Engineering Work Psychology





Offered by

ICT Engineering




General admittance requirements

Main purpose

The course introduces the student to selected topic in psychology that are especially applicable to working in an engineering context. Having completed the course the student will have knowledge of factors that affect human motivation, learning, decision making, cooperation, group dynamic and organization in relation to typical engineering work.
The course will also introduce the student to methods for applying psychological knowledge in work- and organization-related analysis of typical problems occurring in engineering and other technical organizations.


Having completed this course, students should have understanding of selected topics in applied work psychology.
This will include all or most of the following:
  • Tensions between human factors and organizational requirements
  • Models for selection of analytical perspective
  • Individual factors, personality and personality traits, the applicability and limits of predicting performance from this, e.g. in personality testing
  • Describe work motivation, models for development of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, motivating and demotivating factors in job design
  • Decision making, biases and heuristics in decision making, factors affecting project planning
  • Stress, stressors in work and job design
  • Learning, types of knowledge, development of expertise.
  • Group establishment and lifecycle, social interaction and influence in groups
  • Intra- and inter-group conflict, conflict escalation and resolution
  • Organizations and leadership, models for leadership and leadership development
  • Change in organizations, change leadership.


Having completed this course, students should be able to
  • Read, understand and evaluate literature related to work psychology, including critical evaluation of basic statistical empirical material
  • Understand, evaluate and discuss applicability of work psychological theory to a practical engineering context
  • Select relevant analytical perspectives for analyzing commonly encountered human/work related is-sues in engineering
  • Analyze simple cases by selecting relevant topics of psychological theory, discuss possible contributing causes in cases and suggest possible interventions
  • Critically discuss applicability and in particular limitations of applying general theories of human behaviour on specific cases.


Having completed this course, students should be able to
  • Select and trade-off analytical perspectives applicable to specific situations and contexts
  • Holistically consider both technical, organizational and human factors in the analysis of engineering work
  • Understand limitations of applying either technical, organizational and human factors in isolation in the analysis of work
  • Present psychological knowledge in an engineering context to a technically minded audience.


Teaching methods and study activities

Literature study, lectures by teacher, group and class discussion, case analysis and discussion.
Participation of lecturer and students 
Initiated by the lecturer
50 hours-  40%
  • Lessons, scheduled
  • Class discussion and case presentations
  • Guided case analysis
  •  Exams and tests

Participation of students

Initiated by the lecturer

70 hours -50%

  • Reading and self-study of assigned literature
  • Case analysis, preparation for presentations
  • Homework and preparation for exams
  • Evaluation of the teaching

Participation of students

Initiated by students

10 hours - 5 %
  •  Self-study of self-selected supplementary literature
  • Literature search
Participation of lecturer and students 
initiated by students
7,5 hours -5 %
  •  Debate meetings
  • Study guidance

Note: 5 ECTS * 27,5  hours pr. ECTS = 137,5 Hours.



Selected book excerpts and journal articles, covering both theory and empirical investigations.


Permit criteria’s for attending examination:
  • Mandatory course activities completed

Duration (grading included) app. 20 min/ 5 ECTS


Oral examination

Individual oral examination without preparation based
upon course assignment(s)

Allowed tools: All

Internal examiner

Grading criteria

Examinations account for 100 % of final grade

Additional information


Bo Brunsgaard Christensen (BOBR)

Valid from

2/1/2018 12:00:00 AM

Course type

6. semester
7. semester
Elective for the specialization Business Information Systems
Elective for the specialization Cross Media
Elective for the specialization Enterprise Engineering
Elective for the specialization Web Engineering
Elective for the specialization Embedded Engineering