Behavioural Economics in Action MScMSc/PGDip/PGCert | Middlesex University London
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Behavioural Economics in Action MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Learn about the course below
October 2018
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£10,800 (UK/EU) *
£15,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Ismael Rodriguez-Lara

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 Behavioural Economics in Action 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

What will you study on the MSc Behavioural Economics in Action?

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 two 30 credit modules
  • PG Diploma route comprises two 30 credit modules and four 15 credit modules
  • MSc route comprises two 30 credit modules, four 15 credit modules and a dissertation
  • Modules

    • Behavioural Economics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with an advanced knowledge of individuals' decision-making as well as a clear understanding of how individuals and firms behave in context of strategic interaction. The module combines both theoretical knowledge and behavioural data, with a special emphasis on principal-agent relationship and labour markets. The module is divided into three main topics: Games of Strategy, Behavioural Labour Economics, and Individual Decision Making. It also provides students with a basic knowledge about how to programme laboratory experiments.

    • Data Analysis (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to equip students with essential mathematical and statistical skills to help analyse data arising from economic experiments, present results and interpret findings. You need to master the techniques of locating, describing, differentiating and analysing data to aid with conducting economic and social experiments as well as processing and presenting findings.

    • Experimental Economics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module consists of four parts. The first part will provide students with an advanced understanding of the principles of experimental design in experimental economics. In the second part, the students will learn about different theories and the central findings of the experimental research programmes on the topic of social preferences. The third part will introduce students to special issues concerning running (and interpreting the results of) field experiments. In the fourth and final part, we will discuss, using relevant examples from the recent literature, a number of current developments in experimental economics.

    • Behavioural Markets (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce students to advanced topics in behavioural economics - with special focus on behavioural market and behavioural finance. The module has three parts - the first is designed to analyse rigorously how consumers, firms and markets behave. The second part explores issues in behavioural finance. The third part is designed - via weekly seminars - to introduce ongoing research in experimental and behavioural approaches to economics.

    • Practice (60 credits) - Compulsory

      The aims of the module are to provide hands-on experience with behavioural economics and advanced knowledge of the practice of empirical research in behavioural and experimental economics. The student will work under the supervision of a professor carrying out laboratory or field experiments. This will provide the student with a unique perspective of the practice of behavioural economics.

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to synthesise the knowledge and skills gained during the programme. This will enable them 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. Students will develop the research topic in consultation with the module leader and/or programme instructors, or an outside supervisor.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How will the MSc Behavioural Economics in Action 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.


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

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the MSc Behavioural Economics in Action 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
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