Centre for Behaviour Change


Summer School

UCL CBC Summer School logo
Online Summer School 2020

In light of Covid-19, the CBC is regretfully cancelling the face-to-face delivery of the CBC Summer Schools in 2020. We will be providing a full refund for everyone who has booked a place.

However, watch this space as the team prepares an online version of our Principles & Practice of Behaviour Change Summer School. We plan to mirror the in-person course with lots of real time interaction with Faculty, along with daily mentor groups, just as in the face-to-face course. We are also looking to enhance the learning experience through the use of digital tools such as the facility to submit questions to Faculty in advance and after sessions. We will post more details on course delivery, dates and how to register soon.

To stay up to date on all online Summer School news and announcements, we suggest joining the mailing list by clicking the button below.

Principles & Practice of Behaviour Change 

We will be translating this course to a online delivery for 2020.

This five-day course will introduce participants to the principles or 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.

The aim of this course is 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.

Advanced Summer School

This course will be postponed for delivery in 2021.

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

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.