Business psychology is quite an old discipline but as a course of study it is still comparatively young. However, the demand for business students to have a foundation in behavioural science has been noticeably growing for years. The interest in psychology has grown significantly, as well as the application needs in the modern business world. In this respect, the introduction of the Business Psychology program (WIPSY) at the FHW in 2011 was a bold move at the right time, which not only contributes to the interest of student applicants, but also reflects the changing realities of the modern business world.
At the core of business psychology it is always about the people in economic implications, not matter whether it is as a consumer or a producer – or more recently as a “contributing” prosumer. The consumer role deals with the business psychological media, consumer, advertising and marketing research. The producer role, on the other hand, deals with work, organisational and personnel psychology.
Labour market prospects for graduates
Business psychologists can be utilised in a large number of ways which makes them very attractive for the labour market. Especially due to the increasing importance of market research in companies, not to mention human capital management, there is a high demand for graduates with interdisciplinary specialisation in economics and psychology. Typical fields for business psychologists to work in are, among others, the market and consumption (e.g. in marketing, market research, sales or advertising), in personnel management (e.g. candidate selection, personnel development, organisational development or change management), in consultancies (e.g. as an advisor, trainer or coach) or in media companies (e.g. as a PR consultant).
Advantages of business psychology at the FHW in Heide
- Intensive and personal attention from professors and university employees in a friendly environment
- Practice related work in the context of case study seminars and project work
- Diverse possibilities for majors in Marketing & Sales as well as Personnel & Administration
For business psychologists, there are many fields of application, both in research and in the field. The focus of the work of business psychologists is the analysis and testing of concrete situations and behaviours, both in the context of marketing and sales as well as human resources and administration.
Typical activities in the fields of Marketing and Sales are:
- Marketing consulting
- Market and consumer research
- Corporate communications and PR
Typical activities in the fields of personnel and administration are:
- Candidate selection and personnel development
- Organisational development
- Corporate consulting
As part of their studies at the FHW, students have the possibility to learn with a focus on the practical aspects of what they are doing. In the winter semester 2013, in collaboration with companies, the students developed, for example:
- A customer satisfaction analysis
- A competence model
- A self-marketing training program
- An instrument for training evaluation
The WIPSY study program aims to provide students with the skills to transfer scientific knowledge of psychology to everyday business with the aid of sound psychological methods. To achieve this, skills are formed at different levels:
Students receive a solid foundation and structured knowledge in the relevant fields of economics and psychology, or rather business psychology, which is expanded and deepened through their choice of major (Marketing & Sales or Personnel & Administration).
- Methodological competence:
The students learn the main scientific methods in business psychology and economics. Furthermore, learn to be able to independently identify problems and to develop responsible and holistic solutions in these fields. These skills are taught and applied particularly in the context of homework, project work and the writing of the Bachelor thesis, as well as being incorporated into appropriate lecture events and exercises. Examples include: project management, methods of empirical social research and mathematical/statistical methods for the evaluation of empirical studies, interviewer training and an AC observer training.
- Key qualifications and social skills:
Individual development of the personality profile and acquisition of key skills through targeted integration of appropriate content into the curriculum. Examples: During the module Academic Writing in the 2nd semester, the methods of scientific work and presentation techniques are taught as well as communication skills. These skills are practiced and deepened in other elective modules as well as in the practical case study seminars. Project management, time management, presentation technology and teamwork as well as presentation techniques are taught in turn and applied in project work. In addition, management training and a seminar on training program design (train-the-trainer) are offered.
- International competence:
The study program deals with various aspects of international management like e.g. cultural approaches. English language literature is standard in many of the lectures. Moreover, some events are completely held in English. The FHW also has a network of foreign partner universities in the field of economics, which also applies in the WiPsy study program.
- Practical competence:
Practical orientation is an integral part of the course and is brought to life through practical case studies and guest lecturers from the industry. Through case study seminars on real problems, it is possible to create close interaction between practice and teaching. During the 20 week internship semester, the students apply their methodological skills and expertise in the industry. It is also possible at the end of the course to write the Bachelor thesis in cooperation with a company.