Short courses


Behaviour Change - Principles and Practice: North American Summer School

  • 28 hours
  • 4 days


This four-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.

This course aims to 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

This course run by UCL Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC), in partnership with Dalhousie University.

Who this course is for

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

  • students
  • researchers (from post-docs to professors)
  • practitioners
  • intervention designers
  • managers
  • policy makers

Entry requirements

Applicants from outside Canada whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English or have completed a university degree in English. Details of language requirements can be found on the Dalhousie University website.

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 www.behaviourchangewheel.com

Structure and teaching

The course will run over four days.

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

There'll be a maximum of 25 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 and charities - 1700 CAD / £968 (when booking, use voucher code cbc_ss_na_unis)
  • Public sector and medium sized organisations - 2159 CAD / £1230 (when booking, use voucher code cbc_ss_na_public)
  • Large organisations (250+ employees) - 3077 CAD / £1752

Please note that payment must be made in Pound sterling (GBP). We recommend that you check with your banking provider about any additional fees or charges which might be incurred from international purchases made in Canadian dollars (CAD) or United States dollars (USD).

Cancellation policy

CBC and Dalhouise University reserve the right to withdraw the course if there are insufficient registrations.

Delegates who have registered and have paid the fees will be entitled to a full refund of the fees. However, CBC and Dalhouise will not be able to refund other costs incurred as a result of registering for the programme.

To avoid disappointment, you should book your place on the course as soon as possible. However, we recommend that you don't book your travel until you receive confirmation that the course is definitely going ahead. 

Further information

This summer school has been running in London, UK, for the last five years. It was developed and led by world-renowned researchers and clinicians in the field, including Professor Susan Michie, Professor Robert West, Dr Lou Atkins, Dr Paul Chadwick and Dr Fabiana Lorencatto.

The Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University has strong links with UCL's CBC, with collaborations on numerous projects focused on behaviour change to improve the health of individuals, communities and populations, and transforming the way that healthcare professionals deliver care. This is a unique opportunity to bring world-leading expertise to a North American setting and audience.  

To stay up to date with news about the North American Summer School, join the NASS Summer School mailing list or contact behaviourchange@ucl.ac.uk

Course team

Dr Paul Chadwick

Dr Paul Chadwick

Paul is the Deputy Director for the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change and Clinical Director of MEND Central Ltd, the world’s largest provider of community weight management programmes. 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.

Dr Fabiana Lorencatto

Dr Fabiana Lorencatto

Fabiana is the Research Lead at the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, and an honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Services Research, City University of London. Fabiana’s primary research interests are in designing behaviour change interventions aimed at changing the behaviours of healthcare professionals to improve clinical practice. She also has expertise in process evaluation methodology, specifically the assessment of intervention fidelity.

Dr Janet Curran

Dr Janet Curran

Janet is a Clinician Scientist in Pediatrics and Emergency Care at the IWK Health Centre and an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University. She co-designs interventions with children, families and health care providers to improve care.

Dr Christine Cassidy

Dr Christine Cassidy

Christine is a CIHR Health System Impact Postdoctoral Fellow at the IWK Health Centre and University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on using an integrated knowledge translation approach to implement and evaluate nursing practice changes in paediatric care.

Dr Andrea Bishop

Dr Andrea Bishop

Andrea is Policy Development and Research Manager at the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists (NSCP). Prior to joining the NSCP, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in implementation science at the IWK Health Centre exploring communication and information exchange behaviours across transitions of care.

Course information last modified: 28 Aug 2019, 10:02