C8K409 Behavioural Science MSc Postgraduate Taught 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
This MSc course is aimed at UK and international students who are seeking access to cutting-edge behavioural science research, advanced training in quantitative methods, and instruction in the application of behavioural science principles to everyday problems faced within the public, private, and third sectors.
The MSc has been designed to provide you with an understanding of factors that impact behaviour, including the role of ‘nudging’ in behaviour change, and the research and analytical skills to enable an analysis of business problems from a behavioural perspective. It will provide you with a wide range of knowledge (both of a theoretical and a practical nature) and transferable skills including various professional ways of disseminating knowledge.
This course will prove valuable for those intending to enter the public, private, or third sector, including business, charities and government, local authorities and international organisations, by providing you with the tools to apply behavioural principles to problem-solving and decision-making in these domains. It will provide the behavioural insights to help individuals build confidence, influence others, think and cooperate inter-culturally, set and achieve goals, negotiate mindfully, and teamwork effectively.
- Advanced Topics in Behavioural Science (30 credits)
- Critical Research Practice (30 credits)
- Statistics for Psychology and the Behavioural Sciences (15 credits)
- Advanced Statistics for Psychology and the Behavioural Sciences (15 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits).
Examples of optional modules*:
30 credits from a choice of:
- Power and Influence (15 credits)
- Diversity and Inclusion in Practice (15 credits)
- Behavioural Insights for Public Policy (15 credits).
*Not all optional modules will necessarily be available in any one year
Teaching is generally organised into a number of 10 week course units involving 2 to 3 hours of lectures, seminars, workshops, and practical classes per week. Each 10 week unit is assessed by means of summative assessments.
The summative assessment counts towards the final degree. For the course as a whole, this assessment is divided between examinations, written assignments, oral presentations, and dissertation.
Course Learning and Teaching
The MSc Behavioural Science is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical sessions, workshops and lab placements.
Lectures and seminars provide key theoretical information on general topics such as social cognition, behavioural bias and social influence, and in-depth knowledge of a range of methods and techniques used in behavioural science research (focusing on their strengths and weaknesses). This core knowledge is then enriched by workshops, practical sessions and lab placements.
While seminars and workshops allow student-led discussions with the aim of developing your critical thinking, your oral communications and your writing skills, practical sessions provide you with in-depth and hands-on knowledge of selected research methods and techniques. Importantly, practical classes also include the application of a range of widely-used statistical tests and a critical understanding of research design, project management and data presentation. All skills that are highly applicable to a career as a behavioural scientist in a range of domains.
Finally, the dissertation module will give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge of theoretical principles, research skills and statistical techniques during the complete lifecycle of a research project. You will undertake a detailed study resulting in a significant piece of independent research that is focused on addressing problems or issues that require a behaviour change perspective in the private, public or third sector.
Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge.
Altogether, the course is focused on supplying you with broad theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical experience of cutting-edge research in behavioural science before embarking on a career in the private, public or third sector.
Subject requirements, level and grade
2:1 in Psychology, Economics, Business or related subject (or equivalent).
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£26,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£11,550.00 per year|
|Island Student||£11,550.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£26,500.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Department of Psychology
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Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
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Department of Psychology
The Department of Psychology provides a world-class teaching and research environment for postgraduate students in biological, cognitive, social, developmental psychology and neuroscience. Our research facilities support activity in these domains of psychology. We offer both taught postgraduate and postgraduate research degree (MSc/MA by research and PhD) programmes. Our MSc programmes provide you with core skills – ideal if you want to continue on to complete a PhD, take on a research position or enter the workplace. Postgraduate taught and research students are supervised by academics with expertise in their fields and have the opportunity to engage with the vibrant research environment evident in the Department.
Ranked joint 1st in the UK for research environment in REF 2014.