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: 2021/2

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. We will look at the Myers Briggs personality preferences, how gender and attachment can influence our behaviour and at the Karpman drama triangle,  to further understand why people may behave as they do.

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, discussions  and guided independent study. The sessions will draw upon key readings and the students’ own experience of the subject

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 25
External visits 6
Guided independent study: 169
Total hours by term 0 0 200
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.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres 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 (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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
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:


Reassessment arrangements:

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

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 

Where applicable, core textbooks recommended for student purchase may cost around £20 to £30 per module; there may be other books/resources which you would find it convenient to buy. Some books may be available second-hand, which will reduce costs. A wide range of resources to support your curriculum, including textbooks, more specialist studies, and electronic resources, are available through the library.

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

4) Printing and binding: Printing and photocopying facilities are available on campus at a cost per A4 page of £0.05 (black and white) and £0.30 (colour). Essential costs in this area will be low as most coursework is submitted electronically.

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: A computer would be needed but nothing additional is needed.

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

Last updated: 6 December 2021


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