MSc Behaviour Analysis and Therapy

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.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A

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.


This Behaviour Analysis programme has been approved by the Behaviour Analysts Certification Board (BACB). It satisfies the curriculum requirements for this body and will allow graduates to meet coursework requirements for certification as Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs). 

NB: Certification also requires 1000-1500 hours of supervised practice, as well as passing the international certification exam. Please see the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board website for additional information on certification.


Facilities include observation and interview rooms equipped with a two-way mirror, CCTV and audio, which allows research and interview practice sessions to be conducted and recorded. We also have a custom-built air conditioned PC laboratory which provides access to specialist software for running psychology experiments and conducting careers guidance interviews.

The Cognitive Neuropsychology Suite houses specialist psychology equipment such as eye tracking equipment, EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram) facilities for recording electrical activity in the heart and scalp and a driving simulator.

The University offers a wide range of psychological services to the general public through our PAWB Wales clinic facility and include play therapy, behaviour analysis, health and sport psychology interventions.


The program team are comprised of four Board Certified Behaviour Analysts with a range of research and clinical interests. They are experienced teachers, researchers, and clinicians with over 30 years of combined experience in the field.

 Applicants typically will have a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree in Psychology or Education, or a related subject (e.g., Social Work, Nursing). Lower degree classifications (and other subject areas) may be considered for applicants with substantial experience in behaviour analysis.

An Enhanced DBS check may be required depending on your placement.

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14500 

  • Part-time UK:  £900 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £53.20
Optional depending on the type of placement you choose. This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to complete further study in this area and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
CyberRat * £20
This fee covers access to the online CyberRat programme, which is required for completing module PL4S132 (Principle and Concepts in Behaviour Analysis) assessments.


Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.

Apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement 

Professionals trained in behaviour analysis are in increasing demand in the UK, particularly those who are BACB-certified. Behaviour analysts are employed in a variety of contexts, including service providers for people with autism and/or learning disabilities, the NHS, schools, and residential treatment facilities for people with challenging behaviour. Some behaviour analysts also work as independent consultants in their areas of expertise.