Centre for Behaviour Change


Summer School

UCL CBC Summer School logo
Summer School course information

The CBC Summer School series is an annual training course delivered by the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change during July and August at UCL central London campus. The Summer School will give participants a greater understanding of the possibilities for applying behaviour change interventions to their own situations, providing tools and a practical framework for developing, implementing and evaluating these interventions to their areas of interest.

The Summer School series for 2019 has just finished. If you are interested in attending future Summer Schools, join the CBC mailing list to stay up to date with all notifications and information relating to the Summer School.

Introduction to Behaviour Change: Principles and Practice

This is a five-day course that will introduce participants to the principles of behaviour change and how these can be applied to practical problems. The course is aimed at anyone who is interested in behaviour change - from researchers, practitioners, intervention designers, managers and policy makers.

This course will aim to give participants:

  • a greater understanding of the possibilities for applying behaviour change interventions to your own situation
  • a practical framework for developing, implementing and evaluating these interventions in your area of interest

Structure and teaching

The course is highly participatory, with short presentations, discussions, group work and tutorials. There is a maximum of 36 participants per course to ensure sufficient guidance and support throughout the week of teaching.

Participants will be encouraged to take part in:

  • discussion groups: these will draw on real-life scenarios/projects that have been generated in advance by participants (prior to the course start, participants will be asked to submit a project/topic that they would like to focus and work on throughout the week)
  • tutorials: at the end of each day there will be small group tutorials led by experienced facilitators to support the application of the learning points from that day to their own situations. The tutorial groups will be organised according to the level of experience in behaviour change and area of work of each participants. Tutorial groups will also be an opportunity for participants to have their personal objectives reviewed throughout the week as the course progresses
  • buddy system: in order to support long-term change, participants will be encouraged to team up with a 'buddy' to review action plans developed during the week in the months following the end of the course. In addition to the buddy system, there is a LinkedIn group for Summer School alumni that participants can join to keep in touch and continue to review, problem-solve and plan behaviour change interventions.

All participants will be given a course handbook to support learning throughout the week.

At the end of the course participants will leave with an individual, tailored action plan for applying what they have learnt to their own situation or areas of interest.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the five-day course, participants should be able to:

  • describe and discuss how capability, opportunity and motivation interact to support behaviour change using the COM-B model, and analyse behaviour in context and identify targets for change using the COM-B model
  • apply the Behaviour Change Wheel to develop a broad strategy for behaviour change
  • identify specific behaviour change techniques to include in interventions in the strategy
  • describe key principles underpinning maintenance of behaviour change
  • describe and discuss how to embed behavioural change within organisations


Participants will be given a certificate of completion at the end of course.

Costs and concessions

Fees vary depending on the sector of the participant. We will have early bird registration rates available.

More information on the course registration prices for our next Summer School will be available early 2020.

Advanced Summer School

This week-long course will help participants develop specialist knowledge and skills in behaviour change. The course consists of three courses covering three distinct but related subjects; participants can register for the full week, or opt to take the modules separately. Please note that it is required that participants must have completed the Summer School Principles and Practice prior to registering for the Advanced Summer School course.

Course content and learning outcomes

Module 1: Influencing motivation (two-day course)

This two-day course will review and analyse theories of motivation to help participants design behaviour change intervenions. It will introduce the itegrative PRIME Theory of Motivation and show how it can support a broadly based, systems approach to intervention design.

Course content

Participants will learn:

  • the latest theories of motivation, including PRIME Theory
  • the role of habit, emotions, identity and beliefs in behaviour change
  • practical strategies for developing interventions to influence motivation at the individual and population level

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • critically evaluate different definitions and approaches to understanding motivatio
  • identify the main themes that are covered by theories of motivation
  • describe the key propositions of the PRIME theory of motivation and identify how this theory can be used in designing behaviour change interventions at individual and population levels
  • use PRIME theory to identify the components of existing interventions that influence motivation for behaviour change
  • use the COM-B model of behaviour to design intervention that influence motivational processes
  • design interventions to influence the motivational processes underpinning behaviour
Module 2: Changing Behaviour in Complex Systems and Organisations (two-day course)

Behaviour is heavily influenced by context and the systems within which it's embedded. Greater understanding of how systems operate to influence behaviour can enhance the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions.This two-day course will draw together principles of behaviour change and systems thinking to address behavioural problems within complex systems, such as organisations.

  • Day one will focus on understanding and influencing behaviour in complex systems
  • Day two will focus on applying behavioural systems approaches to changing behaviour within organisations

Course content

Participants will learn about:

  • the principles of complex systems
  • behavioural approaches to systems change
  • system interventions to change behaviour
  • behavioural approaches to change within organisations
  • identify the behaviours involved in complex systems
  • understand how the various agents and behaviours work together to maintain a problem
  • guide the choice of behaviour change interventions

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants should be able to:

  • describe the characteristics of complex systems
  • analyse complex systems into the component parts of agents, behaviours and outcomes
  • understand how the components of complex systems influence each other
  • create a behavioural systems map and use this to identify where and how to use behaviour change principles to intervene
  • know how to apply behavioural systems thinking to bring about change within organisations
Module 3: Process Evaluation and Implementation of Behaviour Change Intervention (one day course)

There's increasing investment in designing and evaluating interventions to change behaviour. Evaluations typically take the form of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to establish whether or not interventions 'work'. However these methods don't help us understand what factors influence the effectiveness of interventions ('what works better and why').They also don't provide necessary information on how interventions were implemented and engaged with, which is vital to enabling more accurate interpretation of intervention effects, supporting replication, and scalability of interventions. 

This one-day course will provide a brief overview of different types of evaluations (e.g. RCTs, stepped wedge, observational). There will be a specific focus on investigating implementation by conducting process evaluations to explore 'how' and 'why' interventions succeed or fail. Our facilitators will introduce how behavioural science theories and frameworks can be applied in mixed methods process evaluations to explore issues such as intervention fidelity, acceptability, and mechanisms of action. A greater awareness of the different types of evaluations and mixed-methods approaches will help you plan an evaluation strategy for behaviour change interventions.

Course content

Topics covered will include:

  • Introduction to Medical Research Council guidance for developing and evaluating complex interventions Overview of different types of evaluations
  • Evaluating effectiveness: overview of different trial designs
  • Components and functions of process evaluations
  • MRC Process evaluation guidance
  • Mixed-methods
  • Logic models
  • Use of theory in process evaluations
  • Assessing fidelity/ implementation
  • Acceptability


Throughout the course, you'll study 'real world', applied examples of evaluation strategies for behaviour change interventions across different settings.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • describe different types of evaluations for complex behaviour change interventions
  • outline current guidance and recommendations for evaluating complex interventions
  • select the study design most appropriate for the  research question, intervention and study context
  • describe the purpose and different components of process evaluations
  • apply behavioural science theories, frameworks and mixed-methods to evaluate intervention fidelity, acceptability, and mechanisms of change/action
  • plan a comprehensive evaluation strategy

Who is the course for?

The Advanced Summer School is for anyone who has previously taken the Principles and Practice course with an interest in behaviour change, including:

  • researchers
  • clinicians and practitioners
  • intervention designers
  • managers
  • policy makers
  • marketing professionals
  • organisational change professionals
Course Leaders

Professor Susan Michie

Susan Michie is a Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change. Susan's research focuses on behaviour change in relation to health; how to understand it theoretically and apply theory to intervention development, evaluation and implementation. Susan has developed innovative methods for characterising and reporting interventions and for synthesising evidence about the effectiveness of complex interventions, working across disciplines such as information science, environmental science, computer science and medicine. Her research covers population, organisational and individual level interventions, including digital interventions. Susan has served as an expert advisor and an organisational consultant to a wide range of organisations. She is the Chair of the UK Food Standard Agency Social Science Advisory Committee, has previously chaired the Academy of Social Science's 'Health of People' project and is the Co-Director of the UK Department of Health's Behavioural Science Policy Research Unit.

Professor Robert West

Robert is a Professor of Health Psychology and Director of UCL's Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (UTAG), he is also Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction. Robert's main area of research is addiction but he also has researched decision making, road user behaviour and music psychology. Robert developed the PRIME Theory of Motivation; an intergrated theory aiming to understand what shapes our behaviour for the purposes of developing behaviour change interventions (www.primetheory.com). Robert serves as an advisor to a number of governmental, NGO and industrial sector organisations in the UK and overseas.

Dr Lou Atkins

Lou is a researcher, trainer and consultant in behaviour cahge intervention design and evaluation. As one of the two Senior Teaching Fellows of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, Lou leads the Australasian Hub. Lou is involved in a number of projects to improve health and wellbeing through the application of behaviour change theory to intervention design to change health professional behaviour, such as reducing variation in adenoma detection rates in colonoscopy; prevent illness, for example reducing cardiovascular disease in people with severe mental illness; and manage illness, such as increasing physical activity in people with musculoskeletal disorders. Together with Susan Michie and Robert West, Lou co-authored the book, 'The Behaviour Change Wheel - A Guide to Designing Interventions'.

Dr Paul Chadwick

Paul is the Deputy Director of the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, he is also a consultant clinical and health psychologist. Paul is Clinical Director of MEND Central Ltd; the world's largest provider of community weight management programmes, and he also leads on the development of psychological services for people with Diabetes and other long-term conditions at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust and Camden & Islington MHSCT. Paul has been at the forefront of developing, evaluating and disseminating evidence-based approaches to obesity in the UK and has been providing training and consultancy to individuals and organisations wishing to intergrate behaviour change interventionsinto their work for over 10 years. Having over 18 years experience of providing psychological expertise to the NHS and private sector health care, Paul is part of several large-scale trials of behaviour change interventions. He is author to over 30 peer-reviewed academic papers and having presented his work at conferences at national and international levels. Paul is the lead for the UCL Partners Introduction to Behaviour Change course, Paul is also the curriculum for Health & Social Care Unit for the Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London.

Dr Fabiana Lorencatto

Fabiana is the Research Lead for the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change and also a Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Services Research at City University of London. Fabiana's main research interests include implementation science and the application of behavioural theory and frameworks to develop behaviour change interventions to improve clinical practice. Fabiana is involved in a number of projects aiming to change healthcare professional behaviour across a range of contexts, including audit and feedback interventions to reduce unnecessary blood transfusions, antimicrobial prescribing, optpmetrist delivered smoking cessation support, and increasing attendance for diabetic retinopathy screening Fabiana also has a special interest in process evaluation methodology, particularly the assessment of intervention fidelity. She is an editorial board member of the journal Implementation Science and regularly teaches across a range of MSc and BSc courses.

Dr Danielle D'Lima

Danielle joined the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL as the Senior Teaching Fellow on the new MSc in Behaviour Change. Her role includes designing and delivering teaching across multiple modules. She joined from the Department of Applied Health Research at UCL where she was working on the “DEcisions in health Care to Introduce or Diffuse innovations using Evidence” (DECIDE) project. This study explored how interactions between different types of evidence and processes at the professional and organisational level influence decisions to introduce or roll out innovations in acute and primary care within the UK National Health Service.  Danielle has a PhD from Imperial College London on the influence of performance feedback on professional behaviour change in healthcare. The PhD took a multidisciplinary approach drawing upon psychological theory, medical informatics and health services research and incorporating both qualitative and quantitative components.

Entry Requirements

Participants from non-English speaking countries must have a good standard of English proficency with 6.5 in each of the sub-tests. For more information please read the information available on UCL English language requirements.

All participants registering for the Advanced Summer School course must have previously completed the introductory course Principles & Practice. In some cases the course leader will approve registration if suitable equivalent experience can be provided, but this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


There are many examples of our Alumni putting Summer School learing into practice including private and public sector organisations revising their behaviour change strategies. Some academic publications include:

There is a LinkedIn group called UCL CBC Summer School Alumni. We would encourage all past participants of the 2018 and 2019 Summer Schools to join to keep in touch and share their learning.