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Behavioural and Economic Science (MSc) (2021 Entry)

Picture of psychology students

  • Course Code
  • P-C8P7
  • Course Type
  • Postgraduate Taught
  • Qualification
  • MSc
  • Duration
  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Location of Study
  • University of Warwick

The Behavioural and Economic Science MSc combines multidisciplinary expertise from the departments of Psychology, Economics and Warwick Business School. Warwick's Psychology department allows you to focus on the cognitive science of judgement and decision making.

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 Psychology variant 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.

An Economics track variant of the course is offered by the Department of Economics and is available if you have a first degree in Economics.

Core Modules

Students will study core modules across Psychology and Economics as well as a Behavioural and Economic Science project. These modules include:

  • Behavioural Microeconomics
  • Issues in Psychological Science
  • Methods and Analysis in Behavioural Science

Optional Modules

Students will choose a number of optional modules. These 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 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 alongside tutors knowledgeable in the topic.

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

Skills from this degree

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how and why people make the choices they do
  • Learn 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

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

The MSc Behavioural and Economic Science is a quantitative degree and students should feel comfortable taking a mathematical approach to their 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, really basic knowledge of sets, functions like logarithms, exponentials, powers, probability and probability distributions. You don't 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's also a great way to formalise and think about ideas about how people behave and the aggregate consequences of this behaviour.

English language requirements 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 Students
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.

For up-to-date information concerning fees, funding and scholarships for Home, EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.

Additional Course Costs

Whilst there are no set additional costs, there is the opportunity to attend a number of events whilst on your course, and some of these may have a small change associated.

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

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 students to attend a number of networking events and hold a series of workshops which have previously included topics such as: Careers in Behavioural Science, Applying for Ph.D.s in the behavioural science.

There are a number of different ways to visit the University of Warwick throughout the year. We host bespoke PG visits, where you can talk directly with your chosen department and explore our campus through a personalised tour. Some departments also host their own events and open days, where you can learn more about your department or course of study. To find out more about all of these opportunities, visit our Postgraduate Visits page.