Course Title: The Psychosocial Work Environment

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Psychosocial Work Environment

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Leo Ruschena

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1982

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.9

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge is similar to that acquired in PUBH1384 Critical Thinking, PUBH1361 Introduction to WHS and ENVI1020 WHS Legal Systems.   Requires basic understanding of OHS law and risk management; and basic level skill to investigate, analyse and synthesise OHS information, problems, concepts and theories. 


Course Description

  • This course will provide you with an understanding ofpsychosocial hazards such as stress and fatigue within organisations, their causes, and how they impact on health, safety and wellbeing of workers These issues may individually have negative health impacts in their own right,or may exacerbate the effects of other work place hazards, such as poorly designed biomechanical tasks.
  • You will use techniques to assess psychosocial risk within organisation, and understand methods for practical controls to achieve a safe and healthy work environment.
  • Good organisational design and programs to improve worker well-being are discussed.



Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 Capability Development: This course will contribute to the following program learning outcomes at AQF level 8: 

  • 1.1 You will demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of the OHS Body of Knowledge allowing you to reflect critically on OHS theory and professional practice.

    1.2 You will demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods for the maintenance and expansion of your knowledge base

    2.1 You will have skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise OHS information, problems, concepts and theories.

    2.2 You will have skills to generate OHS solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.

    3.1 You will be able to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice.

    4.1 You will have communication and research skills to interpret OHS issues and justify OHS decisions for specialist and non-specialist audiences.

OHS Learning Outcomes: On completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss the current theories relating to a range of psychosocial hazards likely to be encountered in a work place
  2. Apply knowledge of legislation, standards and codes relevant to psychosocial issues in day-to-day activities
  3. Use a systematic approach in investigating and analysing causes of psychosocial hazards with appropriate attention to ethical, legal and confidentiality constraints
  4. Collect, analyse and systematically use relevant literature and work place data about psychosocial hazards
  5. Develop, implement, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of psychosocial intervention programs for the work place
  6. Consult and communicate to all stake holders in a manner which recognises and uses the industrial framework and social context of the work place
  7. Utilise practical knowledge and skills to investigate and develop solutions for psychosocial hazards within an organisation


Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts and their application will be set out in face to face lectures and suggested readings. Case studies on selected topics will build your capacity to think critically and analytically. You will have to write reports which will develop your communications skills.

 You will receive feedback on your understanding and academic progress during discussion and when assignments are returned.

Module details are:

  • Work and health
  • Human information processing
  • Occupational stress
  • Fatigue
  • Bullying, harassment and violence
  • Discrimination
  • Workplace relations
  • Fitness for duty
  • Worker health and wellbeing

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Total Study Hours.

144 (lectures, tutorials, practicals, assessments, research, private study)

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be directed to a range of texts, journal articles and other web based material that provide a current understanding of the knowledge in this area.

Lectures and other materials will be available on myRMIT (Blackboard).

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment is at AQF9 level.

1. Written assignment on regulation of psychosocial risks (20%) – covers Course Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,7

2. Two written assignments covering the detailed analysis of significant psychosocial hazards in an organisation (Choose two of five options) (60%) – covers Course Learning Outcomes 1-7

3. Written assignment relating to fitness for duty in an organisation (20%) – covers Course Learning Outcomes 1-7

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures