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Aarhus BSS creates a new degree programme in business psychology

Next summer, for the first time, it will be possible to apply for a Master’s degree programme in business psychology, which Aarhus BSS has just set up. The programme has been designed to meet an increasing need for employees with psychological competencies and a basic understanding of business administration.

[Translate to English:] Christian Waldstrøm er viceinstitutleder på Institut for Virksomhedsledelse, der har oprettet en ny uddannelse i erhvervspsykologi. Fotos: Lise Balsby & privat

While AU is putting the finishing touches to its draft for the government’s relocation plan and the debate about relocating, downsizing and closing degree programmes is raging in the sector, the Department of Management at Aarhus BSS is adding another programme to its portfolio.

The new English-language Master’s degree programme has been named Business Administration – Business Psychology and responds to increasing demand among companies, explains Christian Waldstrøm, deputy head of department at the Department of Management. 

“These companies need employees who have an insight into psychology but who also have a basic understanding of how to run a business,” says Christian Waldstrøm. 

According to Christian Waldstrøm, companies are increasingly facing a more complex reality, and there is therefore a greater need to understand how decision-making and communication affect an organisation in different ways. 

When developing the degree programme, the department spoke to several potential graduate employers, including LEGO, NNIT and Danske Bank. They also consulted existing business psychologists, most of whom have a psychology degree.  

“They all say that they need another type of graduate than they did just five or ten years ago. For years, business psychologists have been crying out for a degree programme that combines basic aspects of business administration, such as financial management, logistics, marketing and management with psychology,” says Christian Waldstrøm. 

Nervous about admissions

The programme will recruit students both in Denmark and internationally, and Christian Waldstrøm calls the programme unique. He believes the programme would work well with around 50 students, but he is nervous about the admissions figures. 

“I am in no doubt that it will be a success. I am just worried that too many people will apply,” says Christian Waldstrøm, who explains that the department has to admit everyone who meets the admissions criteria and that practical teaching challenges could arise if the number of students is too high. 

According to the deputy head of department, the students on the new programme will already have Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (for example a BSc in Economics and Business Administration) or a BA in Social Sciences.  

In response to the question of why the new degree programme has been created now, while others are being downsized, Christian Waldstrøm offers two main reasons:

“First of all, the degree programme has been in the making for over a year, and, when we started developing it, there was no talk of relocation or degree programme resizing. Secondly, the new programme fulfils one of the requirements of our accreditation, that we must work across departments, with regards to both teaching and research. At the same time, there is a huge market for graduates of this kind,” says Christian Waldstrøm. 

The new degree programme will welcome its first students after the summer holiday next year.

Translated by Sarah Jennings