Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Psychology of Applied Behaviour Change MSc

Psychology of Applied Behaviour Change Masters - MSc/PgD/PgC

The MSc in Psychology of Applied Behaviour Change is for graduates of Psychology wishing to extend their knowledge, research skills and experience of applications of psychology. The programme will provide a flexible support that responds to student needs, recognising the importance of their experience in engaging with the programme materials and content.

The programme is suitable for students already in employment looking to improve their everyday practice and skills base, or recent graduates looking to extend their skills and knowledge in further preparation for a career. The programme has been designed to build research skills (with an emphasis on evidence based practice), and to support students in thinking about and gaining skills that focus on the importance of meaningful relationships that support behavioural change. As such the programme is aimed at those who work with and manage others.

Changes may occur to certain credit values of some modules due to a change in University Policy to deliver credits in multiples of 20, which will be confirmed through a modification event. Applicants will be notified of any changes once the modification has been confirmed.

Please note: MSc Psychology of Applied Behaviour Change is not running for 2022/23 entry and will therefore not be accepting applications. We will report here when we are opening the course for a new intake.  

Course Content

The course has three defined exit points:

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) – students who complete 60 credits at level 7 (masters level) will be eligible for a PgC. This will include core modules and one applied psychology module.

Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) – students who complete 120 credits at level 7 will be eligible for a PgD. This will include core modules, two applied psychology modules and two other optional modules.

Master of Science (MSc) – students who complete 180 credits, including the dissertation, will be eligible for an MSc.

The programme is designed to be flexible and to meet the learning needs of individual students. It is possible to complete some individual modules as Continuing Professional Development (CPD), although there is a separate fee for this type of study.

Core elements:

  • Research Methods and Design (30 credits)
  • Evidence-based Practice (10 credits)
  • Applied Psychology Therapy skills (a maximum of 40 credits):
  • Core Skills for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) (20 credits)
  • CBT for depression and anxiety disorders (20 credits)
  • Motivational Interviewing (20 credits)
  • Therapeutic work with young children (20 credits)

To be eligible for the PgC students must complete one of the above modules, and to be eligible for the PgD and MSc they must complete two of the above modules. These modules are core applied psychology modules, which help to build practical skills that can be used in a variety of work-based settings. These modules will also be available as standalone CPD modules.

Optional Modules:
Students must complete two of the following modules in order to be eligible for the PgD or MSc

  • Change Behaviours: Theories and Evaluation (20 credits) Work-Based Learning (20 credits)
  • Public Health Policy Development (20 credits)
  • Frameworks for Public Health Intervention (20 credits)
  • Strategic Leadership and Management (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Students must complete the dissertation module to be eligible for the MSc. Two academic supervisors will be allocated for each research project, helping the student to design and conduct the research. It is expected that students will complete projects in applied settings, that build on skills and experience.

Learning & Teaching

The teaching and learning opportunities on the programme are designed to support student engagement through face-to-face sessions and the use of online materials. For core modules and options lectures, seminars and workshops will be employed. Group work and discussion is encouraged in all sessions, and also supported with online materials using Moodle.

For the Applied Psychology skills modules small group work and small group exercises will be utilised that encourage the development of applied psychological skills and provide practical experience to participants.

The dissertation also allows for flexibility as students will be expected to undertake their research in applied settings, which could be the workplace or with one of the department’s placement partners.

All students will be allocated a personal tutor who will offer pastoral and academic support and guidance on core, applied and optional modules in such a way as to meet their individual learning requirements.


A range of assessment methods will be employed to support student learning. These will include reports for Research Methods and Design, and a systematic review for Evidence-Based practice. These will inform the production of the 60 credit dissertation. Reflective learning journals, peer assessment and presentations will be employed in the Applied Psychology Skills modules. Essays and case studies will also be used.

The assessments are designed to enable students to demonstrate a range of applied skills, ready for a variety of audiences. Students will be encouraged to speak to academic staff before and after submitting work.

Employability & Careers

The MSc programme enhances professional development for those in employment and those looking to enter psychology-related careers. The programme is suitable for those working in health settings, in Human Resources where there is a focus on wellbeing, and those wishing to extend their skills base with the aim of a research career.

Please note that this programme is not accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) in Psychology, usually from a BPS (British Psychological Society) accredited undergraduate course. Those without a BPS accredited degree may still be considered.

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Selection Procedure:
Applicants for the MSc Psychology of Applied Behaviour Change programme must complete the application form that is available on the website and submit a personal statement to clarify their reasons for applying for the course. Two references will be sought and each applicant will be interviewed. If applicants do not meet the normal entry criteria then additional information may be taken into account e.g. work experience and other evidence of ability to study at Masters level.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Info

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Part-time fees:
Charges are per Single Module unless specified:
Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits

Generally we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact: Daniel Heggs

Key Course Information

Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences

Course Length:
One year full-time or two years part-time.

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