Short courses


Changing Minds: Advanced Behavioural Science

  • 5.5 to 6.5 hours per week
  • 2 weeks


This online course, Changing Minds: Influence, for business professionals will help you apply the latest insights from behavioural science to real world problems.

You'll learn about key principles from psychology that can help you in everyday contexts make better decisions and communicate more effectively.

The course covers:

  • the power and limits of social influence
  • the rules of social relationships and why brands and organisations need to follow them
  • getting to grips with neuromarketing
  • why everyone is biased and what you can do about it

Who this course is for

This course is aimed at people who:

  • design behaviour-change interventions
  • work in consumer-facing roles
  • work in advertising and brand-management
  • work in performance management, including human resources

Course content

The introduction session will involve:

  • meeting your instructors and colleagues
  • an introduction to social influence
  • taking part in a live online experiments

Week 1 will focus on influence and cover:

  • how to influence others
  • making better group decisions
  • neuromarketing: fact versus fiction

Week 2 will focus on relationships and cover:

  • the rules of social relationships
  • avoiding the pitfalls of the blame game
  • why we're all biased and what can you do about it

Teaching and structure 

There will be 3 live online sessions (6pm to 7:30pm GMT).

You'll also need to spend between 4 and 5 hours a week on independent study. This will include watching pre-recorded videos, and accessing recommended reading, podcasts and videos.


You'll receive a certificate when you complete of the course.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • understand how behavioural science can contribute to solving real-world problems
  • spot the difference between neuroscience and neurobollocks
  • make better group decisions
  • understand how we're all biased and what can you do about it
  • understand different socio-psychological principles that can be exploited to boost our social influence
  • avoid communication mistakes that rest on a weak understanding of the influence of human hypersociality
  • understand the rules of social relationships and how to apply them in business and organisational settings


The standard fee is £1,200.

How to apply

We would like to ensure the course is right for you. To help with this, please email Pia Horbacki (p.horbacki@ucl.ac.uk) with your name and LinkedIn profile. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, please briefly tell us about yourself using the guiding questions below:

  • Name
  • Country of residence
  • Title / position
  • Summary of current responsibilities
  • Organisation name
  • Organisation website
  • Industry area (i.e. banking, chemicals, media etc)
  • Estimate of total years of experience
  • What are your objectives for attending this course?

Course team

Dr Alicia Melis

Dr Alicia Melis

Alicia is Associate Professor in Behavioural Science and Decision-Making at UCL. Incorporating insights from psychology, behavioural economics and anthropology, she investigates the psychology supporting teamwork and prosocial behaviour. Alicia works with human children and with chimpanzee populations in East Africa to explore how our social skills develop, and how insights from our closest-living primate relatives can inform our understanding of human behaviour.

Professor Nichola Raihani

Professor Nichola Raihani

Nichola is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor of Evolution and Behaviour at UCL. She studies the evolution of social behaviour, and specifically focuses on the intricacies of human social behaviour. Nichola has worked in the Kalahari Desert, the Australian outback and the Great Barrier Reef. She’s the author of The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World (published in 2021). She’s worked with a variety of companies, including JustGiving, International Hotel Group and Ogilvy.

Professor David Lagnado

Professor David Lagnado

David studies how people make decisions in an uncertain and changing world. He draws on his training in psychology, philosophy and AI, and an earlier career as a jazz musician. He has co-authored a textbook on the psychology of decision-making, Straight Choices, and has a new book on evidential reasoning, Explaining the evidence: How the mind investigates the world. He’s helped US intelligence, UK government, and various financial and tech companies, such as BlackRock, Nokia and Huawei, develop methods to improve reasoning and decision-making.

Dr Lasana Harris

Dr Lasana Harris

Lasana is a cognitive neuroscientist and social psychologist who explores how people think about other minds. His research explores this crucial social cognitive ability in several domains. He’s consulted with a range of public and private sector organisations, including Public Health England, Unilever, the NAACP Legal Defence Fund, and the US Military.

Professor Daniel Richardson

Professor Daniel Richardson

Daniel examines how individuals' thought processes are related to the people around them. He’s authored two popular science books: Man vs Mind and A Dummies Guide to Social Psychology. He’s worked with companies such as Audible, Heineken, and Vue cinema, using physiological sensors and experimental techniques to understand consumer experience.

Professor Joe Devlin

Professor Joe Devlin

Joe received his PhD in artificial intelligence but found himself more interested in how human minds work. After training in neuroimaging at Cambridge and Oxford, he established a reputation as a leading researcher in how the brain processes language. Joe has worked with various companies, including Audible, CNN, JWT and Vue, and runs regular workshops on neuroscience and consumer decision-making.

Stephen Dewitt

Stephen Dewitt

Stephen studies how people reason, make decisions and solve problems both as individuals and in groups. He’s worked with many organisations to improve the quality and efficiency of decision making, including HM Land Registry and Southern Water. He’s currently working on books on belief updating and reasoning in a complex world. 

Course information last modified: 4 Nov 2021, 16:33