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Course content

Applied behaviour analysis has been recognised as the treatment of choice for a broad range of clinical problems (e.g., early intervention for autism, responding to challenging behaviour, classroom management, effective instructional practices). Positive behavioural support (PBS) is an example of behaviour analysis in a particular practice setting (usually implemented for adults with intellectual disabilities or within special education settings). PBS aims to improve a person’s quality of life through the use of a framework that allows behaviour to be analysed in the social, physical, and broader context in which it occurs. The aims of the course are to develop an advanced conceptual understanding of applied behaviour analysis, behavioural concepts and philosophy relevant to the development and treatment of psychological disorders, advanced knowledge of positive behavioural support and research methods. In addition, students will develop key competencies in the use of behavioural principles in clinical settings using the positive behaviour support model. In addition to obtaining PBS and behaviour analytic knowledge, graduates will have acquired critical evaluation, time management, collaborative working, sound professional conduct, and oral communication skills. The course is taught via lectures, group discussions, seminars, and activities. Assessments include written assignments in a range of formats and unseen exams. Students may undertake a research thesis in a range of available applied settings with a range of participants, or they may complete an internship across two years (limited places available). During the internship, students will work in an applied setting and will submit a portfolio of their clinical work at the end of each year.

Students wishing to can exit the programme after achieving either a PG Certificate or PG Diploma if they don’t wish to undertake the full MSc.

"This course is one of the first to offer a specalisation in positive behavioural support in Europe, taught by leading UK experts and offering exceptional learning opportunities." Course Director Dr Rebecca Sharp

Scholarships and Funding

You can find out more about Scholarships and funding sources here.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Careers and Employability

As with all our MSc courses, this degree provides the advanced research skills required for research in a broad range of settings. It equips students with practical skills in research design, analysis, and information technology for investigating research questions in psychology and the social sciences. Equally important, the programme provides training in communicating research findings to others.

Research / Links with Industry

Staff involved in the course include experts in Positive Behaviour Support (in particular Dr Sandy Toogood is one of the UK’s most experienced and published PBS practitioner, and Katy Lee, an experienced PBS practioner); with other faculty having been actively involved in recent UK level discussion and Task Groups informing policy and publications of how Positive Behaviour Support fits in the UK context and can be delivered.

As with all our MSc courses, this degree provides the advanced research skills required for research in a broad range of settings. It equips students with practical skills in research design, analysis, and information technology for investigating research questions in psychology and the social sciences. Equally important, the programme provides training in communicating research findings to others.

Applied behaviour analysis has been recognised as the treatment of choice for a broad range of clinical problems (e.g., early intervention for autism, responding to challenging behaviour, classroom management, effective instructional practices). This recognition has created a need for developing training courses that establish therapeutic competence in the basic principles of the science. 

Further, the NICE guidelines (2015) for health and social care recommend Positive Behaviour Interventions as the treatment of choice in service settings that care for those with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges.


Visit the Positive Behavioural Support - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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