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Start Dates
Degree type

MSc

Course length

18 months part-time

Location

Durham City

Program code

C8K609

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Course details

Studying behavioural science at Durham will give you the skills you need to build resilience in your organisation and enhance your future prospects. You will have the research and analytical skills needed to analyse any social issue or business challenge from a behavioural perspective.

Delivered mainly online, the degree provides a flexible study option for you, enabling you to look after other commitments such as working while studying. The course enables you to take what you learn and apply it straight into your workplace.

Aimed at ambitious individuals with at least two years of relevant post-graduation work experience in roles that demonstrate responsibility, such as supervising or managing staff or projects, the course also gives you the opportunity to network with other professionals.

The modern workplace requires constant behaviour change and adaption. A deeper understanding of behavioural science can enable you, your team and your organisation to flourish. The Executive MSc in Behavioural Science will provide the behavioural insights to help individuals build confidence, influence others, think and cooperate interculturally, set and achieve goals, negotiate mindfully, and teamwork effectively.

Course structure

You will complete all four compulsory modules, totalling 135 credits. You then select and complete three of the four optional modules, each worth 15 credits.

Core modules (compulsory):

  • Contemporary Challenges in Behavioural Science explores various research areas, helping you learn techniques that promote behaviour change. It begins with an introduction to behavioural science, its history, and its current applications. Topics covered include group and team behaviour, marketing and consumer behaviour, decision-making, change management, coaching, communication strategies, addressing misinformation, employee and customer engagement, sustainability, public health, and ethical practices. The core psychological processes and methods covered can also be applied to help you understand subjects in all the optional modules.
  • Research Methods for Behavioural Science will enable you to become an expert in research methods – developing an impactful skill that can help your organisation become more independent and self-sufficient in its research needs. Topics include integrity and ethics, and how to communicate your research to general audiences.
  • The Behavioural Science Dissertation makes up 33.3% of your assessment. In your dissertation, you can focus on something that is of particular importance to you and your organisation, directly applying your knowledge and skills to a real business need. You will go through three stages.
  1. Developing a research question, preparing a research proposal and time plan, and preparing an ethics application.
  2. Recruiting your sample, design of study and preparation of method and materials.
  3. Data collection, analysis and interpretation of data and writing up your thesis.
  • Applied Data Science provides you with an introduction to data science in the context of behavioural science. It will develop and extend your knowledge of statistical analyses and explore how you can apply these to behavioural science problems. Examples of topics include an introduction to statistics, data integrity, open science practices, basic/advanced inferential statistics, big data, data visualisation, ethical practice and research and business reports.

Examples of possible optional modules:

  • Leadership examines the psychology of leadership and followership. As well as an introduction to Leadership, you will critically discuss key topics and learn how to apply these to practical situations. This module will contribute to you becoming a more effective leader, with topics likely to include diversity and ethics, employee wellbeing and engagement, and leader-team member dynamics.
  • Communication and Influence will explore communications processes and social influence in organisations. Topics will be current and likely to include communication theory and practice, effective communication, persuasion and influence strategies, and nudge theory.
  • Managing Diversity in Organisations examines psychological theories and empirical research on diversity and the challenges organisations and leaders face. You’ll be introduced to the psychology of social diversity before critically addressing key studies and exploring how to apply them to organisational contexts. Topics vary from year to year but are likely to include organisational diversity and decision-making, diversity and career progression, intersectionality, impact of diversity experiences on creativity and innovation, and ethics and sustainability.
  • An Extended Project gives you the opportunity to conduct an independent review project on a relevant behavioural science topic, which must be substantively different from that covered in your Dissertation. You will discuss this with an academic who will supervise the project.

Learning

Teaching is delivered via a combination of in-person teaching during residential blocks and online distance learning. Each module generally consists of 5-6 hours of in-person classes delivered during two compulsory three-day residential teaching blocks, with the first taking place in September. There will also be live webinars, online discussion fora, independent study, and assessment preparation.

Assessment

The degree will be assessed via coursework (66.7%) and a dissertation report (33.3%). Assessment items will include written assignments (essays, research proposals, research reports, case studies, etc.) and group presentations.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have at least an upper division, second class (2:1) degree or international equivalent, including experience with research methods and statistics. (Applicants may have other Masters qualifications, but these are not necessary.)

Applicants should have at least two years’ relevant post-graduation work experience in roles that demonstrate responsibility, such as supervising or managing staff or projects.

International applicants’ English should be at Band C of the Direct Entry Requirements of Durham University. This band requires an IELTS score of 7.0+ with no element below 6.0.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £16,000 per year
EU students £16,000 per year
Island students £16,000 per year
International students £16,000 per year

The total fee for this 18-month course is £32,000. Of this, £16,000 is payable in the first, and £16,000 in the second academic year.

Fees shown are for one year. Total fee will depend on the length of your programme. All fees are subject to annual increases. For more information please visit the Tuition Fees page www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance/tuition

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

Psychology

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

Psychology

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.

Rankings

  • 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

Staff

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

Facilities

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.

Apply

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
Find out more

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