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Behavioural and Economic Science (MSc) (2022 Entry)

About this taught graduate course

Course overview

This innovative course in the growing area of decision science and behavioural economics combines multidisciplinary expertise from the Department of Psychology, Department of Economics and Warwick Business School (WBS). The course emphasises both theoretical foundations and real-world application of core and advanced areas of behavioural economics, and the cognitive science of judgement and decision making. The Science Track variation of the course is designed for students with a first degree in a science-based subject, such as Psychology, Maths, Biology, etc. or a subject with a strong quantitative element, such as Business, Finance, etc.

A variation of the course is offered by the Department of Economics and is available if you have a first degree in Economics.

Skills from this degree

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how and why people make the choices they do
  • Understand how influencing such choices is important across a variety of domains, from public policy (e.g. encouraging people to save for pensions), through to industry (e.g. how to place a new product in the market), and individual behaviour (e.g. why people drink and eat too much).
  • Develop a theoretical understanding of key models and results in behavioural economics and judgment and decision making
  • Design, conduct and analyse behavioural experiments
  • Implement models of choice
  • Access and analyse large-scale datasets
  • Initiate economic enquiry and test economic models
  • Assess and deploy potential behavioural interventions

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.

The MSc Behavioural and Economic Science is a quantitative degree and you should feel comfortable taking a mathematical approach to your thinking.

On the MSc we cover the use of statistics to make sense of behavioural data (e.g. regression and t-tests). We introduce the R and Matlab programming languages for statistics and mathematical modelling (though we do not assume you have previous experience of these languages). We use maths in economic and psychological models.

You should be familiar with some of: elementary calculus, basic geometry, a really basic knowledge of sets, functions like logarithms, exponentials, powers, probability and probability distributions. You do not need to know all of these things, but you should not be frightened about learning about them! Such a quantitative approach is a really great way to understand data from field studies and experiments, and big data sets and surveys. It is also a great way to formalise and think about ideas about how people behave and the aggregate consequences of this behaviour.


English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.


Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

You will usually study three core modules across Psychology, Economics, and WBS, as well as complete a Behavioural and Economic Science project during the summer.

The three modules usually include:

Behavioural Microeconomics

The aim of this module is to examine the foundations of microeconomic analysis from a behavioural perspective and introduce basic microeconomic concepts to non-economists. It will achieve this objective by subjecting many of the fundamental assumptions made in standard undergraduate degree courses to close critical scrutiny. It will familiarise you with recent research developments in behavioural economics and the possible implications for theory and policy raised by these developments.

Issues in Psychological Science

This module covers core psychology and behavioural science content relevant to later modules in the degree, including memory, attention, perception, personality and individual differences, choice, and subjective well-being. It will provide you with the psychological background to enable you to understand and critically evaluate material on those later modules. Through a combination of lectures, seminars, and laboratory-based sessions, you will learn about both models and data in the relevant areas of psychology. You will also learn basic MATLAB programming and model implementation.

Methods and Analysis in Behavioural Science

The purpose of the module is to introduce you to experimental design and statistical programming. Behavioural scientists need statistical analysis of experimental data and of large data sets. This module covers these topics to allow you to understand how to test hypotheses, plan experimental design and perform statistical analysis using R.


Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Experimental Economics
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Principles of Cognition
  • Psychological Models of Choice
  • Behavioural Change: Nudging and Persuasion
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Bayesian Approaches to Behavioural Science
  • Behavioural Ethics

You will choose a number of optional modules to complete.

Teaching

You will have a combination of lectures, seminars, and practical classes/workshops, depending on the module. Lectures introduce you to a particular topic, seminars build on that knowledge, and practical classes/workshops allow you to put what you are learning into practice alongside tutors knowledgeable in the topic.


Class sizes

Class sizes will naturally vary, however our Psychology courses comprise of around 25-30 students.


Typical contact hours

Teaching occurs throughout the week, with an average of 8-12 hours of lectures and 5-7 hours of workshops, practical classes and/or seminars per week. You will also have meetings with your personal tutor at regular intervals throughout your course.


Assessment

We typically assess modules through a mix of assessment types, which include worksheets, essays, research reports, modelling and data analysis, class tests, exams, and presentations.


Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.


Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

Graduates from this course have gone on to work at places including: Decision Technology, the Commonwealth Bank, the Bursara Center, the Behavioural Insights Team, and Cowry Consulting.

Our department has a dedicated professionally-qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. We also encourage you to attend a number of networking events held each year, and we hold a series of careers-focused workshops which have previously included topics such as:

  • Careers in Behavioural Science
  • Applying for PhDs in the Behavioural Science

Psychology at Warwick

A playground for the mind

Our research-driven department can offer you the kind of physical and intellectual environment that’ll inspire you to succeed. We pride ourselves on being a friendly, inclusive academic community offering a stimulating, intellectual environment to students and staff. We’re large enough to provide excellent resources and education, but also small enough to know who you are and provide one-to-one support.

Find out more about us on our website.


Our Postgraduate courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees


Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.


Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Funding routes available

Find out about the many different funding routes available for postgraduate study at Warwick.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

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Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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