Taught course

Behavioural Science (Executive)

Durham University · Department of Psychology
Executive Masters

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.

Months of entry


Course content

Studying 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 challenge from a behavioural perspective.

Delivered mainly online, the degree provides a flexible study option for you, enabling you to look after other commitments such as working while studying. The course enables you to take what you learn and apply it straight into your workplace.

Aimed at ambitious individuals with at least two years of relevant post-graduation work experience in roles that demonstrate responsibility, such as supervising or managing staff or projects, the course also gives you the opportunity to network with other professionals.

The modern workplace requires constant behaviour change and adaption. A deeper understanding of behavioural science can enable you, your team and your organisation to flourish. The Executive MSc in Behavioural Science will provide the behavioural insights to help individuals build confidence, influence others, think and cooperate interculturally, set and achieve goals, negotiate mindfully, and teamwork effectively.

Course structure

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.

Core modules (compulsory):

  • 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. Topics covered include group and team behaviour, marketing and consumer behaviour, decision-making, change management, coaching, communication strategies, addressing misinformation, employee and customer engagement, sustainability, public health, and ethical practices. The core psychological processes and methods covered can also be applied to help you understand subjects in all the optional modules.
  • Research Methods for Behavioural Science will enable you to become an expert in research methods – developing an impactful skill that can help your organisation become more independent and self-sufficient in its research needs. Topics include integrity and ethics, and how to communicate your research to general audiences.
  • The Behavioural Science Dissertation makes up 33.3% of your assessment. In your dissertation, you can focus on something that is of particular importance to you and your organisation, directly applying your knowledge and skills to a real business need.
  • Applied Data Science provides you with an introduction to data science 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. Examples of topics include an introduction to statistics, data integrity, open science practices, basic/advanced inferential statistics, big data, data visualisation, ethical practice and research and business reports.

Examples of possible optional modules:

  • Leadership examines the psychology of leadership and followership. As well as an introduction to Leadership, you will critically discuss key topics and learn how to apply these to practical situations. This module will contribute to you becoming a more effective leader, with topics likely to include diversity and ethics, employee wellbeing and engagement, and leader-team member dynamics.
  • Communication and Influence will explore communications processes and social influence in organisations. Topics will be current and likely to include communication theory and practice, effective communication, 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. Topics vary from year to year but are likely to include organisational diversity and decision-making, diversity and career progression, intersectionality, impact of diversity experiences on creativity and innovation, and ethics and sustainability.
  • An Extended Project gives you the opportunity to conduct an independent review project on a relevant behavioural science topic, which must be substantively different from that covered in your Dissertation. You will discuss this with an academic who will supervise the project.

Information for international students

An international community

Studying abroad is a unique and exciting experience. Durham University has a long history of welcoming students from across the globe and is one of the UK’s most historic universities with a unique college system.

Find out more about studying at Durham University

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Durham University is committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances. They offer a range of scholarships for undergraduate, postgraduate (taught and research), international and current students.

Discover Durham’s scholarships

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Executive Masters
    part time
    18 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions