EDM178-Behavioural Insight

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Helen Bilton

Email: h.o.bilton@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module and its theoretical basis is intended to analyse and understand behaviour, the behaviour of humans and how to bring about behavioural change in others and oneself. This module will mostly be looking at the educational/training environment, but will use evidence when appropriate from other sectors. Therefore, we will be discussing behaviour within, for example, schools, hospitals, prisons, further and higher educational institutions. We will look at whether it is possible to manage/control/change another person’s behaviour and consider the evidence related to the strategies expounded to impact on behaviour. We will look at the nudge theory in relationship to behaviour and of behaviour within a group of people. The development of such understanding should inform the work of all those who consider they manage others and to develop their abilities to know what they and others do and how they behave, why they do as they do and to reflect upon this.


To develop a critical understanding of the issues concerning behaviour;

To develop a critical understanding of how to impact others’ behaviour;

To develop the skill to put the knowledge and reflective understanding gained into practice.  

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Present a rationale for adopting and/or a critique of a particular position towards behaviour insight;

  • Draw reflectively and critically upon their own experience and literature about the nature of behaviour ;

  • Compare and contrast objectively the approaches from different contexts;

  • Explore the relationship between theory and practice within this subject;

  • Produce well-structured and well-argued essay and report.

Additional outcomes:

  • Reflect using the skills and knowledge gained;

  • Research and write more independently;

  • Develop increased policy analytical skills and awareness.

Outline content:

The specialist skills, knowledge and understanding gained will be around your own behaviour, and in what ways you can influence other peoples’ behaviour. We will explore the nudge theory and the work of the behavioural insight team. Various researchers will discuss their research in relationship to the subject.

Global context:

This is a global matter and students will be able to draw on their own experience and reading from across the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be conducted using lectures, student-led seminars focused on key readings, tutorials and guided independent study. The sessions will draw upon key readings and the students’ own experience of the subject. Students will be expected to visit one another’s setting once during the term.  

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Seminars 12
External visits 6
Guided independent study: 170
Total hours by term 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Report 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One report on behavioural insight matters, containing reflective accounts (1500 words) and a written assignment 3000 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be set regular reading tasks and be weekly reflecting on their own professional behaviour which will receive feedback with in class.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmissions must be submitted within one calendar month of the notification of failure.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Students will hopefully visit  fellow students in the professional setting -this will incur the cost of petrol   

Last updated: 16 April 2019


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