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Applied Behavioural Economics MSc (PG Dip/PG Cert)

Learn about the course below
October 2022
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£12,700 (UK) *
£16,800 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Joris Gillet

Please note this course is currently under review and may be subject to changes.

Over the past decade, techniques in behavioural economics have been applied by a large number of private and public sector organisations ranging from Coca-Cola, Google and Visa to the Bank of England, Oxfam and the NHS. Concepts from behavioural economics are widely used in areas including marketing, organ donor framing and incentives to save or spend. There seems to be no aspect of life in which applications from behavioural economics are not relevant.

Why study MSc Applied Behavioural Economics at Middlesex University?

This course is highly relevant to individuals from policy making and management backgrounds in the public and private sectors, as well as graduates from a range of backgrounds including anthropology, business, economics, finance, political science, psychology, sociology, neuroscience, maths and physics. The tools and techniques we teach, particularly the design of experiments including spatial randomization and clustering, are in great demand in organisations that seek to understand customer and consumer behaviour.

Our economics department has the largest group of academics working in the field of behavioural economics in London, holds regular seminars and talks from visiting researchers and has a network of international collaborators from all over the world. This high level of collaboration and exchange of knowledge means you benefit from being part of a highly active department, as well as participating in practical learning as you develop the skills to design, run and interpret trails and experiments with academics, other institutions and international labs.

Course highlights

  • High level of engagement with experiments including the design, running and interpretation of trials with an emphasis on education, health, marketing and voting
  • Be part of a highly active department which host regular seminars and welcomes research visitors
  • The department has a dedicated Behavioural Economics Group (BEC), who run experiments in both the lab and the field, and conduct research in areas including cooperation and altruism, markets and collusion, belief elicitation and social networks
  • A wide base of international collaborators from the USA, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia feeding into the knowledge and expertise

Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc Applied Behavioural Economics?

This course teaches you how to design experiments and interventions, imparts the approaches and skills necessary to analyse data generated from interventions and enhances an understanding of how to dig deeper into the nature of problems faced in society. The modules centred on behavioural economics, data analysis, experimental economics and behavioural markets all provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills required to tackle the keys topics of the subject area. The practice element of the course gives you the chance to see the process of designing of an experiment or survey, how other researchers run experiments or analysis of results from previous interventions

The dissertation element of the course gives you an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have gained to explore and area of behavioural economics that is of particular interest to you. This project can be developed with an academic within the school or an external supervisor.

There are three different awards available for this course:

  • PG Certificate route comprises four 15 credit modules
  • PG Diploma route comprises one 60 credit modules and four 15 credit modules
  • MSc route comprises one 60 credit modules, four 15 credit modules and a dissertation


  • Modules

    • Fundamentals of Behavioural Economics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces you to the fundamental ideas, insights and methods from behavioural economics. It focuses on the various ways in which real world economic decision making - both individually and in groups - can differ from that assumed from the purely rational decision maker in the traditional economic theory. You will be introduced to the academic source material and learn how experimental and behavioural economic research helps in understanding real world economic behaviour.

    • Data Analysis (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to equip you with essential mathematical and statistical skills for the analysis of observational data and data arising from economic experiments. At the end of this module, you will master techniques for describing their data, presenting summary statistics and using econometric methods for the analysis of economic relationships. You will be able to interpret and present your findings, test hypotheses and independently manage your empirical work.

    • Experimental Economics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The aims of this module are to provide you with an advanced understanding of the principles of experimental design in experimental economics; to equip you with technical tools on experimental design to be able to interpret and design your own randomised control trials (RCTs); and to explain the main differences between lab/field and lab-in-the-field experiments.

    • Current Topics in Behavioural Economics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce you to advanced topics in Behavioural Economics with special attention to current developments and their possible application. The module consists of four parts, each with their own focus. The module will look at the role of behavioural economics in markets and associated public policy, theories of moral decision making and charitable giving, the application of behavioural economics in the labour market and finally the module will cover the fundamentals of behavioural finance.

    • Practice (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to train you on some of the essential skills and tools you need to be an active behavioural economic researcher. Knowledge - and practical experience - of the four elements the module consists of will help you run research projects (both within the degree and in your future career). It will teach you how to do a literature review, how to programme an experiment, how to deal with statistical data in practice, and how to convincingly present the results of a research project.

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to synthesise the knowledge and skills gained during the programme. This will enable you to define and execute a piece of research in any area of behavioural economics. The research area can be original or be a replication of already published work. You'll develop the research topic in consultation with the module leader and/or programme instructors, or an outside supervisor.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.

How will the MSc Applied Behavioural Economics be taught?

The course incorporates a number of learning modes to ensure the development of a broad base of knowledge and abilities. These range from traditional lectures to practice activities in labs and the field. Group work is done within small clusters to ensure a high level of interaction between students and members of the academic body.


Online tests and presentations are some of the core modes in which your work on the course will be assessed.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

3 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

3 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Applied Behavioural Economics support your career?

This masters provides a solid background in the design of experiments and data analysis, as well as ability to critically evaluate issues related to behavioural economics. Behavioural economics offers the opportunity to pursue careers as researchers and consultants in a range environments including;

  • Public bodies (HMRC, NHS, FCA, etc)
  • Banks: Beh Finance
  • Marketing departments
  • Behavioural Teams (ING, SwissRe, etc)
  • Fundraisers/Charities
  • Health Economics

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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