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Behavioural and Data Science (MSc) (2024 Entry)

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Explore our Behavioural and Data Science taught Master's degree.

Understand the underlying factors driving human behaviour on Behavioural and Data Science MSc. Warwick's Psychology department offers you training in basic psychology, behavioural economics and state of the art methods in data science and analytics.

Course overview

This course offers training in the foundations of psychology, decision-making, behavioural economics and behaviour change. It will also develop your understanding of state-of-the-art methods in data science and data analytics, focusing on statistical methods, machine learning, and data visualisation.

You will gain an understanding of large-scale patterns in data, with an eye to comprehending the underlying factors driving human behaviour. This can be used to understand consumer behaviour, economics, politics, history, wellbeing, and many other large-scale patterns at national and international levels. Previous experience in behavioural science is not necessary, but you should have programming skills in at least one programming language (e.g., R, Python, Matlab, or others).

Skills from this degree

Graduates will be able to:

  • Use data to understand how and why people make the choices they do, and understanding the consequences of their choices in relation to public policy (e.g. encouraging people to save for pensions or change to low-carbon behaviours), industry (e.g. understanding how to place a new product in the market), and individual behaviour (e.g. understanding why people drink and eat too much)
  • Access and analyse large-scale datasets
  • Utilise state-of-the-art techniques in data analysis and visualisation
  • Design and conduct studies using data analysis to understand behaviour

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

Applicants are required, at a minimum, to have a degree in a relevant subject, e.g. Psychology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Economics etc., equivalent to a UK 2:1 or greater in order to be considered. As we anticipate receiving a large number of applications, preference will be given to those with the strongest quantitative or social sciences backgrounds. Evidence of experience with programming in Python or R is also preferred—at a minimum, students should have online or university instruction in programming in at least one programming language. The MSc in Behavioural and Data Science is a quantitative degree and students should feel comfortable taking a mathematical approach to their thinking before they join the course. The course requires students to undertake programming assignments and long-form essay assignments and so requires students to be comfortable in programming and to have very good written communication skills in English.

On the MSc, we cover the use of statistics and computational approaches to make sense of behavioural data (e.g., regression, t-tests, machine learning). We cover R, Python, and Matlab programming languages for statistics and mathematical modelling. We also use maths in psychological and computer science models.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. 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 pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Important information

We are planning to make some changes to our MSc Behavioural and Data Science course for 2024 entry. Core modules undergo approval through the University's rigorous academic processes. As any changes are confirmed, they will be included in the module list on this webpage. It is therefore very important that you check this webpage for the latest information before you apply and prior to accepting an offer. Sign up for updates.Link opens in a new window

Students will study seven core modules across Psychology and Computer Science, including a Behavioural and Data Science project. These modules include:

Integrated Behavioural and Data Science

This module covers thinking, writing, evaluating, project planning, and methodological integration of behaviour and data science.

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.

Foundations of Computing

The aim of the module is to equip you with a grounding in foundations of computing, to enable students from a wider background to confidently undertake a taught Master's programme in advanced computing topics.

Psychological Models of Choice

The main aim of this module Psychological Models of Choice is to review theories of individual choice. Core empirical results in the decision-making literature will be reviewed and their theoretical implications explored.

Data Mining

This module will help you understand the value of data mining in solving real-world problems, as well as the foundational concepts underlying data mining. You will also understand the algorithms commonly used in data mining tools to gain the ability to apply data mining tools to real-world problems.

Optional modules

You will also choose two psychology-/behavioural science-focused optional modules, and two computer/data science-focused optional modules.

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

Psychology-/behavioural science-focused optional modules:

  • Behavioural Change: Nudging and Persuasion
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Bayesian Approaches in Behavioural Science
  • Principles of Cognition
  • Behavioural Ethics

Computer/data science-focused optional modules:

  • Foundations of Data Analytics
  • Social Informatics
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Urban Data – Theory and Methodology
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Machine Learning
  • Data science across disciplines
  • Visualisation Foundations

The availability of option modules depends on several factors and cannot be guaranteed in advance. Therefore, the list above provides a sample of previously available options for illustrative purposes only.


You will have a combination of lectures, seminars and practical classes or workshops. Lectures introduce you to a particular topic, seminars build on that knowledge and workshops and practical classes allow you to put what you are learning into practice. Seminars, practical classes and workshops are smaller groups than lectures giving access to tutors to help you put into practice what you are learning.

Class sizes

Class sizes will naturally vary, however this course typically has 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 practical classes or seminars per week. You will also have meeting with your personal tutor at intervals throughout your course.


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.

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 our MSc have followed career paths in postgraduate research and industry. Some have gone on to work on PhDs at the Alan Turing Institute and various Universities both in and outside the UK. Others have taken up positions as data scientists in industry, government, and NGOs.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year.

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.Link opens in a new window

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.

Find your taught course fees  

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

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.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

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

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

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

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

There are two application deadlines for the course:

  • The early deadline is 31 December 2023, all applications received by this date will be considered in January 2024 and a decision returned soon thereafter.
  • The late, and final, deadline is 31 March 2024, all applications received between 1 January 2024 and 31 March 2024 will be considered in April 2024 and a decision returned soon thereafter.

Applications will close on 31 March 2024 and no applications received after this date will be considered.

How to apply for a postgraduate taught course  

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