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.

Study Mode
2018
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
2019
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 of Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
    This module will teach students the basic underlying principles, processes and concepts of the science and technology of behaviour analysis, as well as elucidating the importance of and difference between the experimental analysis of behaviour and applied behaviour analysis.

  • 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 methods.  Students also will learn rules and procedures to ensure assessments are in line with ethical guidelines.

  • Behavioural Intervention (20 credits)
    This module will teach students a range of strategies for facilitating the acquisition and maintenance of appropriate behaviour, as well as weakening undesirable behaviour.  The module also will teach students how to implement interventions in accordance with ethical guidelines.

  • Applications of Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
    This module will introduce students to the range of settings and issues to which behaviour analytic methods can be applied for the betterment of individuals and society.  The module also will aim to assist students in developing appropriate and ethical consultation skills.

  • Ethical and Professional Issues in Behaviour Analysis (20 credits)
    This module will teach students the philosophical underpinnings of behaviour analysis, as well as exploring current issues and controversies surrounding the field of behaviour analysis.

  • Dissertation (60 credits)
    Completion of the MSc course includes an empirical dissertation addressing a substantive issue in behaviour analysis. Typically, students work together as part of a research team to complete the dissertation, although the dissertation you submit will be wholly your own, individual work. Each student will request a place on one of the programme team’s research groups, which will address specific research questions over the course of the year. Although your group may be working on more than one study, your dissertation will address only one research question. Students also may propose an independent research question for the dissertation. Such requests will be reviewed by the programme team to render a decision about the scientific merit of the question, as well as the feasibility of answering the question within the allotted time and with the available resources.  If the question is deemed unsuitable, the student will be asked to revise it or to choose one of the questions proposed by the research team.

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.

The MSc Behaviour Analysis and Therapy has been designed to reflect certification standards and covers a full range of topics in Behaviour Analysis. However, it is possible for students to complete our Postgraduate Certificate programme which allows students to complete supervised practice in addition to this MSc. Students may either choose to start this qualification after completion of the MSc or may begin work towards their supervised practice alongside their MSc studies.

 

Teaching

The programme may be taken through full or part-time modes of study Full-time study requires completing 120 course credits and 60 dissertation credits within one year. Part-time study requires taking 120 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 component. The teaching delivery will be blocked into two days per week for full-time students.

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 working in the University’s Psychology and Well-Being Clinic (PAWB Wales), which provides early intervention therapy to children with autism.

Timetable: Full time students

Autumn Term

Monday

  • Principles of Behaviour Analysis (9-11 and 12-2) 
  • Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis  (2:30-4:30)

Tuesday

  • Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis (9-11) 
  • Behavioural Assessment (12-2; 2:30-4:30) (Break from 2-2:30)

Spring Term


Monday

  • Ethical and Professional Issues in Behaviour Analysis (9-11 and 12-2)
  • Behavioural Interventions (2:30-4:30)

Tuesday

  • Behavioural Interventions (9-11)
  • Applications of Behaviour Analysis (12-2; 2:30-4:30) 

Summer Term

  • Dissertation

Timetable: Part-time students

Year One: Autumn Term

Monday

  • Principles of Behaviour Analysis (9-11 and 12-2) 
  • Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis  (2:30-4:30)

Tuesday

  • Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis (9-11)

Spring Term

  • Ethical and Professional
  • Issues in Behaviour Analysis (9-11 and 12-2)

Year Two: Autumn Term

Tuesday

  • Behavioural Assessment (12-2; 2:30-4:30) 

Spring Term

Monday

  • Behavioural Interventions (2:30-4:30)

Tuesday

  • Behavioural Interventions (9-11) (lunch from 11-12)
  • Applications of Behaviour Analysis (12-2; 2:30-4:30) 

Summer Term

  • Dissertation

Assessment

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.

Accreditations

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

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.

Lecturers

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, Education, Youth Work, or a related subject (e.g., Social Work). Lower degree classifications (and other subject areas) may be considered for applicants with substantial experience in behaviour analysis. Equivalent international qualifications will be considered and the English Language requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5 or above. Exceptional students without a full Honours degree may be considered if they have substantial relevant professional experience. Enhanced DBS check is also required.

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 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International:  £13000 
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC
  • Part-time UK and EU: 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 * £57.2
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.

Funding

The Welsh Government has proposed a Postgraduate Loan for Master’s degrees.

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.