Behaviour Change MSc - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey

Framework

FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MSc Behaviour Change

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Behaviour Change
PGCert Behaviour Change

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PLD61027 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits
Part-time PLD61028 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

N/A

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - Psychology

Programme Leader

GARDNER Benjamin (Psychology)

Date of production/revision of spec

21/02/2024

Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide a comprehensive understanding of frameworks, theories and principles from multiple disciplinary perspectives within behavioural science and how they may be applied to real-world settings to understand and change behaviour
  • To enable students to integrate and apply behavioural science theories and evidence to formulate real-world behaviour change problems, research questions, testable hypotheses, and solutions
  • To provide students with the skills and knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate real-world behaviour change interventions to meet local, national and global challenges
  • To instil ethical awareness and considerations when developing, implementing and evaluating real-world behaviour change applications
  • To provide students with the theoretical and methodological expertise to undertake behaviour change research and practice in a variety of settings

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Integrate and apply behavioural science frameworks, theories, concepts and methods to critically analyse and formulate behaviour change problems in real-world settings KCPT MSc
Develop knowledge and understanding of Behaviour Change as an applied, theory-based scientific endeavour, situated within an interdisciplinary framework, in contemporary contexts KCPT MSc
Critically consider the contributions of, and limitations of applying, discipline-specific, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to behaviour change to address real-world problems KCP PGDip, MSc
Reflect on hypothetical and real-world examples to inform the development of behaviour change theory and practice KCP PGDip, MSc
Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills to address challenges related to human behaviour KPT PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Communicate ideas, principles, theories and problem formulations in a professional manner via oral, written and visual means, for scientist, practitioner and non-specialist audiences KPT PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Select, design, implement and evaluate a wide range of techniques pertinent to behaviour change research and practice in real-world contexts KCP PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Apply a range of basic and advanced research design and analysis methods, principles and techniques, including qualitative and quantitative methods, to real-world problems KCP MSc
Collaborate effectively in groups for problem solving PT PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Recognise ethical considerations, and an awareness of and sensitivity to diverse perspectives, when undertaking behaviour change research and practice K PGDip, MSc
Develop knowledge and understanding of Behaviour Change as a scientific endeavour KCPT PGCert, PGDip
Apply some basic research design and analysis methods, principles and techniques KCP PGCert, PGDip
Develop knowledge and understanding of ethical considerations in behaviour change research and practice K PGCert

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Part-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied part-time over two academic years, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)

N/A

Modules

Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Part-time students must select two modules per semester, with the optional module completed in the second year, alongside the year-long Research and Practice Project.

Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Part-time students must select two modules per semester, with the optional module completed in the second year, alongside the year-long Research and Practice Project.

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

The School of Psychology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This programme is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

EMPLOYABILITY. The modules and assessments equip students with: (1) the knowledge and ability to identify behaviour change problems embedded within real-world challenges at local, national and global levels; (2) the skills necessary to conduct research (e.g., literature review, study design and methodology, data analysis); (3) the skills necessary to practise behavioural science principles in real-world settings, such as formulating behaviour change problems and systematically generating solutions to them; (4) the ability to effectively communicate about behaviour change research and practice in written and oral forms; and (5) the knowledge, ability and confidence required to apply frameworks, concepts, methods strategies and insights drawn from a range of behavioural sciences to tackle real-world challenges. The programme also trains students in how to apply critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis and communication skills in different contexts, including the communication of behavioural science insights to non-specialist audiences (e.g., public engagement talks, interventions) and specialist behaviour change audiences, including scientists and practitioners (e.g., essays, literature reviews, group presentations). The range of different tasks and assessments fosters the ability to work well both independently and as part of a broader team, while developing excellent professional skills (e.g., leadership, time management). The new Research and Practice Project module offers students the option to implement the scientist-practitioner model in real-world settings, such as local organisations. This not only gives students an indication of employers┬┐ typical requirements of trained behaviour change scientists and practitioners, but also allows students to acquire a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate to potential employers what our graduates are able to contribute.

DIGITAL CAPABILITIES. In recognition of the importance of digital technology in understanding, shaping, and helping to change behaviour, promotion of digital capability is embedded into the programme. Students are supported to develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand and apply digital technologies to change behaviour in real-world settings, and the world-leading specialists that will teach on the programme include staff affiliated with the AI Institute. Digital literacy is promoted through exploration of issues such as human-computer interaction, big data, digital addiction, and online vs offline human behaviour. Students gain hands-on experience, across modules, of using digital technology to undertake research, by using software packages to aid the conduct of literature reviews, quantitative and qualitative analyses. Teaching activities also support students in the use of software that facilitates in-class group activities, meetings, presentations and analysis. Students are taught by specialists from across the University, including the AI Institute.

GLOBAL AND CULTURAL CAPABILITIES:
The programme offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge and sensitivity towards the needs of a variety of stakeholders from a range of backgrounds and perspectives. Students are encouraged to recognise the assumptions of the Western-based theories and methods that pervade in behavioural science, and to identify and challenge the cultural specificity of dominant perspectives on behaviour change. When formulating behaviour change problems and developing solutions, students are prompted to consider the cultural contexts in which such problems and solutions are implemented, interpreted and responded to.

SUSTAINABILITY: The programme is designed to allow students to understand and critically engage with behaviour change issues that map directly on to multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., Good Health and Wellbeing, Reduced Inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Production). We work closely with local partners, including the University┬┐s Institute for Sustainability, to ensure students are given opportunities to undertake novel research or practice in real-world settings, addressing sustainability challenges, as part of their year-long research/practice project. Sustainability-related issues, examples and solutions tied to behaviour change are discussed in each module, including topics and activities relating to the promotion of health, well-being, responsible consumption and climate action.

RESOURCEFULNESS AND RESILIENCE: Students are encouraged to actively participate in programme activities and discussions, and to learn from each other, and from real-world behaviour change stakeholders, in a friendly and safe environment. This provides them with the opportunity to exchange ideas, work collaboratively, and reflect on their ideas/opinions. These activities allow students to build confidence, communication, and professionalism. By sharing their experiences, expertise and perspectives on key challenges, students are encouraged to reflect on their attitudes, values and perspectives, and those of partners and other stakeholders. This provides students with the ability and space to respond positively to opportunities for exchange, learning, and personal development. Guided support allows students to refine and apply their knowledge, skills and experiences to new challenges that they encounter on each module.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality-enhancement-standards

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.