Behavioural Science and Complex Interventions

Overview

The psychology of behaviour change in relation to patients and health care professionals

This module will cover the scientific basis of behaviour change and how scientific principles (chiefly from psychology) can be harnessed to address patient behaviour (for example, how best to support lifestyle interventions) and professional behaviour (for example, improving adherence to evidence-based guidelines).

As well as introducing key theoretical perspectives in behavioural science, this module will also have a strong empirical component in which you will apply behavioural theories to inform the development of complex interventions and consider how these might be implemented and tested in practice. You will consider the tension between laboratory research on behaviour and the complexity of real-world action, and how to address that complexity in analysis and intervention.

The module will also examine how behavioural insights can be used in health policy (for example, ‘nudge’ interventions to influence population behaviour). You will explore case studies of behaviour change efforts in translational science, and how behavioural insights can improve risk management and patient safety. You will be able to share real-world case studies from your own experience.

Guest lectures will include speakers from health policy perspectives such as the Behavioural Insights Team in the UK Cabinet Office.

 

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 13th November 2020. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

Course Aims

On completion of this module, we expect our students to be able to:

  • Give a critical account of the main concepts and theories in behavioural science relevant to influencing the actions of patients, citizens and health professionals
  • Apply these theories to the development and testing of complex interventions
  • Explain, using both theoretical and empirical evidence, why efforts to change behaviour are often unsuccessful
  • Suggest how the link between policy and practice could become more evidence-based

Research methods and techniques taught in this module:

  • Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods for behavioural science
  • Identifying behavioural dimensions to research (such as clinical trials) and practice (such as organisational change)
  • Choosing research methods for behavioural science and the challenges of validity for health and health care
  • Development and testing of complex interventions

Examples of case studies to be discussed in this module:

  • Behavioural science applied to obesity-related behaviours and complex interventions for weight control
  • Behavioural science applied to management of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic prescribing

Programme details

The first weeks of this module is spent working on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment, a week is then spent in Oxford for face-to-face teaching and group work (this takes place on the dates to be confirmed), there are then a series of extended Post-Oxford activities (delivered through the VLE) over the following 4-6 weeks which are designed to support you in the preparation and delivery of the practical elements of your assignment. You will be required to submit your written assignment electronically (usually on a Tuesday at 14:00 UK Local Time).

Fees

Description Costs
Short Course in Health Sciences £2470.00
Students enrolled on MSc in Translational Health Science £2000.00

Funding

Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our financial assistance page.

Discounts

If you are an employee of the University of Oxford and have a valid University staff card you may be eligible to receive a 10% discount on the full stand-alone fee. To take advantage of this offer please submit a scan/photocopy of your staff card along with your application. Your card should be valid for a further six months after attending the course.

Tutors

Dr Nick Fahy

Dr Nick Fahy is a Senior Researcher and consultant in health policy and systems at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford.

Dr Anne Ferrey

Dr Anne Ferrey is a Researcher at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on performance in a group presentation and submission of a written assignment which should not exceed 4,000 words.

Academic Credit

Applicants may take this course for academic credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants attending at least 80% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Applicants can choose not to take the course for academic credit and will therefore not be eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students taking the course for credit. Applicants cannot receive CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CATS accreditation is required if you wish for the course to count towards a further qualification in the future.

A Certificate of Completion is issued at the end of the course.

Applicants registered to attend ‘not for credit’ who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received one calendar month in advance of the course start date. Please contact us for more details.

Please contact ths@conted.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Application

This course requires you to complete the application form and to attach a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also be required to provide a reference. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes which appear when you click on the symbols as you progress through the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

 

Academic Credit

Applicants may take this course for academic credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants attending at least 80% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Applicants can choose not to take the course for academic credit and will therefore not be eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students taking the course for credit. Applicants cannot receive CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CATS accreditation is required if you wish for the course to count towards a further qualification in the future.

A Certificate of Completion is issued at the end of the course.

Applicants registered to attend ‘not for credit’ who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received one calendar month in advance of the course start date. Please contact us for more details.

Please contact ths@conted.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Selection criteria

Admissions Criteria:
To apply for the course you should:

  • Be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • Have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • Be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of translational health sciences within the work place
  • Have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • Show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.
  • Be able to demonstrate English Language proficiency at the University’s higher level

Accommodation

Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

IT requirements

Please ensure that you have access to a computer that meets the specifications detailed on our technical support page.