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Changing human behaviour is at the heart of solving global problems central to wellbeing, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. Government and public bodies, charities and companies routinely seek to integrate behaviour change within their policies and practices. This cross-disciplinary programme will train a new generation to work in this emerging field.

About this degree

This cross-disciplinary MSc programme will:

  • equip students with the ability to critically appraise theories, methods and evidence for understanding behaviour and behaviour change in a range of contexts.
  • train students in the design, implementation and evaluation of behaviour change interventions.
  • enable students to support the translation of evidence into practice across disciplines and sectors.

MSc students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The MSc programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), three elective modules (45 credits) and a research-based dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, which consists of four core modules (75 credits) and three electives (45 credits), is also offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, which consists of three core modules (60 credits), is also available.

Core modules

  • Changing Behaviour: Intervention Development and Evaluation (30 credits)
  • Theories and Models of Behaviour Change (15 credits)
  • Behaviour Change: An Interdisciplinary Approach (15 credits)
  • Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health (15 credits) *
  • Research Project (60 credits) **

* MSc and PG Diploma Only

** MSc Only

Elective modules

MSc and PG Diploma students choose three of the following:

  • Health and Wellbeing (15 credits)
  • Transport Behaviour Change: Theory and Practice (15 credits)
  • Energy, People and Behaviour (15 credits) †
  • Making Policy Work (15 credits) †
  • Wellbeing in Buildings: Theory and Practice (15 credits) †
  • Social Cognition: Affect and Motivation (15 credits) †
  • Social Psychology of Risk (15 credits) †
  • Public Ethics (15 credits) †
  • Consumer Behaviour (15 credits) †
  • Judgement and Decision Making (15 credits) †
  • Human Factors and Digital Health (15 credits) †
  • Persuasive Games (15 credits) †
  • Introduction to System Dynamics Modelling in the Built Environment (15 credits)†

† these electives are subject to availabilitiy

Dissertation/research project

MSc students undertake an independent research project, culminating in a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words. Projects will also be presented at a mini-conference. 

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, small-group and project work and independent study. All tutors are highly experienced, internationally recognised researchers and/or practitioners in behaviour change from a range of disciplines, including: health, transport, built environment, digital technology, policy and ethics. Assessment is through coursework, unseen examinations and research projects. Although not formally offered, we can support students to find and complete a work experience placement as part of their programme.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Behaviour Change MSc

Careers

Students graduating from this programme will be equipped with a broad set of skills that can be applied to many different careers. Market research has shown there is a large demand for behaviour change expertise across the private, public and voluntary sectors and in roles relating to policy, practice and research. 

Graduate careers benefiting from this degree include policy officers, researchers and research managers, IT developers and user experience designers, human resource managers, health consultants, urban and transport planners. The range of modules available creates a unique opportunity for students to tailor their degree to their specific interests and career aspirations.

Employability

On completion of this degree, students will have acquired significant knowledge about behaviour change theories and techniques, skills in intervention design, implementation and evaluation and will have an advanced understanding and appreciation for effective interdisciplinary working. 

Students will also have knowledge of a broad range of research methodologies and MSc students will have had the opportunity to apply these and their acquired knowledge to an original piece of research.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme draws on the world-renowned expertise of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC), led by Professor Susan Michie, that fosters interdisciplinary thinking and practice to address the challenges of changing behaviour globally.

CBC’s activities provide unparalleled opportunities (e.g. seminars, conferences and public events) for students to meet and work with leaders in research, policy and practice engaged in translating evidence to solve real-world problems.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Behaviour Change (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University College London website for more details!

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