Behaviour analysts focus on understanding how a person’s interactions with the environment influence behaviour. They use this information to design effective interventions that will help people learn more appropriate behaviours, as well as reducing challenging behaviour.
Approved by the Behaviour Analysis Certification Board (BACB), the international regulatory body for the practice of behaviour analysis, the MSc Behaviour Analysis and Therapy equips students with skills in behaviour analysis and therapy relevant to a range of educational and clinical settings.
It provides a solid understanding of the scientific principles that underpin behaviour analysis, and the therapeutic techniques derived from those principles. You will be taught by a team of Board Certified Behaviour Analysts who are internationally-recognised for their research and clinical work in the field.
What you will study
You will study the following modules:
- Principles and Concepts in Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
This module will teach students the basic underlying principles, processes and concepts of the science and technology of behaviour analysis.
- Philosophy of Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
This module grounds students in the philosophical underpinnings of the science of behaviour analysis. It helps them understand the branches of behaviour analysis, as well as how behaviour analysis fits into contemporary psychology.
- Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
Students will learn various direct and indirect methods for collecting reliable behavioural data, as well as methods for evaluating the effects of independent variables through the use of single case designs.
- Behavioural Assessment (20 credits)
This module will teach students how to assess and analyse the variables that contribute to behaviour using a range of empirically-based methods. The module helps student master strategies for analysing challenging behaviour, as well as skill deficits.
- Behavioural Intervention (20 credits)
This module will teach students a range of ethical, effective strategies for facilitating the acquisition and maintenance of socially important behaviour, as well as strategies for addressing challenging behaviour.
- Supporting Behaviour Change in Complex Systems (20 credits)
This module will demonstrate the range of settings in which behaviour analysis can be applied, as well as helping students develop skills for effectively supporting behaviour change.
- Ethical and Professional Issues in Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
This module is aligned with Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) guidance for the professional and ethical conduct of behaviour analysts. Students will problem solve ethical dilemmas across a range of populations and settings.
- Dissertation (60 credits)
Completion of the MSc course includes an empirical dissertation addressing a substantive issue in behaviour analysis.
Students who successfully complete the course will meet the degree and module requirements for certification as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).
Certification also requires supervised practice and a passing score on the international certification exam.
Students may complete our Postgraduate Diploma in Behaviour Analysis Supervised Practice, which allows students to accrue the supervised practice hours required for certification. Students may apply for the course after completion of the MSc or may apply for entry during the second term of the MSc.
The programme may be taken through full or part-time modes of study. Full-time study requires completing 140 course credits and 60 dissertation credits within one year. Part-time study requires taking 140 course credits and 60 dissertation credits across two years. There is no provision for part-time study across more than two years.
You will be taught through face-to-face delivery in the form of lectures, seminars and practical workshops, although e-learning activities might be occasionally used to supplement class sessions. Students should expect to spend up to three hours outside of class preparing for every hour spent in class.
Additionally, you will develop your research skills through the completion of a supervised dissertation. The teaching team has well established links with schools, social care settings and healthcare providers, which provide ideal locations for dissertation research. You may also have opportunities to assist with ongoing research or clinical work in the field, as well as volunteering in the University’s Behaviour Analysis Clinic.
The teaching delivery will be blocked into 2.5 days per week for full-time students.
Assessments include examinations, practical assignments, and essays. You will also complete a dissertation, which allows you to analyse behaviour systematically and evaluate the success of treatment under the close supervision of a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.
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