Programmes

Executive MSc Behavioural Science

  • Executive
  • Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science
  • Application code C8U9
  • Starting 2019
  • UK/EU part-time: Open
  • Overseas part-time: Open
  • Location: London

Uncover the science behind behaviour. This unique and dynamic programme provides the opportunity for full-time professionals working in any sector to obtain a graduate qualification in behavioural science, allowing you to pursue new and expanded opportunities within this emerging and exciting field.

Recognising the limitations of traditional practice and research methods, many organisations now engage with the idea of applying behavioural insights to their organisational challenges. Behavioural science may be an area directly related to your current professional role, or you may wish to pursue the programme for your own personal or career development.

The programme is taught by specialists at the forefront of research in behavioural science, in a multidisciplinary environment with links to specialist research groups based in departments across LSE. It is taught in a modular format, with courses taking place at LSE during three two-week sessions in September, January and April. There will be various assessments and online support in between. You will also complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Programme details

Key facts

Executive MSc Behavioural Science
Start date September 2019
Application deadline None – rolling admissions
Duration Taught over 16 months in modular blocks
Applications 2017 117
Intake 2017 47
Availability UK/EU: Open from October
Overseas: Open from October
Tuition fee £32,760
Financial support This programme is not eligible for LSE financial support
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent and three years relevant work experience
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

This 16-month programme starts in September and is divided into six half-unit taught courses for the first eight months, followed by a dissertation unit for the remaining eight months. 

(* denotes a half unit)

Programme dates 2019/20

  • 9-20 September 2019
  • 6-17 January 2020
  • 20 April – 1 May 2020

First year

September

Behavioural Science and Policy*
Examines the main concepts and tools of the growing fields of behavioural science. Topics covered include: What is behavioural science?; What are preferences to economists and psychologists?; Dual-process models of behaviour and the role of the unconscious mind; dual processing into policy using the MINDSPACE checklist; the role of emotions in decision making; compensating behaviours; breaking and creating habits.

Behavioural Decision Science*
Examines the field of behavioural 'decision' science and explores a selection of current research topics relevant to personal and managerial decision-making as well as policy-making. The course will cover topics such as: origin of behavioural decision science; the building blocks of behavioural decision science: preferences, utility and value; probability, uncertainty and risk; choice architecture and behavioural change; heuristics and biases in decisions about money, health, consumer products and people.

January

Research Methods for Behavioural Science*
Introduces the main methodological concepts and tools in behavioural science. In doing so, it combines rigorous conceptual discussion with hands-on practical applications. The topics that the course covers include randomization and controlled online, lab, and field experiments; the inference problem; different types of experimental design; introduction to econometrics and the analysis of experimental data; experimental best practices and challenges; and conducting research when randomization is not possible. The seminars involve hands-on practical applications using Stata.

Either
Policy Appraisal and Ethics*
 
Aims to introduce the main concepts and tools of policy appraisal and yield insight into key moral and political values that are essential for policy-makers when they draw on behavioural science. The topics that the course covers include architecture of cost-benefit analysis for market and non-market goods; elicitation of monetary values through revealed and stated preference methods; welfare analysis of policy interventions; evaluating welfare beyond monetary choices; and moral problems associated with libertarian paternalism or Nudge.
Or
Corporate Behaviour and Decision Making*
Discusses behavioural sciences in the context of corporate firms and high stakes decisions. From their core courses students will be familiar with biases in decision making in general and this course builds on these courses. The course will discuss contexts in which behavioural biases affect high stake decisions in corporate settings. Specifically, it will cover behavioural biases in: trade and investment, compliance, search and hiring processes and day to day decision making in business. It will draw on empirical evidence from experiments, quasi-experimental, observational and qualitative research

April

Frontiers in Behavioural Science Methods*
Offers integrated training in advanced behavioural science methods by introducing state-of-the-art techniques that stretch across the spectrum of psychology and economics as the two disciplines that constitute behavioural science. The topics covered include measuring preferences, attitudes, beliefs, and willingness-to-pay; analysing judgment and decision-making through the prism of quantum cognition approach to statistics; behavioural game theory and experimental games of strategic interaction; designing behavioural priming experiments and measures that tap into implicit cognition; state-of-the-art physiological research techniques; and analysing the mechanisms behind behavioural effects.

Either:
Behavioural Science in an Age of New Technology*
The course aims to a) introduce major technological advancements that are relevant for predicting, influencing, and understanding human behaviour; b) outline how they supplement and extend commonly used tools of behavioural change; and c) examine how they can be used to propel behavioural science into the future. The course will tackle behavioural science in relation to motion tracking, virtual environments, gadgets, artificial intelligence, and other relevant developments in the field of technology. Emphasis will be placed on how the technological tools covered throughout the course can be used to change behaviour in applied settings, and students will be encouraged to discuss implications for their organisations and other areas of interest.
Or
Organisational Culture*
The course aims to introduce to students the concept of organisational culture, its relationship with behaviour in institutional settings, and methodologies for utilising this knowledge to elicit behavioural change. The course will draw on a mixture of seminal research, state-of-the-art literature, and research being conducted at the LSE. The following topics will be covered: key models of organisational culture and their applications in organisational settings; the relationship between organisational culture and behaviour; cutting-edge and traditional approaches to measuring organisational culture; collisions of different organisational cultures; changing organisational culture and behaviour.

Second year

Dissertation in Behavioural Science
An independent research project of 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods and assessment

This programme is taught in modular blocks, and you will come to the LSE campus for three two-week teaching sessions, in September, January and April. Each of the six taught courses consist of a minimum of 22 hours of interactive lectures and seminars.

Between sessions, you will continue to interact with and receive support from both academic and administrative staff, and you will complete various assessments, such as essays and take-home exams. Students should expect to dedicate at least 10-15 hours per week on average on self-study when away from campus. 

After the April session, you will work on your dissertation with support from your supervisor. The dissertation is an original piece of research that develops ideas and tools learned in the courses. It is on a topic you select, and falls within your professional or personal research interests. You will have clear guidelines shared with other students, and are supervised by a faculty member. If you wish to pursue a PhD the dissertation may form the basis for your eventual doctoral thesis. You can read about some previous dissertations on the LSE Behavioural Science blog.

You can view indicative details of hours, teaching staff, and assessment in the Calendar within each course guide.

Academic support

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Teaching staff

Programme directors

Professor Paul Dolan
Dr Matteo M Galizzi 

Teaching staff

Dr Barbara Fasolo
Dr Grace Lordan
Dr Dario Krpan
Dr Tom Reader
Dr Jet Sanders
Dr Ganga Shreedhar
Dr Umar Taj
Professor Alex Wood

Guest speakers

Each year we bring prominent guest speakers from academia as well as the private and public sectors.  Some previous speakers and teaching staff have included*:


Paul Adams
Professor Luc Bovens
Dr Molly Crockett
Dr John Coates
Dr Greg Davies
Professor Liam Delaney
Hugo Harper
Dr David Halpern
Dr Heather Kappes
Dr George Kavetsos
Dr Thomas Leeper
Dr Connson Locke
Steve Martin
Dr Robert Metcalfe
Professor Gilberto Montibeller
Dr Jeroen Nieboer 
Professor Larry Phillips
Professor Charles Stafford
Rory Sutherland
Dr Severine Toussaert
Professor Ivo Vlaev
Professor Alex Voorhoeve

*Please note that guest speakers vary from year to year. 

Preliminary reading

P Dolan Happiness by Design (Penguin, 2014)

D Kahneman Thinking Fast and Slow (Penguin, 2012)

C R Sunstein and T Thaler Nudge (Penguin, 2009)

About our students

About our students

Our students come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds from all over the world, but one thing binds them together: a passion for behavioural science and a desire to better understand how principles from behavioural science can be applied in their professional (and personal) lives. The diversity of the class means that students are exposed to a wide range of perspectives, and that they leave LSE with a strong network of of peers from across the globe. 

Cohort size: 50-60

Age range: Mid-20s to mid-60s

Average age: 36

Gender (current cohort): 60% female, 40% male

 

Student stories

Hear from programme alumni: watch the video

exec-msc-behaviourial-sci-video-640x360-play

What some of our students and alumni have to say about the programme: 

“The Exec MSc in Behavioural Science has been a brilliant experience from start to (almost) finish. As a programme it seems to work equally well for those directly applying it to their current jobs, people looking to shift career path, people potentially looking at longer-term academic routes and those just looking for personal development. The subject matter is incredibly varied and interesting, the teaching and support are great, and if our experience is anything to go by, the people you meet and the benefit of a ‘cohort’ with which to build new networks are a huge additional benefit. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
Will Sandbrook, 2017/18 cohort

 

"My understanding of  the way people think, act and decide changed so much from what I learned, I now think about my contributions (at work and in general) as pre and post LSE MSc in Behavioral Science."
Ellen Raim, 2016/17 cohort

 

"When I enrolled at LSE for the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science, over 20 years had passed since my graduation from university. I thought that people would think I had lost my mind, voluntarily putting myself through this demanding course at the age of 48 – and paying good money for it too. How else could one explain a decision to dedicate the next 16 months of spare time to intensive study, while at the same time juggling a demanding career, plus family and social commitments?

All such thoughts vanished as soon as I started the course at the LSE. From day one, my fellow students and I were exposed to cutting-edge research, as well as field and lab studies in the fascinating field of Behavioural Science and how it affects everything from decision-making in business to social policy-making and adoption of healthier lifestyle choices. 

It was clear right from the start that the EMSc in Behavioural Science would have great impact on both my personal and professional life.

Through the course, I have met and interacted closely with a dynamic and diverse group of professionals who share the same enthusiasm in and attraction to the study of Behavioural Science. 

I am very excited to be part of the 4th cohort of the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science and I look forward to continuing this journey of personal growth, acquiring the required skills to help myself and others to identify and achieve our goals."
Pavlos Kanellopoulos, 2017/18 cohort 

 

"I had high expectations before attending the LSE Exec Masters in Behavioural Science. I was somehow worried that it was some kind of summer school for busy executives who don't want to be bothered with too much content. I was wrong. It is intense, in a good way. As I said to Paul Dolan over a drink, it was the most interesting thing intellectually I have done in my life. To which he obviously responded in typical Paul fashion that I must have lived a sad, boring one up to that point. 

Beyond the course being an amazing academic entry point to the world of behavioural science it also had many benefits to my career (most of which I am sure haven't materialized). First, I started to get calls from headhunters for prestigious jobs and companies (I guess, the LSE effect). Second, I was able to apply its findings straight to my organization through my dissertation. Third, I was able to network and get connected with brilliant minds from that space - and not only my classmates, but also established professionals in the field and this will eventually leads to more opportunities as the field is picking up massive pace (Thank you, Thaler).

The benefits of the Exec Masters is that it allows you to position yourself uniquely across your industry / expertise and behavioural science. And if you are smart about it being at a crossroad like this allows you to move in all sorts of professional directions."
Antoine Ferrere, 2014/15 cohort

 

"One of the best things about the Executive MSc Behavioural Science, perhaps obviously for a programme that studies human behaviour, was the people. The sheer excellence and diversity of the cohort allowed for so much of the learning and discussions that started in the classroom spilling over for hours and weeks outside of it. It was also fascinating and enlightening to learn all the different contexts in which behavioural science can be put to use, from trading rooms to humanitarian relief efforts. Despite all the superficial differences, our cohort built an awesome network of knowledge sharing and mutual support. It was a surprise to find so many kindred spirits from so many different walks of life.

The programme has great integrity from an academic perspective, so it incentivizes and demands a much deeper, nuanced reflection about behavioural insights, how strong is the evidence, what are the limitations, how can it be applied and what are the challenges, including from a philosophical standpoint. 

On day 2 we were already in deeper territory than the standard trade book discussions on behavioural science/economics. I sense we leave the program not as behavioural tool users, but as informed craftsmen and developers."
Guilherme De Lima, 2016/17 cohort

 

“The Executive MSc of Behavioural Science exceeded my expectation on every level. It was a transformative experience intellectually, professionally and personally. Intellectually, every course stretched and challenged my thinking in a very different, positive and fulfilling way. Professionally, this program has given me additional layers of insight into human behavior both at a micro and macro level.  And, personally, the caliber and the diversity of the cohort as well as faculty, along with the opportunity to interact, share and learn from each and every one of them …and the friendships that have formed along the way made it an experience of a lifetime. ”  
Ladan Niami, 2017/18 cohort

 

"My business is war, and I have spent many years thinking of behavior in terms of hierarchy, orders, and obedience.  I have seen how most leaders in my business rely on positional authority to get results and, while they get action from those being lead, they rarely get loyalty or commitment.  My purpose in taking this degree was to expand my knowledge on the language and tools to influence others because I saw that relying solely on positional authority would limit my effectiveness as a leader.  What LSE taught me is so much more than language and tools.  My whole perspective on why people behave as they do and how I can influence that behavior has fundamentally changed.  The concept that everything influences the innumerable unconscious decisions that we make every day has opened my eyes to the reality that foundational behaviors are more engrained than I ever realized, and leaders who create the emotional tie to those foundational behaviors are the ones who are truly inspirational.  This is my new quest, thanks to LSE and this course in Behavioural Science."
Inez Kelly, 2016/17 cohort

 

"Anyone working in government or policy-making will be aware of the quiet revolution that followed the creation of the UK's Behavioural Insights Team in 2010. Knowledge of behavioural science is increasingly becoming a core skill for civil servants. Earlier this year, government communicators were urged to "master the techniques" in the latest UK Government Communication Plan (2018/9, p8). This course is taught by some of those who brought this revolution about, who are currently working at the cutting edge of this exciting new discipline. It offers an opportunity to gain a Master's degree from a world-famous university, spending six weeks studying in London alongside highly intelligent mid-career professionals drawn from many countries and disciplines. Crucially, the course is structured so you can advance your career without having to move home, give up your job or forego your salary. Where will your studies take you? I am going on to study for a PhD. Others have won promotion, moved jobs or even changed their lives. An amazing experience. Highly recommend. "
Tessa Fras, 2016/17 cohort

 

"Interested in learning about how the human mind makes mistakes, takes decisions, initiates action (or fails to) and how we can better predict human behaviour in a scientific way? Then this program ticks all the boxes. The caliber of the teaching staff and the fellow students exceeded my expectations and resulted in insightful discussions and some life changing ideas (such as, Luc Boven’s dismissal of Aristotle’s Unity of Virtue). "
Kim Nguyen, 2016/17 cohort

Careers

This MSc will prepare you to seek and/or advance your career in behavioural science in multiple sectors, including the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations and academia. Upon graduation you can expect to take on more responsibility or pursue new and expanded opportunities within the behavioural science field. 

Many of our alumni have gone on to set up and lead behavioural insights units within their organisations, or moved to roles where they have been able to apply principles of behavioural science within their professions. Some have set up behavioural science consultancy businesses, and others have gone on to further study. Our alumni often find that the programme transforms their career paths, and that it also has a very positive impact on their personal development. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two references (normally one academic and one professional. However, applicants who graduated from their most recent study before January 2014 may provide two professional references)
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply.

Minimum entry requirements for Executive MSc Behavioural Science

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent and three years’ relevant work experience.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2019/20 for Executive MSc Behavioural Science

UK/EU students: £32,760
Overseas students: £32,760

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status.

Scholarships and other funding

This programme is not eligible for financial support.

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Information sessions

We regularly hold information sessions in London for participants interested in applying to the programme. The sessions give prospective applicants the opportunity to find out more about the MSc and to meet the Programme Directors and faculty in person. Our next information session will take place on Tuesday 13th November 2018 at 6-7pm in the New Academic Building on the LSE campus (room NAB.1.04). Please indicate your attendance here

You are of course also very welcome to email us if you have any queries or would like to discuss the programme in more detail. 

Contact us

If you have any queries or would like to find out more about the programme, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Therese Holmqvist, Executive MSc Programme and Behavioural Science Hub Manager, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7205

Behavioural.science@lse.ac.uk

Please also visit the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science website for more information about the Department. 

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