational development practice that the masters has long delivered, the new version allows us to open the programme to fully international cohorts, allowing for global networking among experienced OD professionals and diversity of opinions and perspectives.

We are an associate partner of the University of Sussex who act as validating authority for our MSc in People and Organisational Development.

Who is this programme for?

  • An HR professional wanting to deepen your practical skillset in organisational development
  • A learning and development and talent manager looking to interpret the requirements of culture change and organisational transformation
  • A transformation officer/CTO/change lead looking for the maximum guarantee of project success
  • A CEO or senior director/partner in need of the full picture of the organisational change process
  • An independent or internal consultant in organisation development and change, now or in the future

You’ll walk away with

  • A masters in organisational development, an internationally recognised qualification, which will boost your impact and career as an OD professional
  • A thorough knowledge of organisational development theory and its evolution
  • The skills, tools and practice to lead transformational OD initiatives that put people first
  • Greater connections with an international network of OD professionals

Why choose Roffey Park?

  • We continue to be and have been a centre of expertise in organisational development for the last 30 years and a pioneer of action learning for over 75 years. This means you will be learning with graduating from the globally recognised and widely regarded home of OD
  • Our faculty team are experienced OD professionals with expertise across private, public and not for profit sectors. They have international experience in working with clients in the field of organisational development, leadership, management and HR

Benefits for you

You will graduate with a masters in organisational development, an internationally recognised qualification, which will grow your impact and career as an OD professional. You will also:

  • Express a thorough knowledge of organisational development theory and its evolution to function as a professional OD practitioner
  • Critically analyse change dynamics within an organisation and develop and evaluate plans for OD interventions
  • Lead the application of group dynamics and dialogic methods as key OD tools
  • Critically analyse and demonstrate the relationship between organisational development and organisational design
  • Generate and integrate a variety of media and materials to build a reflective OD portfolio

Programme Outline

This module develops the essential skills and understanding of the reading and writing requirements for the master’s programme. At the end of the module, you will:

  • Be able to demonstrate a critical understanding and awareness of plagiarism in an academic context and how to avoid it in your writing
  • Critically explore the concept of critical reflection whilst also demonstrating the ability to cite secondary works accurately and constructing an appropriate bibliography

This module introduces the principles of dialogic practice and the specific function of the Dialogic Learning Group (DLG) in developing OD strategies and implementing them. You will be provided with opportunities to practise the key skills associated with dialogue in your DLG, work as a group to generate an OD plan and to interrogate the differences between diagnostic and dialogic OD. At the end of this module, you will:

  • Be able to articulate the principles of dialogic practice
  • Be able to articulate the difference between dialogue and diagnostic OD
  • Use dialogic practice to generate Organisational Development solutions
  • Translate the findings of a DLG into a collectively owned, iterative OD plan

This module introduces learners to the history and development of organisational development theory and practice. It examines what OD brings to the world of work and analyses the underpinning values and key characteristics that inform OD practice. At the end of this module, you will:

  • Write a critical overview of the field of organisational development
  • Assess the contributions of several founders of OD
  • Contextualise your own practice in the wider field and history of OD
  • Be able to articulate the importance of the different theories that shape OD practice

This module analyses and explores the significance of change expertise in the development of effective OD solutions. Learners will be introduced to the psychology of change and how to manage the response of people in organisations to transformation. At the end of this module, you will:

  • Articulate the core concepts in the psychology of change
  • Analyse an OD plan to identify those areas mostly likely to create tension and anxiety
  • Develop a people and change strategy that explains how change anxiety can be mitigated
  • Use the DLG to explore the peer group’s experience of managing people through change

This module explores the importance of values and influence in developing OD solutions. Values are explored from a number of perspectives including OD practitioner values, the link between personal values and underlying values of OD and the challenge for some organisations to live their values. To influence and implement an OD solution, key skills will be addressed including communication, negotiation, unconscious bias and influencing so you can implement an OD intervention and bring people along with you. At the end of this module, you will:

  • Be able to articulate how values can impact OD practice
  • Plan a response and negotiate a resolution to a conflict of values in the Dialogic Learning Group
  • Demonstrate, in practice, the use of influencing techniques

This module explores the different dimensions of organisational consulting in the analysis, design and delivery of development interventions within an organisation. Learners will use their own experience and that of their DLG to reflect on their own practice, develop their consulting style and mitigate unconscious bias in complex consultancy. At the end of this module, you will:

  • Be able to articulate the principles of organisational consulting in practice
  • Be able to explain the appropriate uses of organisational consulting approaches
  • Articulate the potential impact and influence of unconscious bias in consulting
  • Be able to demonstrate reflective practice in organisational consulting

During this module you will develop an extensive reflective case study of an organisational development process (either in your own organisation or in another by research). The Case Study is conducted largely by individual learning but brought to and discussed in the DLG at two points during the module for both ideas exchange and feedback. The Case Study should cover the ways in which values and influence have (or have not) been deployed effectively in the process; and whether change expertise and the techniques of organisational consulting have (or have not) been deployed effectively in the process. At the end of the module, you will:

  • Develop a critical case study of OD in practice
  • Analyse the importance of values and influence in the success or failure of the case study
  • Analyse the importance of change expertise in the success or failure of the case study
  • Analyse the importance of organisational consulting techniques in the success or failure of the case study
  • Use the DLG to provide critical feedback to your peer group
  • Accept and mobilise critical feedback from your peer group to create a completed case study

This module prepares learners for their dissertation by outlining and practising key research methods – both qualitative and quantitative. Learners will practise interview techniques within their DLGs, complete data analysis tasks, and map out research proposals and delivery plans. The module will cover the research ethics process and take each learner through it for their project. At the end of the module, you will:

  • Successfully complete the formal research ethics process
  • Be able to articulate the main research methods available to you
  • Develop a detailed research proposal including a draft methodology

Working independently and with formative support through your DLG, you will research and create a dissertation. You will develop a reflective dissertation, based on original research to explore your personal learning journey over the programme, ways in which your OD practice has changed and a development plan for yourself and/or your organisation. At the end of this module, you will:

  • Conduct original primary research
  • Combine primary and secondary research to create a detailed critical analysis of a particular OD problem or theme
  • Use the DLG forum to discuss and develop research ideas and problems
  • Articulate original findings pertaining to OD in practice

Dialogic Learning Groups

Dialogic Learning Groups are a key element of the masters in organisational development. Dialogic practice is also a key OD methodology, so practising it over the extended period of the programme is important experiential training. Activity within the DLG will be monitored and course mentors will periodically check in on the group, but most DLG meetings will be learner-led. This is an important element to the master’s programme as the DLGs will become strong professional networking hubs for learners. Each DLG is given access to course mentors, which enables them to access advice and guidance from the faculty team when they need it without comprising the autonomy of the DLG itself.


Programme Launch

Proposed Start Date*
25 October 2024

Lecture Dates
25 October 2024

Module 1: Academic Reading and writing

Proposed Start Date*
25 October 2024

Lecture Dates
1 November 2024
8 November 2024

Module 2: People and Dialogic practice

Proposed Start Date*
13 December 2024

Lecture Dates
3 January 2024
10 January 2024

Module 3: Mapping the field

Proposed Start Date*
21 February 2025

Lecture Dates
7 March 2025
14 March 2025

Module 4: Change Expertise

Proposed Start Date*
2 May 2025

Lecture Dates
16 May 2025
23 May 2025

Module 5: Values and influence

Proposed Start Date*
4 July 2025

Lecture Dates
18 July 2025
25 July 2025

Module 6: Organisational Consultancy

Proposed Start Date*
5 September 2025

Lecture Dates
19 September 2025
26 September 2025

Module 7: Case study

Proposed Start Date*
7 November 2025

Lecture Dates
21 November 2025
28 November 2025

Module 8: Research methods

Proposed Start Date*
20 March 2026

Lecture Dates
10 April 2026
17 April 2026

Module 9: Dissertation

Proposed Start Date*
20 March 2026

Lecture Dates
22 May 2026

Each module contains live online lectures and a series of small group sessions at which attendance is required. Sessions start at 8 am UK time.

* this is a proposed schedule. The programme is currently undergoing revalidation with the University of Sussex so dates and some details may change.


Our MSc in People and Organisational Development is delivered online over the course of two years.

£11,550 +VAT
Early Bird £10, 972.50+VAT
€13,550 +VAT
Early Bird €12,872.50+VAT

Early Bird discount is applicable for all applications received before 31st July 2024 for the programme starting in October 2024.

Applications for the Masters in Organisational Development

To qualify for entry to the MSc in People and Organisational Development students are typically expected to hold at least a lower second (2.2) UK bachelor’s degree or international equivalent. As this is a professional organisational development master’s, you will need to demonstrate that you have at least four years of relevant business/industrial experience (this need not be in OD).

However, we do consider applicants who do not meet all of the above. We take a holistic approach and assess a person’s suitability for the programme based on their qualifications, experience and evidence of continuous personal development. Our application form requests details of career and qualification current situation and history as well as a brief statement outlining what the applicant is looking to gain from the programme. All applicants will be interviewed online before a place on the programme is offered.

The programme is taught entirely in internationally accessible English, but if English is not your first language you will need to hold a minimum IELTS 6.5

Apply now

Frequently asked questions

We know that signing up for a master’s qualification is a big commitment and you’ll have lots of questions. To help you, here are some frequently asked questions from our participants.

We have a dedicated team and resources to support all MSc participants through their learning journey. You will have membership of our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) giving you access to our library catalogue, online journals, books and other relevant material. You’ll find all the information you need on a range of specialist subjects from organisational development, leadership and management, to human resources and personal development. Alongside use of the LRC, all your course materials and course instructions will be accessible through our digital learning platform.

Yes, this is an online MSc in OD qualification. Your formal teaching, with the whole cohort will be facilitated during live, online sessions. These are underpinned by self-directed learning groups (DLGs) who will meet regularly online over the two-year programme. You will be supported throughout by our experienced faculty team who will run summative and formative feedback sessions with individuals and groups.

Each module has a module leader who will curate, design and deliver the module. In addition, each DLG will have a facilitator for selected mentor-led sessions.

Most of your time on the programme will be spent working independently. As a guide, you should be prepared to study for around 12 hours per week, in addition to attending live online lectures and Dialogic Learning Groups.

Each module has up to two assignments. Most assessments take the form of a piece of written work but there are also some group and individual presentations. Whilst the majority of your work will be done independently, an important part of the assessment process is the giving and receiving of feedback to each other.

We are able to provide payment plans for participants who are self-funding. Please contact us to find out more.

The MSc qualification runs over two years. Learning takes place through a range of interactions, including facilitated sessions delivered by a member of Roffey Park’s experienced OD faculty team. The majority of the programme takes place in small group learning sessions alongside self-study. It is important to note that this is an online MSc in OD qualification.

The MSc in OD is an international qualification programme. Each cohort has around 15 – 25 participants and the group will comprise international and UK participants, from private and public sector organisations with a range of qualifications and work experience. This diversity will enrich your learning experience through access to different cultural OD contexts.

Do you have any questions about our MSc? Join our next live Q&A webinar

Roffey Park Institute will be hosting a complimentary webinar for those interested in taking our international MSc in People and Organisational Development. We will provide an overview of the programme and our unique approach to learning. You will have the opportunity to meet members of our faculty team and ask further questions about the programme.

Find out more about our next MSc webinar
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