Course Delivery


Course Length

18 months

Course Cost


Start date

2 September 2024

What is behavioural science and what impact does it have?

Behavioural science is all about understanding, predicting, and changing human behaviour. From learning about consumers and improving businesses to promoting healthy habits and sustainability, it shows how small changes can make a big difference in how people behave, leading to important and lasting change.

The modern workplace requires constant behaviour change and adaption. A deeper understanding of behavioural science can:

  • save your organisation money by building in-house resource to undertake high quality research
  • strengthen individual and organisational resilience with an ability to more effectively adapt to everchanging business landscapes
  • grow your business by increasing your productivity and that of your team
  • improve your own wellbeing as well as that of others
  • enable ethical and sustainable behaviour in your work environment
  • cultivate equity, diversity and inclusion in your organisation
  • help you think and cooperate interculturally, negotiate mindfully and teamwork effectively.

Studying an Executive MSc in 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 challenges from a behavioural perspective. This will also enable you to deeply understand how small and subtle “nudges” can help you achieve your goals.

How will I study?

The programme is delivered over 18 months, with two intensive, three-day, in-person teaching blocks.

Delivered mainly online, the programme provides a flexible study option for you, enabling you to look after other commitments such as work and family while you study.

When you come to Durham to study in person, it’s also an excellent opportunity to network with fellow professionals, gain hands-on experience in behavioural science techniques, and enjoy the wonderful and unique experience Durham has to offer.

Is this programme for me?

Our exciting programme is for ambitious professionals who have at least two years of relevant post-graduation work experience in roles that demonstrate responsibility, such as supervising or managing staff or projects.

Working alongside peers and with our academics, you will develop a wide range of knowledge (both of a theoretical and practical nature) and transferable skills that you can take back to your organisation and use to drive positive behaviour change.

The programme provides advanced training for professionals in various roles (e.g., employees, executives, entrepreneurs) who are looking to deepen their understanding of behavioural science for use in the workplace and/or contemplating a career/role transition.

The Executive MSc is ideal for those who wish to progress in the public, private or third sector, including businesses, charities, government, local authorities or international organisations.

How will this benefit my organisation/business?

Students on the programme will develop a wide range of skills including:

  • in-house research and consultancy expertise for informed decision-making.
  • advanced quantitative-analytical skills to tackle complex organisational challenges effectively.
  • the ability to predict and measure behaviour to drive targeted strategies and improved outcomes.
  • how to design and evaluate behaviour change interventions to develop a supportive organisational culture.
  • leading and managing people from diverse backgrounds to enhance positive collaboration and innovation.
  • preventing and addressing mental health issues at work, nurturing an encouraging, healthy environment.
  • influencing stakeholders through effective communication to advance organisational goals and initiatives.

If you would like to discuss in more detail how this programme could work for your organisation/business, please contact embs@durham.ac.uk

Module information – compulsory and optional

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.

Compulsory modules

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, followed by an application to social and organisational issues.

Research Methods for Behavioural Science will enable you to become an expert in research methods – developing skills that can help your organisation become more independent and self-sufficient in its research needs.

Applied Data Science introduces you to data science topics, such as big data, 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.

The Behavioural Science Dissertation empowers you to address a research question of personal importance, directly applying your knowledge and skills to a real business need.

Optional modules

Leadership examines the psychology of leadership and followership. As well as an introduction to leadership, you will critically discuss key theories and topics and learn how to apply these to practical situations. You will gain new insights for your own leadership that help you develop yourself as a leader.

Communication and Influence explores communications processes and social influence in organisations, covering topics such as 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.

An Extended Project gives you the opportunity to conduct an independent review project on a relevant behavioural science topic under the supervision of one of our experienced academics.

When is it?

For 2024 entry, the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science will commence on 2 September 2024 and is a part-time, 18-month programme.

The programme will be delivered in hybrid format with a combination of online and in-person study. You will join us in Durham for two residential teaching blocks:

  • 11-13 September 2024
  • 10-12 September 2025

Closing date for Executive MSc in Behavioural Science applications for 2024 entry: 31 July 2024.

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.

Fees and funding

£32,000 (UK and international)

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.

Visit our Course Details page for more details on fees and funding. See details on the Alumni Fee Scholarship.

Ready to take the next step?

You can download a brochure, learn more about the Department of Psychology or go straight into our application process.

Alternatively, you can chat to our Partnerships Manager, Lynn Wrightson, who will answer any questions you have about the programme. Email embs@durham.ac.uk and Lynn will get back to you to arrange a call.

Download a brochure

Receive a brochure with more information on the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science programme.


Department of Psychology

You can read about the work of the Department of Psychology, including fascinating research studies, here.


Executive MSc video

Meet the Head of Psychology and the Programme Leadership Team as they discuss the programme.


Prepare for the next stage of your career