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1 year full-time


Durham City

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Course details

The MSc in Behavioural Science offers innovative training in the principles of this growing field of psychology, equipping you with the knowledge and skills in behavioural science techniques to address everyday challenges created by human behaviours and make a positive difference in the private, public, and third sector. 

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 behavioural insights to help individuals build confidence, influence others, think and cooperate inter-culturally, set and achieve goals, negotiate mindfully, and teamwork effectively.

The one-year full-time course consists of both core and optional modules taught through lectures, practical classes and workshops. You will also complete a dissertation project. The course 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.

You will benefit hugely from the energy and passion of the Department’s academic team. We are committed to creating a learning environment that has equality, diversity and inclusion at its core. Consequently, we believe the best psychological science is derived from capturing the diverse talents of those who study and teach.

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.

Course structure

Core modules:

Critical Research Practice is fundamental to learning and provides the knowledge and skills required to design, conduct and communicate research in psychology, ensuring it is conducted ethically. This module also teaches the analytical skills needed to evaluate research findings.

Statistics for Psychology and the Behavioural Sciences teaches the core statistical methods that are commonly used across psychology and the behavioural sciences, as well as developing your confidence in identifying and applying appropriate statistical techniques. This module will also develop your ability for statistical programming.Advanced Statistics for Psychology and the Behavioural Sciences likewise provides an understanding of a set of advanced statistical methods that are used across psychology and the behavioural sciences and will enable you to identify and apply appropriate statistical techniques.

Advanced Topics in Behavioural Science provides an in-depth understanding of a range of topics in the field of behavioural science and knowledge about the history, background and development of research within the field of behavioural science. This module also provides a forum for the critical examination of seminal theoretical models and empirical studies, along with methodologies and techniques used for the study of behavioural science phenomena.

The Dissertation enables you to design, implement, analyse and finally discuss an empirical project relevant to your field of study, giving you the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge you have acquired and to gain experience of collaborating with other researchers and undertaking research and project management. The Department provides excellent support and opportunities for conducting a significant piece of independent research.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Diversity and Inclusion in Practice
  • Power and Influence
  • Behavioural Insights for Public Policy


Teaching is delivered through a number of 20- and 10-week modules, each involving 2-3 hours per week of contact time in the form of lectures, workshops and practical classes.

Lectures provide key theoretical information on general topics such as self-regulation, behavioural biases and heuristics, social influence, as well as behavioural science research techniques. Workshops and practical classes provide a platform for student-led discussions which aim to develop critical thinking, communications and writing skills.

The knowledge produced in lectures is explored in greater depth in workshops and practical sessions. The MSc dissertation, on a subject of your choice, provides an opportunity to apply theoretical principles, research skills and statistical techniques through the completion of a novel research project.

For the course as a whole, assessments include examinations, written assignments, practical exercises, oral presentations, and the dissertation.

Entry requirements

2:1 in Psychology, Economics, Business or related subject (or equivalent).

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway course at the Durham University International Study Centre.

All applicants (domestic and overseas) must submit their application by 00:00 UK time (midnight) 31st July 2024.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £13,600 per year
EU students £29,900 per year
Island students £13,600 per year
International students £29,900 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 Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities


Our Masters qualifications provide the essential skills and understanding to progress to research at a higher academic level or to launch a professional career.

Our students enter the workplace with knowledge relevant to careers in psychology but also with the transferable skills in analysis and problem-solving that are valued by employers.

Such skills are highly sought after in a range of professions and our postgraduates have progressed to roles that include consultants, advisors, human resources professionals, talent managers, business analysts, market researchers, public relations professionals, marketeers, administrators, managers, civil servants, coaches, trainers and teachers.

In addition, the broad nature of the Department means that some of our postgraduates also qualify for careers in clinical and healthcare settings.

Department information


The Department of Psychology provides a world-class teaching and research environment for postgraduates who are interested in understanding more about the thoughts, feelings and motivations that lie behind actions and human behaviours and the processes that trigger them.

Our academic team are leading experts in their specialisms and provide outstanding supervision for postgraduate learning and research in key areas of psychology including Developmental Science, Cognitive Neuroscience and Quantitative Social Psychology.

Our range of taught Masters qualifications offer the opportunity to focus on a specific aspect of psychology be it biological, cognitive, social, developmental or neuroscience-related and to learn key approaches to the discipline including statistical training. For those who are interested in pursuing their own research interests we offer the MA/MSc by Research which offers a direct route to the PhD.

All postgraduate taught courses include a postgraduate dissertation in a chosen subject, supported by a member of staff with expertise in that area. Students also have access to state-of-the art technical, clinical and experimental facilities to support learning and research.

In the Department, we are proud to have passionate and committed teachers, who love their subjects and want to share that passion. We encourage collaborative working on new ideas so that together we can make new discoveries about human behaviour.

To find out more see our department pages.


  • We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN silver award, underlining our commitment to equality and diversity.
  • World Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the Psychology Department pages


Facilities in the Department are outstanding. They provide state-of-the-art support for postgraduate work in understanding mind and behaviour through high precision experimental methods and ecologically valid controlled environments.

Postgraduate students have access to dedicated laboratory space equipped with opportunities for training in eye-movement recording, motion capture and psychophysics.

Other specialist facilities include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and a number of laboratories.

The Department of Psychology is located close to many academic departments and University services, and is within walking distance of Durham’s historic centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

More information on our facilities and equipment.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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