Centre for Behaviour Change Summer School: Behaviour Change - Principles and Practice

  • 35 hours
  • 5 days


Centre for Behaviour Change logo

This five-day course will introduce you to the principles of behaviour change and how these can be applied to practical problems in your own area of interest.

It's aimed at everyone interested in behaviour change - from researchers, practitioners and intervention designers to managers and policy makers.

The summer school, run by UCL's Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC), has been running successfully for several years. It was developed and is led by world-renowned experts in the field, including Professor Susan Michie and Professor Robert West. 

Course content

The course will look at the principles of behaviour change and demonstrate how these can be applied to a variety of practical problems - from supporting change among patients and health professionals, to planning and supporting change in organisations and communities.

It will give you:

  • 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

Who this course is for

The summer school is for everyone interested in behaviour change including:

  • researchers
  • practitioners
  • intervention designers
  • managers
  • policy makers

Entry requirements

Non-native English speakers must have a good standard of English proficiency, with 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

To help you get the most from the course, you'll be sent suggestions for preparatory reading and a free online copy of the Behaviour Change Wheel: A Guide to Designing Interventions (Michie, Atkins and West, 2014). Hard copies can be purchased directly from CBC staff (in cash) or ordered from the website (via PayPal) from

Structure and teaching

The course will be highly participatory, with short presentations, discussions, group work and tutorials.

There will be a maximum of 36 participants to enable individual guidance.

You'll be encouraged to take part in:

  • discussion groups - these will draw on real-life scenarios generated in advance by participants (you'll have the opportunity to submit an issue you'd like to work on during 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 your own situation. These will be organised according to level of expertise and area of work, and your personal objectives will be reviewed with your tutor as the week progresses.
  • the buddy system - in order to support long-term change, you'll be encouraged to team up with a ‘buddy’ to review action plans weeks or months after the course has finished and continue the reviewing, problem-solving and planning begun within the course

You'll be given a manual to support your learning and you'll leave with an individual, tailored action plan for applying what you've learnt in the course to your own situation. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you'll 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


You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completing the course.

What makes this course special

This course stands out for its:

  • content and teaching - it's been developed and is led by world-renowned experts from the field of behavioural science
  • unique cross-disciplinary approach to the study of behaviour change
  • core training in the development, implementation and evaluation of behaviour change interventions using a systematic method and comprehensive framework

Benefits for employees

As an employee, you'll benefit from:

  • opportunities for networking with peers and course tutors/mentors
  • access to continued support for developing behaviour interventions post-course

Benefits for employers

As an employer, you'll benefit from:

  • having your staff trained in cutting-edge approaches to intervention design, implementation and evaluation
  • your staff gaining access to expertise and networks within a world-renowned ‘hub’ for behaviour change
  • the knowledge your staff will gain from case studies carried out by other academics, practitioners and policymakers in the field

Cost and concessions

Fees vary depending on sector/business size.

Universities, third sector and public sector in low and middle-income countries

Use voucher code cbc-2018-intro1 when booking for:

  • standard fee - £1,155
  • early bird - £1,039.50

Universities, third sector, small enterprises and start-ups (up to 50 employees)

Use voucher code cbc-2018-intro2 when booking for:

  • standard fee - £1,815
  • early bird - £1,633.50

Public sector and medium enterprises (50-249 employees)

Use voucher code cbc-2018-intro3 when booking for:

  • standard fee - £2,310
  • early bird - £2,079

Large enterprises (250+ employees)

  • standard fee - £3,300
  • early bird - £2,970

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Course team

Professor Susan Michie

Trained as a clinical psychologist, Susan is Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change and Professor of Health Psychology at UCL. Her research focuses on designing and evaluating interventions to change behaviour to improve health and well-being, and to support the delivery of evidence-based health care. Susan is academic advisor to UCLPartners’ Integrated Mental Health programme and a member of NICE’s Behaviour Change Programme Development Group.

Professor Robert West

Robert is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, UCL. He is Co-director of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction. His research includes clinical trials of new smoking cessation treatments, studies of the acute effects of cigarette withdrawal and population studies of smoking patterns.

Dr Lou Atkins

Lou is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change where she leads the teaching programme. She is involved in a number of projects 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. She is also involved in projects to promote environmental sustainability including increasing recycling in organisations.

Dr Paul Chadwick

Paul is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change. He is also the Clinical Director of MEND Central Ltd, the world’s largest provider of community weight management programmes, and 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.

Dr Ben Gardner

Ben became Lecturer in Health Psychology in the UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre in 2009, where he worked on a programme of theoretical and applied studies to develop habit theory and habit-based public health interventions. He joined UCL in 2014. His current research focuses on trying to locate the precise role(s) of ‘habit’ in social and health-related behaviours, and using habit-formation as a behaviour change technique and intervention goal.

Dr Angel Chater

Angel is a Registered Health Psychologist, interested in subjective wellbeing, health promotion and disease prevention with a focus on behaviour change interventions, most specifically drawing on positive psychology for weight management and physical activity enhancement. She is a Lecturer in Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine and trains pharmacists in behaviour change and professional communication. She has experience working as a Health Psychologist to Specialist Obesity Services at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

Dr Rachel Carey

Rachel’s doctoral research, completed at the National University of Ireland Galway, was funded by the Irish Road Safety Authority and examined the impact of threat-based road safety advertisements on risky driving behaviour. She currently works on the MRC-funded Theories and Techniques of Behaviour Change Project, led by Professor Susan Michie, which aims to develop and test a methodology for linking behaviour change techniques to their theoretical mechanisms of action.

Dr Fabi Lorencatto

Fabi’s PhD work concerned the translation of evidence into practice for smoking cessation behavioural support interventions, with a specific focus on developing novel methods for evaluating fidelity and quality of intervention delivery. Fabi currently works as a Research Fellow on a NIHR funded program of research aiming to develop and evaluate enhanced audit and feedback interventions to reduce unnecessary blood transfusions.

Course information last modified: 02 Aug 2018, 16:01