PY3BE-Behavioural Economics

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PY2CN Cognition or PY2CNS Cognition and Neuroscience or PY2CN2 Cognition 2
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Rachel McCloy


Type of module:

Summary module description:
Behavioural Economics

To give students a broad overview of research in behavioural economics and an understanding of how this research has been applied in real-life settings (e.g., public policy; marketing).

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student will be able to:
1.Critically analyse research on key phenomena in behavioural economics.
2. Critically evaluate different economic and psychological perspectives on rationality.
3. Apply their understanding of key phenomena in behavioural economics to the design of interventions to influence behaviour.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience from participating in a variety of individual and group activities. The module additionally provides an opportunity for students to improve their essay-writing skills, and gain experience in applying their psychological knowledge to address real-world issues.

Outline content:

This course of 7x2 hour sessions will use a mixture of lectures, guided activities, and group discussions. 

The course will provide an overview of the expanding field of behavioural economics and will discuss how this research is being applied in real-life settings (e.g. government policy making; sustainable behaviours; healthy eating). Some core topics include: 

1. What is Behavioural Economics? Economic and Psychological models of choice

2. Key phenomena in Behavioural Economics

3. 3. Applications of Behavioural Economics

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The classroom sessions will be made up of a mixture of lectures, interactive discussions and activities. These will be further supported by a mixture of follow-up activities and guided reading. During the course of the module, students will complete a written assignment.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14 1
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 99.00 1.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:
1.5 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise a 2000-word essay.

Formative assessment methods:

Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam. 

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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