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Masters Degrees (Organisational Behavior)

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Behaviour analysis has been recognised as the basis for medically necessary intervention and educational provision for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Read more

Behaviour analysis has been recognised as the basis for medically necessary intervention and educational provision for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With the growing prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (now estimated to be 1:68) behaviour analysis has experienced a significant rise in popularity.

There are over 13,000 Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) worldwide and this number is predicted to rise given that professional approval is seen as the key to delivering high quality services to individuals, families, in schools and in related settings. Furthermore, behaviour analysis is increasingly being applied to general education, special education and organisational leadership settings.

This programme is a highly interactive blended learning programme (mostly online with some face to face workshops) providing professionals from a wide range of backgrounds with scientifically validated expertise that is applicable to mainstream and special needs education, inclusion, curriculum, learning, and pedagogy. It should be of interest to professionals wishing to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®), to those in the ‘helping’ professions (e.g. teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists) and students preparing for PhD studies.

Please note that unfortunately this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.

BACB Verification

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. has verified the six core modules of the MScABA toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (Option 1) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

Why ABA at Queen's?

◦As a prestigious Russell Group University, Queen’s is ranked 8th within the UK in relation to research intensity;

◦Education at Queen’s has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% of the research undertaken within the School assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’ (REF, 2014);

◦The programme offers an economically attractive option as online/blended delivery of the content allows UK/EU/international students to participate without relocating to Belfast;

◦Belfast is easily reached from mainland UK and Europe by a variety of low-cost airlines;

◦The on-campus workshops are timetabled on consecutive days for all the modules in a semester, thus reducing travel requirements;

◦The supervised practice element is not included, but contacts for placements can be provided;

◦An exit award is available. The PGDip (ABA) includes the BACB course sequence without the MSc dissertation

Programme Structure and Modules

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 or 3 years) basis. Individual modules may be studied as a short course. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS) and a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation (60 CATS) as well as audit 'An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.

Students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught pathway modules.

Indicative Number of Modules per Semester

Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.

Modules (all 20 CATS points)

  • Assessment in Behaviour Analysis
  • Behaviour Change and Education
  • Concepts and Principles of Behaviour Analysis
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Evaluation in Behaviour Analysis
  • Fundamental Elements of Behaviour Change

Students are expected to audit 'An introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.

Career Opportunities

The majority of students are already in relevant jobs and the job market is healthy for BCBAs at present. Professionals who are certified BCBAs have the skills and knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate quality interventions that help to produce positive behavioural changes in a range of settings. Typically, behaviour analysts work in the ‘helping’ professions (e.g. teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists). Increasingly, jobs advertised for behaviour managers or specialists require BCBA status.

There is an increasing demand for BCBAs in Europe and worldwide, especially in North America. Teachers as well as allied health professionals should find this degree beneficial in their workplace.



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This specialist programme enables students to develop their knowledge and competencies, including the following. A sound understanding of the underlying concepts and principles associated with Behaviour Analysis, and of the applications of these concepts and principles. Read more

This specialist programme enables students to develop their knowledge and competencies, including the following:

  • A sound understanding of the underlying concepts and principles associated with Behaviour Analysis, and of the applications of these concepts and principles
  • A knowledge of the research skills required for Behaviour Analysis, including the ability to read, interpret and appraise published behavioural research critically, and the ability to conduct fundamental and, where appropriate, applied research in Behaviour Analysis
  • An understanding of functional analyses of problem behaviour and of how to develop an appropriate programme for behaviour change in their area of speciality
  • Analytic and library research skills, as well as skills in presenting proposals and reports in both written and oral format

The Behaviour Analysis courses in this programme provide a course sequence approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board ®, Inc. (BACB) (http://www.bacb.com) as meeting the academic requirements to sit the examination to become a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst, and contribute to a BACB® approved course sequence for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). Students can also progress on to further postgraduate study to complete the full BACB® approved.

Career opportunities

Depending on your specialty, you may work in a range of settings (including research institutions, private practice, schools, special education settings, universities, health services, business and industry, governmental agencies and zoos), and with a range of populations (including families, people with psychological problems, children with challenging behaviours, individuals with special needs, teachers, people and their pets, agricultural species and any others seeking positive behaviour change).

Students who specialised in the application of Behaviour Analysis to human behaviour are working in the community, in mental health, and in educational settings and with a wide range of individuals.

However, it doesn’t matter what type of psychology you choose to practice, or whether you end up in a field orientated to people or animals. What is important is that you gain an understanding of how and why organisms behave (i.e., what maintains and/or influences behaviour) whether it be private or public.

Industry Experience

Many students intending careers involving application of behaviour analysis (for example, those who intend to work with families, children or with people with an intellectual disability) gain practical experience alongside their graduate studies.

This can be voluntary work or paid work as a support worker. In addition, sometimes experience can be gained though working for parents or trusts who employ students specialising in applied behaviour analysis to work with their children, helping to implement programmes for them.

The MAppPsy(BA) programme includes training in the skills required to work practically applying behaviour analytic principles to behaviour change.



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