Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Psychology of Behaviour Change
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral presentation (individual)  2,000-word equivalent (15-minute oral presentation, plus 10 minutes for question-and-answers with the audience). An oral presentation on the theoretical underpinnings of the psychology of behaviour change as translated and applied to explain a behaviour change strategy for a hypothetical behavioural challenge (e.g., smoking cessation, increased physical activity, reducing food waste, conserving water, maintaining 2m physical distance, etc.). More specifically, students should compare and contrast how two psychological perspectives on behaviour change would take a different approach to meet the self-generated behavioural challenge. Presented to a mixed audience (non-academic/ scientific as well as academic/ scientific members).  40%
Semester Assessment Written coursework  Students will also submit a document (a la a logbook) which contains evidence of the background research they completed for the presentation, what they did with the research, and a reflection on what the experience means for their developing understanding as well as academic and professional skills. Not a typical essay, students will have autonomy to present this in a manner that they feel best conveys the process and thinking behind the task. 3000 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Written coursework  Student who fail only the written component will have to write about the process behind creating a new, hypothetical presentation (i.e., they will not have to complete the presentation itself). 3000 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Oral presentation (individual)  Students will resit the fail component(s). If they fail the presentation only, students will create a new presentation.  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Apply two contrasting psychological approaches to solve a substantive behaviour change need.

2. Critically review contemporary scientific theory and research literatures to rationalise a behaviour change intervention.

3. Communicate an application of theory and research to an academic and non-academic audience.

4. Reflect on the intellectual, practical, and personal progress that was made during completion of the assessed tasks.

Brief description

Regardless of their disciplinary background, this module will provide students with a thorough understanding of the psychological underpinnings of behaviour and behaviour change techniques. For example, students will critically explore the subject from evolutionary, cognitive, social, biopsychological, developmental, and performance perspectives, which provide different but often complementary explanations. Established behaviour change frameworks and models will also be introduced so that students can explore which psychological perspectives drive their use. Equipped with this foundation knowledge students will be better able to conceive of strategies to influence human behaviour change in a variety of contexts.


Each week students will have a one-hour lecture and two-hour seminar – as well as guided and independent study time – devoted to the exploration of human behaviour and mechanisms/strategies of behaviour change from numerous psychological perspectives: · Evolutionary · Cognitive · Social · Biopsychological · Developmental · Performance Established behaviour change models (e.g., COM-B, Michie’s taxonomy of behaviour change techniques, Scharmer’s Theory U) will also be introduced and appraised in light of psychological theory. Staff delivering these sessions tend to be Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) and have postgraduate qualifications in teaching in Higher Education, meaning that they employ a variety of innovative teaching and learning techniques to deliver the content. The common factor in these techniques is their goal of helping students achieve Master’s level characteristics (in-depth and advanced knowledge, academic skills, applying research and critical perspectives to professional situations, etc.), as reflected in the overall scheme learning outcomes as well as this module’s.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience "Low-stakes" formative work and practice presentations will be completed throughout the semester to build students' self-efficacy up ready for the summative assessments; feedback will be geared towards engendering adaptability and resilience, not just enhanced academic skills.
Co-ordinating with others Numerous group-based activities will occur throughout the semester, and a collaborative OneNote Class Notebook will tie it all together. In the assessed oral presentations classmates will role play as members of the targeted organization/sub-population.
Creative Problem Solving Intervention design to match evidence-based practices to the behavioural challenges faced by a specific sub-population. Hence, identification of problems, factors which might influence the effectiveness of potential solutions, evaluating the strength of evidence for solutions, etc.
Critical and analytical thinking Students will learn about different ways of understanding behaviour and correspondingly diverse ways of conceiving of behaviour change strategies. They will be encouraged to identify which approaches they share an affinity with, deepening their philosophical awareness. Students will be tasked with demonstrating their critical and analytical thinking process in the written coursework, but these skills will have been modelled by staff throughout the semester.
Digital capability Online literature search and synthesis of digitally available literature. Use of presentation software for coursework component one. Use of social media to draw a picture of the ways that the subject is discussed on public forums. Use of a collaborative cloud space to facilitate sharing of resources and work (OneNote Class Notebook).
Professional communication Communicating scientific material orally to science and non-science audiences. Preparing a written report on the processes involved in a creating a scientific presentation.
Real world sense Critically evaluating the feasibility of applying evidence-based practices to address “real” (verifiable) challenges.
Reflection Description of the technical and intellectual processes and challenges involved in translating research evidence into behaviour change strategies for a behavioural challenge.
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and research publications presented on the module. For example: Assessment of scientific methods in psychology; Differentiation between research methodologies and when to use each one; Demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches; etc.


This module is at CQFW Level 7