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Behaviour Change - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

Changing human behaviour is at the heart of solving global problems central to wellbeing, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. For example, preventing obesity, pollution and waste of resources require change at individual, organisational and population levels. This cross-disciplinary programme uniquely equips students to work in this emerging and exciting field.

Degree information

This cross-disciplinary Master's 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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) is also offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, three core modules (60 credits) is also offered.

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)

*PG Cert core modules

Optional modules - 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)

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.


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.

On graduation we anticipate students will find work as health professionals, policy officers, researchers and research managers, IT developers and user experience designers, human resource managers, management consultants, urban and transport planners. The range of optional modules available on this programme creates a unique opportunity for students to tailor their degree to their specific interests and career aspirations.

Graduates will be equipped with a broad set of skills that can be applied to many different careers.

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 inter-disciplinary 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) 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.

Due to CBC’s extensive networks with external organisations, students will be able to contribute to UCL research programmes which are recognised as having global impact, therefore gaining invaluable experience for future careers across research, policy and practice.

Examples of organisations collaborating with the CBC include; Public Health England, Food Standards Agency, Greater Manchester Police, Groundworks, Arup, Quit51, Bupa, Capita and Phillips.

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

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a related area (for example, psychology, social sciences, health sciences, behavioural sciences, economics) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard; relevant practical or research experience with a behavour change focus (through paid or voluntary work) is also required if the first degree is in a non-related area. Normally the first degree also includes quantitative expertise - statistics or mathematics - because of the statistical components of the programme.

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