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Behaviour Change MSc

A postgraduate degree in behaviour change drawing on multidisciplinary scholarship and its application. This innovative programme is centred around the systematic application of behaviour change theory and methods to design, implement and evaluate interventions. This approach equips students to work in this emerging and exciting field to address social, health and environmental challenges.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,170 (FT)
£5,555 (PT)
Overseas:
£26,890 (FT)
£13,390 (PT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

For the MSc, a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a behavioural or social science (for example, psychology, sociology, anthropology, social geography) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard and relevant quantitative or qualitative research experience. Practical experience with a behaviour change focus (through paid or voluntary work) is also beneficial. Normally the first degree also includes quantitative expertise - statistics or mathematics - because of the statistical components of the programme. For the PG Diploma or Certificate, a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in any academic discipline and relevant research and/or practical experience (e.g. paid or voluntary) with a behaviour change focus are required.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

This MSc programme:

  • equips students with the ability to critically appraise theories, methods and evidence for understanding behaviour and behaviour change in a range of contexts.
  • trains students in the design, implementation and evaluation of behaviour change interventions.
  • enables students to support the translation of evidence into practice across disciplines and sectors.

MSc students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The MSc programme consists of four core modules (75 credits), three elective modules (45 credits) and a research-based dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, which consists of four core modules (75 credits) and three electives (45 credits), is also offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, which consists of three core modules (60 credits), is also available.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Behaviour Change. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Behaviour Change. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Behaviour Change.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory 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) **

* MSc and PG Diploma Only

** MSc Only

Elective modules

MSc and PG Diploma students choose three of the following:

  • Health and Wellbeing (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) †
  • Judgement and Decision Making (15 credits) †
  • Human Factors and Digital Health (15 credits) †
  • Persuasive Games (15 credits) †
  • Introduction to System Dynamics Modelling in the Built Environment (15 credits)†
  • Energy and Climate Policy (15 credits) †
  • Evidence for Policy and Practice (15 credits) †
  • Public Economics and Public Policy (15 credits) †
  • Behavioural Economics and Game Theory for the Environment (15 credits) †

† these electives are subject to availabilitiy

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/research project

MSc students undertake an independent research project, culminating in a dissertation of 8,000 words. Projects may 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, economics, policy and ethics. Assessment is through coursework, unseen examinations and research projects.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Students graduating from this programme will be equipped with a broad set of skills that can be applied to many different careers. 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.

Graduate careers benefiting from this degree include policy officers, behavioural science researchers and research managers, IT developers and user experience designers, urban and transport planners, health consultants and human resource managers. The range of modules available creates a unique opportunity for students to tailor their degree to their specific interests and career aspirations.

Employability

On completion of this degree, 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 interdisciplinary 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), led by Professor Susan Michie, that fosters multidisciplinary knowledge exchange and translates expertise to those wishing to apply this knowledge and skills to their work and/or studies. The Centre engages leaders from a variety of key academic disciplines in a far-reaching programme of research, training, teaching, consultancy and events.

Students will have the opportunity to meet (e.g. at social seminars) and work with (e.g. for the research project component of the MSc) members of the CBC team who are leaders in research, policy and practice engaged in translating evidence to solve real-world problems.

Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

We welcome international as well as UK/EU applicants from all backgrounds (e.g. researchers, practitioners, policymakers and recent graduates) who are interested in learning to apply behaviour change principles to a variety of issues (e.g. environment, digital technologies, successful ageing) and sectors (e.g. government, charities, public sector and commercial organisations).

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Behaviour Change at graduate level
  • why you want to study Behaviour Change at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020