Behaviour Analysis - Applied Behaviour Analysis
Behaviour analysis has been recognised as the basis for medically necessary intervention and educational provision for individuals on the autism spectrum and other clinical or non-clinical populations. With the growing prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (now estimated to be 1:54) behaviour analysis has experienced a significant rise in popularity.
There are over 57,000 certified behaviour analysts worldwide and this number is predicted to rise given that professional approval is seen as the key to delivering high quality services to individuals, families, in schools and in related settings. Furthermore, behaviour analysis is increasingly being applied to general education, special education, health and social care settings and organisational leadership settings.
This programme is a highly interactive blended learning programme. All key teaching takes place online with on-campus workshops taking place once per semester - providing professionals from a wide range of backgrounds with scientifically validated expertise that is applicable to mainstream and special needs education, inclusion, curriculum, learning, and pedagogy. It should be of interest to professionals wishing to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®)*, to those in the ‘helping’ professions (e.g. teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists) and students preparing for PhD studies.
Please note that unfortunately this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.
* The BACB announced impactful changes related to international focus. Anyone who wishes to pursue BACB certification should familiarise themselves with these changes to see if they may be affected. You can read about these changes here: https://www.bacb.com/faqs-about-the-2023-international-changes/
Applied Behaviour Analysis Highlights
Over 83% of research submitted by colleagues based in the Education Unit of Assessment was judged to be ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent' by a peer review panel (REF2021).
The supervised practice element is not included in the programme. However, the Centre for Behaviour Analysis has close links with international service and placement providers and can provide contacts for supervised placements in line with the BACB experience standards.
ABAI Verification The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the programme to fulfil the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. Queen’s Verified Course Sequence had an outstanding pass rate of 81% in the 2020 BCBA exam (BACB pass rates at https://www.bacb.com/university-pass-rates/), strong evidence of the high teaching quality that our students avail of.
The BACB announced impactful changes on the certification process, for details on these changes, and continuing developments, please see: https://www.bacb.com/faqs-about-the-2023-international-changes/
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:
The programme content is delivered online with multiple focused weekly virtual interactions that include peer and tutor feedback. This structure allows for acquisition of knowledge, information sharing, development of critical thinking skills, and giving and receiving immediate feedback.
An intensive, on-campus, one-day or half-day consolidation workshop takes place once during each module to give students the opportunity to meet each other and course tutors face-to-face.
Students can study at the time of their convenience within pre-determined weekly periods.
Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2**-3 years) basis. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.
The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS) and a 15,000-word dissertation (60 CATS) or ABA Portfolio (60 CATS), as well as audit 'An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.
** the 2-year part-time study route is subject to specific University regulations.
Course Details Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 or 3 years) basis. Individual modules may be studied as a short course. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester. The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS) and a 15,000-word dissertation (60 CATS) or ABA Portfolio (60 CATS), as well as audit 'An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.
Students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught pathway modules.
Please note that unfortunately this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.
Indicative Number of Modules per Semester
Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.
Modules (all 20 CATS points) - with assessment method in brackets:
• Assessment in Behaviour Analysis (weekly multiple-choice tests and final essay)
• Behaviour Change and Education and Supervising Others (weekly multiple-choice tests and final essay)
• Concepts and Principles of Behaviour Analysis (weekly discussion forum posts and summative multiple-choice exam)
• Ethical and Professional Conduct (weekly discussion forum posts and final essay)
• Evaluation in Behaviour Analysis (weekly discussion forum posts and final essay)
• Fundamental Elements of Behaviour Change (weekly discussion forum posts and summative multiple-choice exam)
Students are expected to audit 'An introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education' online module in Semester 2.
Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester
15- or 17.5-hours online delivery, 5- or 2.5-hours face-to-face seminar per 20 CATS point module.
A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject discipline plus one year of experience in an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) or related context and access to an ABA related working environment.
Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least two years of experience in an ABA related context and access to an ABA related working environment.
Applicants with a lower level of performance in an Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least three years of experience in an ABA related context and access to an ABA related working environment.
Applicants with a sub-honours degree level qualification or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least five years of experience in an ABA related context and access to an ABA related working environment.
Applicants who do not satisfy the above but who are holders of an equivalent approved professional qualification or work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Closing date for applications: Wednesday 31st May 2023 at 4pm.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.
New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen’s student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.
If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.
Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.
Modules are assessed by a variety of methods, eg multiple choice tests, essays, project reports, and contributions to an online discussion forum.
3 years (Part Time)
1 year (Full Time)
Contact Teaching Hours per Week
Typically, 4-6 hours per week per module.
Online content is available on a weekly basis and students can flexibly choose when to complete tasks within weekly deadlines specific to each module. Half or full-day on-campus workshops take place once per semester for each module.
Entry Year: 2023
Post Course Info
Most students are already in relevant jobs and the job market is healthy for behaviour analysts at present. Professionals behaviour analysts have the skills and knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate quality interventions that help to produce positive behavioural changes in a range of settings.
Typically, behaviour analysts work in the 'helping' professions (psychologists, teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational therapists). Increasingly, jobs advertised for behaviour managers or specialists require BCBA status and there is a demand for BCBAs in Europe and worldwide, especially in North America.
Teachers as well as allied health professionals should find this degree beneficial for their workplace.
Employment after the Course
There is a shortage of professional Behaviour Analysts worldwide. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to work in educational and clinical settings serving diverse populations, such as individuals with developmental disorders, students with learning difficulties, children/adults with behaviour problems and related difficulties.
An analysis of the demand for BCBAs in the USA provided details on the most frequent job roles. For information, visit:
Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.