University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2006/7 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: ERGM014 Module Title: WORK & STRESS
Module Provider: EIHMS Short Name: WK+STR Previous Short Name: WK+STR
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BUCKLE PW Prof (EIHMS)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Delivery


Assessment Requirements

Components of Assessment
Percentage Weighting
Home based Assignment

Module Overview

One of the following: 

  • A recently completed BSc or BA degree or equivalent in a biological, Psychological, Health, Engineering or related discipline.
  • A professional qualification (non-graduate) and three years (minimum) relevant work experience.

Those without a first degree or with insufficient professional qualifications may still be accepted on to the programme subject to their demonstrating satisfactory performance in a recognised and agreed access programme(s).

Module Aims

This module offers a review and synthesis of current psychosocial and organisational issues related to work and stress.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Understand current psychosocial and organisational issues relating to health at work.
  • Provide a theoretical and practical basis for understanding of the relationship between the design of work and worker health.
  • Understand the nature and role of organisational health with regard to work stress and mediating factors for work design.
  • Understand better the role of organisational development and the promotion of improved health in the workplace.
  • Consider the relationship between individual factors and workplace factors in contributing to worker stress.
Module Content
  • Introduction and overview. The traditional approach to understanding stress with regard to existing models of stress. Definitions of stressors, stress and stress related problems. The concepts of hazard, harm and risk will be explained using examples drawn from the work and stress literature.
  • Hazards of work. Workplace hazards including physical, psychosocial and organisational hazards will be considered. Mechanisms which underpin their effects on health and the role that the experience of stress might play in mediating some of these effects are considered. The nature of work stress as described in contemporary stress theory is explained.
  • Organisational healthiness. The relationship between workplace hazard, stress and health through an explanation of the organisational context of work is an essential part of the programme. A comparison of the nature and statistical investigation of mediation in moderation is examined through current studies.
  • Psychosocial hazards of work. The nature of the psychosocial and organisational hazards of work are considered and the evidence that each of the hazards mentioned affects the self reported experience of stress or job dissatisfaction or health.
  • Risk management. The management of workplace stress through a consideration of risk management will be presented.
  • Assessment of stress at work. Methods currently used for assessing stress related symptoms within the workforce will be considered, including questionnaires and other in-depth indices of the health of the workforce. The use of physiological monitoring, its appropriateness and disadvantages will be established. Practical sessions relating to these will form an integral part of the programme.

Intervention strategies to reduce psychosocial hazards and stress in organisations. Three main strategies will be presented, the design of work, redesign of work, stress management and employee assistance programmes.

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Formal lectures (delivered by University staff and invited guest speakers) are supported throughout with interactive group and individual exercises. Most modules have a high practical emphasis and usually involve a varied and current set of case studies. Where appropriate, laboratory exercises are undertaken by students. The opportunities for private or small group tutorials are available as necessary.

Selected Texts/Journals

Essential Reading
Cox, T. & Griffiths, A J. (2002 The assessment of psychosocial hazards at work. In MJ Schabracq, JAM Winnubst, and CL. Cooper (eds.) (2nd Ed.). Handbook of Work and Health Psychology. John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471892769

Cox, T., Griffiths , A. & Rial Gonzalez, E. (2000) Research on work-related stress. European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. , Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. ISBN 92-828-9255-7.

Cox, T., Griffiths, A., Barlowe, C., Randall, R., Thomson, L. & Rial-Gonzalez, E. (2000). Organisational Interventions for Work Stress: A Risk Management Approach. Sudbury : HSE Books. ISBN 0 7176 1838 2.

Recommended Reading

Dewe, P., Leiter, M. & Cox, T. (2000) Coping, Health and Organizations (pp 173-190). London and New York : Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-748-40824-X.

Griffiths, A J., Cox, T., & Barlow, C. (1996) Employers responsibilities for the assessment and control of work-related stress: a European perspective. Health & Hygiene, 17.

HSE Books (2003) Tackling work-related stress. ISBN 0 7176 2050 6

Additional Reading

Clarke, S.G. & Cooper, C.L. (2000). The risk management of occupational stress, Health, Risk and Society, 2, 173-187.

Cox, T. & Griffiths, AJ. (1995) Psychosocial hazards: assessment issues. In J. Rantanen et al., (eds.) Proceedings of the International Symposium From Research to Prevention: Managing Occupational and Environmental Health Hazards, March, Helsinki, .

Cox, T., Griffiths , A.J., & Cox, S. (1995) Work-related Stress in Nursing: Controlling the Risk to Health. Geneva : International Labour Office.

Griffiths, A J., & Cox, T. (1998) Work Stress: Advice on its Prevention and Management. Loss Prevention Council, Boreham Wood. ISBN 0 902167 88-X

Kasl, S. and Cooper, C. (1987) Stress and health: Issues in Research

Methodology. Chichester : Wiley & Sons.

Quick, JC., Murphy, LR., & Hurrell, JJ. (1992) Stress and Well-being at Work: Assessments and Interventions for Occupational Mental Health. Washington DC : American Psychological Association.

Last Updated

15th August 2006