Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Behavioural economics

Do people act rationally? This module introduces you to some of the most fascinating human and behavioural insights accumulated by the marketing and communications industries, combining behavioural psychology with economic analysis.

You will explore the contrast between what rational agents are supposed to do, according to standard economic theory, and how humans actually behave.

This course is a part of our Business management & marketing degree as an option for our second year students.

Apply now

Dates and times

  • Lectures: 2hours per week
  • Seminars: 2hours per week 

This course is blended learning. In addition to the workshops students will need self-study and prepare independently. This will require a time commitment of approximately 200 hours throughout the course.


The full cost is £1,600. The deposit cost is £50.

Please ensure you can commit to the scheduled dates as unfortunately we are unable to give refunds.


The module covers core concepts and techniques of behavioural economics, and considers how these theoretical constructs are being applied in the public and private sectors. Content includes:

  • Rational economics and irrational/emotional behaviour.
  • The basics of decision theory and its limits:
    • judgement, heuristics and bias
    • overload;
    • inertia
    • framing
    • herd behaviour; optimism and pessimism
    • bounded rationality
    • habit, bounded self-interest
    • bounded willpower
    • social norms
    • sunk costs
    • risk, inter-temporal choice and hyperbolic discounting
  • Knowledge and pseudo-knowledge - believing what is in the media; fake news.
  • Dishonesty and unethical behaviour.
  • Time: the long-lasting effects of decisions; learning from mistakes.

The course is assessed via...

A summative coursework research project (equivalent to 4,000 words).

The research project will require the student to choose a particular market or market segment, research it (customers and suppliers) using databases, academic and ‘grey’ literature, and use behavioural economics analysis to produce a clear picture of the business opportunities and challenges for two chosen competitive suppliers. Students will be supplied with exemplars, examples, and guided reading.

A formative assessment takes the format of blogs, in response to set questions which will prepare students for the summative assessment. They will include accounts of how students have applied particular behavioural economics theories and evidence to their project.


Applicants must have at least 96 UCAS tariff points and have up to three years work experience in business development and/or marketing with a familiarity and interest in basic economic principles. The UCAS website has a UCAS tariff calculator to help work out your points.

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent)

You must provide a supporting statement of no more than 500 words. Please complete the application form and forward references and evidence to supporting your application to


Successful students will receive a certificate of attendance and a transcript detailing 20 credits at Masters level. Please note that the transcript will follow once internal and external quality assurance processes have been completed.

Find out more

For more information about this course please contact the Short Courses team:
Tel: 020 8240 4321