Postgraduate Course

MSc Organisational Change Management

MSc Organisational Change Management


The details
Organisational Change Management
October 2024
1 year
Colchester Campus

Change is inevitable. Change within organisations, however, is often complex and influenced by external factors that play an important role in how change is planned, communicated and ultimately operationalised.

MSc Organisational Change Management is a specialist course, which will prepare you for a role in organisational management or consultancy. The course will introduce you to advanced research in change management and will allow you to approach organisational change management from both a commercial and a social perspective, in order to help you understand not only why change happens, but how to manage it.

This course is perfect if you have a first degree in business management, or in a related subject area, or have relevant work experience in organisational management. MSc Organisational Change Management will help you to enter or progress within the job market with a deeper understanding of management and organisational change.

You will graduate with an ability to excel in a management career and with the capacity to shape organisations and organisational life for the better.

Topics you will study include:

  • organisational behaviour and human resource management
  • understanding organisational change
  • change, creativity and innovation
  • leading change
  • ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • equality and diversity

MSc Organisational Change Management is taught at Essex Business School.. We don't just think about business as being a collection of equipment, buildings and stock, instead we consider a business to be an interconnected group of people. People who have the power to influence, and be influenced by, the operations of that business. This approach to understanding the human aspects of why businesses operate in the way they do lends itself perfectly to a course focussed on how and why change happens within organisations.

Why we're great.
  • Our academics are involved in change management projects for major national organisations, such as the NHS, and bring this experience into your teaching.
  • Become an expert in an increasingly essential field, as organisations search for graduates who can implement change.
  • Become a member of our thriving Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) that supports the research of our world-leading academics.

Our expert staff

Essex Business School has an international reputation for research on workplace inequalities and injustices. Research by our organisation studies and human resource management group covers:

  • job insecurity and its consequences across cultures
  • organisational change, transition and leadership
  • sustainability, ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • integrated health care, workplace wellbeing and mental health
  • collective creativity and innovation
  • emotional and aesthetic aspects of work and workplaces

You'll have the opportunity to hear from experts such as Professor Elisabeth Kelan Professor of Leadership and Organisation at Essex Business School.

Professor Kelan is a leadership and gender expert and currently holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship worth £189,000 for a project exploring the future of work in two distinct areas: digitalisation and gender.

Elisabeth's work investigates women in leadership; men as change agents for gender equality; generations at work; technology in organisations; and diversity, inclusion and belonging. Her research is regularly featured in the media such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Telegraph. The Times featured her as one of the management thinkers to watch.

Professor Kelan regularly consults on behalf of global businesses including Accenture, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Google, KPMG, Linklaters, Johnson & Johnson, and PwC.

The research activities of academics in our organisation studies and human resource management group is supported by the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) which brings together interdisciplinary research on work, society and organisational life. The Centre's research draws on the humanities and social sciences, bringing in perspectives from disciplines such as cultural studies, history, literary theory, philosophy, psychology, sociology and political economy.

Specialist facilities

MSc Organisational Change Management is based at our Colchester Campus.

You'll be studying at Essex Business School, home to the first zero carbon business school in the UK – demonstrating our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, with shared spaces to encourage collaborative working, you'll find a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones:

  • learn in modern lecture theatres with ‘listen again' recording to aid your study
  • utilise study booths in our winter garden and versatile break out areas for group working throughout the building
  • study skills support provided by the Essex Business School Learning Team
  • networking opportunities with visiting businesses and careers events
  • Bonds café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink

You'll also benefit from fantastic University facilities located close by, including our state-of-the-art Silberrad Student Centre, complete with an open-access 24-hour Learning Hub and a cutting-edge media centre.

Our building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, home to some of the region's most exciting enterprises in the science, technology and creative sectors. The Knowledge Gateway provides potential networking and career opportunities for students directly on campus.

Your future

This course provides a solid foundation for a career in organisational management.

We provide you with the necessary skills to succeed in modern workplaces, fostering creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to help you tackle the many challenges of the business world. Our graduates have entered high-profile organisations and exciting SMEs, such as:

  • HM Treasury
  • Groupon
  • HP
  • KPMG

Our Student Support team work closely with the University's Employability and Careers service to help you with careers information and advice and CV support. They will help you find work experience, internships, placements and voluntary opportunities and provide access to employer talks on campus. We also work closely with the Essex Startups team to support our budding entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree, or equivalent in one of the following subjects:

  • Anthropology
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Human Resource Management
  • Law
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Applicants without a 2:2 degree or equivalent will be considered on a case by case basis, where they have at least three years' relevant work experience in the field of Human Resource Management, Management or Project Management (please include your CV with your application).

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please contact our Graduate Admissions team at to request the entry requirements for this country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we will require IELTS 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 is all other components.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website and in line with your contract with us. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained


Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.


Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms


BE986-7-FY or BE970-7-PS


Understanding Organisational Change

This module encourages you to reflect upon the nature of change in organisations and consider many of the key aspects in preparing for, implementing, and evaluating a variety of types and aspects of organisational changes. Building upon key theories and debates you will explore the process and consequences of introducing change in organisations while recognising the complexity inherent in changing organisations. The emphasis of the module is to develop the analytical skills to understand the broad principles underlying the key stages in a change process that could be then applied to a range of different types of changes within organisations. The course is not driven by providing recipes but more by realising the value of critical analytical and reasoning skills that can be applied to the practicalities of different organisational change interventions.

View Understanding Organisational Change on our Module Directory


Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management

This module is designed to encourage students to think and reflect upon the nature of managing people and organisations. In particular, it encourages students to consider the main topics of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. Throughout the sessions, the core issues affecting organisational behaviour and outcomes will be discussed and critically analysed. Therefore, it invites participants to consider the tensions emerging from competing views and perspectives. In so doing, the module challenges many of the taken-for-granted assumptions about people management, and provides tools to analyse organisations and to explore the realities of organisational life.

View Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management on our Module Directory


Organisational Research and Professional Development

This module introduces organisation studies and human resource management research methods, enabling you to explore a complex, practical business issue from an OS and HRM perspective. You explore a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, using case studies to determine the suitability of different types of research in particular situations. You examine the ethics of research and acquire the skills to collect and analyse data in order to undertake a research project.

View Organisational Research and Professional Development on our Module Directory


Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility

Explore issues ranging from environmental disasters to corporate greed and from executive pay to ethical bottled water. You discover the relationship between management and corporations on the one hand, and society and nature on the other, engaging in debates around ecological sustainability, governance and corporate ethics and responsibility.

View Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility on our Module Directory


Change, Creativity and Innovation

This module is designed to encourage students to experience, think and reflect upon the nature of creativity and innovation within organisations. The concept of change is intimately linked to that of innovation. Whenever there is innovation, it affects organisations and generates changes. Thus, the module encourages students to consider many aspects related to the interrelated areas of creativity and innovation and, in particular, provides students with an advanced understanding of change in organisations where creativity and innovation emerge as a key challenge or represent a necessity. Throughout the module, students have the opportunity to explore the main theoretical approaches and practices related to collective creativity, innovation management and management of innovation projects. Most relevant theories are explored and used as interpretative lenses to deepen their understanding of cases of changes and transformations focused on creativity and innovation. Furthermore, this theoretical background supports the development of experiences and exercises that, altogether, constitute a group-based 'laboratory' of creativity and innovation.

View Change, Creativity and Innovation on our Module Directory


Managing Organisational Change

This module considers key aspects in preparing for, implementing and evaluating different types of organisational change. You explore the process, consequences and complexities of introducing change in organisations and gain the analytical skills needed to tackle change in a variety of organisations and situations.

View Managing Organisational Change on our Module Directory


Option from list


  • Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
  • Modules focus on applied skills and links with industry
  • We run an open seminar series focused on key contemporary Organisational Studies and Human Resource Management issues


  • You will be assessed through a combination of coursework assignments, which may take a number of forms, such as essays, case studies, theoretical and empirical studies


  • You submit a 15,000 word dissertation designed to enable you to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding, and skills gained from the programme by integrating and applying your learning to a current issue your choice

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


International fee


What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 15 June 2024 - June Open Day
  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day


You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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