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Motivational Interviewing: Strategies for Lifestyle and Behavioural Changes

Module MHR 4502
Level Level 7
Credits 15
Fees £945
Start date Autumn term
Mode of delivery Online (via mixture of virtual classroom and blended activity)
Course leader Dr Patrica Shanahan


Motivational interviewing is an approach that aims to engage people’s intrinsic motivation to change their behaviour. It is a semi directive technique that uses questions and support to help people set their own goals, see discrepancies between where they are and where they would like to be and develop strategies to move forward.

Motivational interviewing is more of an interpersonal style than a distinct ‘technique.’ The approach has a guiding philosophy focused on what triggers change. The techniques used may include seeking to understand a person’s frame of reference through reflective listening, expressing acceptance, recognising the patient’s degree of readiness to change, eliciting and reinforcing the patient’s own self motivational statements and affirming the patient’s freedom of choice and self-direction.

This 3-day workshop is appropriate for practitioners who are in a role that has a focus on supporting others to make and sustain healthy behaviour changes. This course will begin to develop knowledge and skills in motivational interviewing and seeks to support practitioners to work towards improving patients /service user outcomes through training in how to apply this method. The course lays the foundations for further skills development. Participants should note that proficiency in motivational interviewing requires ongoing skills practise in their own practice settings and further skills development through ongoing training, coaching and feedback.

Course content

This 3-day course presents an overview of the theory and practice of Motivational Interviewing – a client-centred approach to strengthen an individual’s own motivation to change and support them in making changes. On this highly practical course, the theory and practices of Motivational Interviewing will be covered and you'll be given the opportunity to practice motivational interviewing skills.

The course will also cover:

  • The ethos/principles of MI
  • The cycle of change and how to apply it to your work
  • Principles of Motivational work
  • Recognising and working with ambivalence
  • Recognising and responding to sustain/change talk in ourselves and with clients

Teaching dates

All days will run from 9.30am to 4.00pm.

  • Thursday 3 November 2022
  • Friday 4 November 2022
  • Friday 25 November 2022

Learning and teaching

The current COVID-19 situation and ongoing uncertainty and challenges surrounding social distancing rules has impacted on how we deliver learning and teaching. To this end, all our short courses, modules and programmes will be delivered this autumn onwards through a mix of online/virtual and face to face modes.

Teaching methods on this course include PowerPoint presentations, group work, practical skills practice, scenario-based teaching, use of digital technologies including videos, pre and post session work activities, and formative multiple-choice quizzes.


Formative assessment

You will be expected to participate in a short role play for 15/20 min demonstrating the use of MI strategies and techniques for which you will receive verbal and written feedback from your fellow classmates and the module leader. You are required to incorporate the learning gained from this exercise into your final submission.

Summative assessment scheme

You will be expected to demonstrate achievement of your learning outcomes by submitting a 2,500–word reflective account of learning in relation to using the principles of evidence-based MI techniques. This reflective account should incorporate a critical analysis of how the techniques you have identified are linked to the evidence base of MI within your own practice area (100%).

The reflection should also incorporate a critical review of learning gained through the role-plays and formative assessment conducted in class.

The assignment should include the following elements:

  • A critical appraisal of the basic principles of Motivational Interviewing and how you have used them to help a patient/service user feel engaged and motivated to manage change in their health behaviours
  • A critical review of current literature in relation to strategies and techniques being discussed
  • Completed ‘Formative Assessment’ tools with critical discussion relating to the learning gained incorporated into the main body of the assignment.

How to apply

To be eligible for this module, you must provide evidence of an ability to study at Level 7.

Apply for this module through our online application form.

Please note applications to this module will close 10 days before the module start date for all intakes (spring).

Fees and funding

The fees* below refer to the 2020/21 academic year unless otherwise stated.

Per credit: £63
15 credits: £945

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

There are several funding options available:

  • receiving course fees via CPPD contracts between NHS trusts and Middlesex University
  • paying your own fees
  • sponsorship by your employer (but not under a CPPD contract).

For more information for any of these options, including fee rates for self-funding/employer-sponsored students, please visit our dedicated funding page.

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