Behaviour Analysis - Applied

Ulster University - Coleraine

Behaviour Analysis - Applied

This course is designed for professionals who work (or intend to work) in the caring professions. You will develop your theoretical and conceptual knowledge in behaviour analysis, develop skills in behavioural assessment, and acquire the ability to work in partnership with clients where they plan and implement programmes that are aimed at establishing, strengthening and/or weakening targeted behaviours.

It aims to provide a foundation to prepare those interested in applying for the internationally-recognised examination leading to Board Certification in Behaviour Analysis (BCBA). This course will normally be completed over two calendar years to allow time to obtain relevant work experience, which is a requirement for future certification. Part-time students will study for two years at Ulster. There is also the possibility of a placement year at the New England Centre for Children in Boston.

Graduates have successful careers in education and health authorities and charities as behaviour specialists, or have gone to work privately by providing home and school-based behavioural interventions for families.

Work placement / study abroad
Students will carry out a placement in the New England Centre for Children (NECC) and should be aware that the Ulster University cannot guarantee any student a placement position or the number of placements available. These decisions are at the discretion of NECC. Please also note that Ulster University cannot guarantee any student a work visa for the US, thus any student applying for a visa should not give up employment or book flights until the visa application has been successful.

For further course information please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Experimental Analysis of Behaviour
This module is intended to bring the critical thinking and academic writing skills of postgraduate students in Behaviour Analysis up to the level required for writing theses and academic papers in their discipline. Objectives will include: competence in critical thinking skills, and developing the ability to revise and edit drafts of documents of all types relating to research in their discipline.

Introduction: theories and application of applied behaviour analysis
This module is a first introduction to Applied Behaviour Analysis for postgraduate students; no prior knowledge is assumed. Students will gain an understanding of basic issues in the analysis of behaviour. The seminar-based design of the course means that students develop an understanding of some basic issues and some of the research literature, improve their presentation skills and further their skills in debating in an academic forum.

Scientific Principles of Behaviour Analysis
This module is part of a course of study on Applied Behaviour Analysis ABA for postgrad students; no prior knowledge is assumed. In this module students will gain an understanding of the experimental analysis of behaviour, a scientific approach to human psychology which underpins ABA. Focus is on explaining the fundamentals of this approach, including its experimental techniques and the principles of behaviour that have been discovered using those techniques. In Coleraine practical activities will demonstrate how behavioural processes can change behaviour.

Ethical and legal considerations in applied behaviour analysis
This module is concerned with professional practice in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Students will learn of the legal and ethical obligations they must follow in order to ensure the well being of their clients and to practice as behaviour analysts. Students will also gain a knowledge of how to relate ethical concerns to the basic tenets of behaviour analysis and how these relate to its philosophical underpinnings.

Autistic spectrum disorder and applied behaviour analysis
In this module, postgraduate students will gain an understanding of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and knowledge of the practice of Applied Behaviour Analysis with ASD. They will be introduced to the debates around the most effective treatment for children with ASD. They will learn basic intervention techniques developed within ABA and should acquire a beginning knowledge of how to design an effective ABA programme for children with ASD within an ethical and reflective framework.

Assessment and Intervention techniques in Applied Behaviour Analysis
This module is for postgraduate students of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Behavioural assessment and intervention techniques are core elements of ABA, and PBS. This module trains the student to use these elements in the applied domain, across a range of settings and clients, to develop effective intervention plans for individuals suffering from behavioural deficits or excesses. This module will prepare students for placement in ABA as well as lay the foundations for the research dissertation for Masters students.

Research Methods and Advanced Techniques in Applied Behaviour Analysis
This module builds upon earlier elements of the postgraduate course in Applied Behaviour Analysis Society. The module facilitates the development of the skills and knowledge necessary to become an effective applied scientist and the critical viewpoint required to remain one. It reflects the scientist-practitioner module in emphasising both the responsibility of the behaviour analyst to their client and the need to use of sophisticated behavioural strategies.

Year two
Placement with work experience in applied behaviour analysis
In this work-experience placement module, students on postgraduate courses in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) will transfer their learning from previous modules into practice. Students may be able to access placement opportunities in local agencies where ABA is practiced, international agencies with whom links are established, or experimental settings. It is essential that appropriate supervision is available and that ethical guidelines are followed. This experience is an essential step towards achieving professional competence.

Dissertation based on a research project in applied behaviour analysis
This module is for students on MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis and draws on prior training research methods. It provides experience of conducting a research study and producing a dissertation at postgraduate level that contains data presented in a manner typical of that used in international journals in this field. Students must have completed all taught elements of the MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis prior to submitting a dissertation.

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University's General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

You should possess a second class honours degree in psychology or equivalent subject (e.g., education, child development, social work) and have relevant experience. Candidates will be interviewed to assess motivation and experience.

The closing date for applications for entry is normally 31 May and interviews are held in June. Applications received after that date may be considered if all places are not filled. If all places are filled then late applications will be considered the following year.

Those with a 2:2 are welcome to apply, but preference will be given to those who have some additional relevant experience to add to their CV.

If English is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

Visit for more details.

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).



In Semesters 1 and 2 students will attend the campus on Fridays during the teaching period of 12 weeks. In semester 4 students will attend the campus on Thursdays for the teaching period of 12 weeks. In Semester 1, they will take Module 1 (3 hours class time) and Module 2 (3 hours). In Semester 2 they will take Module 3 (2 hours), Module 4 (3 hours) and Module 5 (3 hours). In Semester 3, they will commence work on the placement, which will continue through Semester 4 (the first semester in their second year of enrolment). In Semester 4, they will also take Module 6 (4 hours). The dissertation based on a research project in ABA will begin in Semester 5 of enrolment (i.e. the second semester of the second academic year) and continue through Semester 6, the summer period.

Behavior Analysis Cerification Board ( stipulate that students must attend at least 80% of Verified Course Sequence classes in order to eligible to apply for the Certification Exam.

Enrolment dates

Year of entry: 2020/21

Postgraduate Information Session 26 March 2020
Register at:

Post Course Info

Career options
Those students who have completed the course have gone on to have successful careers in a number of areas. For example numerous students have gone on to work for local health and education authorities, and charities as behaviour specialists in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Numerous students have gone on to work privately by providing home- and school-based behavioural interventions for families. A number of students who completed their placement year with the New England Centre for Children (NECC) in Boston went on to work for NECC in London and Abu Dhabi.

As the BCBA qualification is internationally recognised a number of graduates have gone on to work as behaviour analysts in countries such as the US, Australia, and Canada.

Those students who completed the course whilst in employment have gone on to bring their new skillset to such diverse backgrounds as education (Special Needs and mainstream), social work, and mental health nursing.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7,Degree - Masters at UK Level 7,Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider