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Behaviour Change

This course examines applying behaviour change theories and techniques to facilitate healthy lifestyle interventions.

Many health practitioners who are working with individuals to facilitate healthy lifestyle behaviours, or to reduce harmful ones, experience suboptimal outcomes.  They are not alone, a look at national statistics shows that some attempts at health campaigns are just not working, e.g. only 28% of adults are eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, this is despite the well-publicised importance of ‘five a day’.

Additional approaches to health interventions are needed and Public Health England has stated:

The behavioural and social sciences are the future of public health.  Evidence from behavioural science suggest that simple and easy ways of helping people to change their behaviour are the most effective

This practical course is aimed at professional health practitioners and will equip them with the behaviour change knowledge, strategies and insights needed to enhance their communication and influencing skills in clinical and therapeutic settings. This will enhance the quality care.

Learners will review the scientific evidence underpinning behaviour change efficacy at masters level, and undertake practical workshops where they will develop and enhance their applied behaviour change strategies and techniques. This 20-credit, master's-level (Level 7) course will benefit anyone working on health or well-being interventions with individuals.

This course is a module on the MSc Chronic Disease Management; any credit gained on this course can be counted towards the Master's degree.

Dates and times

The course will run:

  • 19 September 2023 -16 October 2023.

The sessions include:

  • Tuesday 19th September 2023. Running from 10am - 4pm live online on Zoom only.
  • Wednesday 20th September 2023. Running from 9am - 4pm on campus face-to-face.
  • Thursday 21st September 2023. Running from 9am - 4pm on campus face-to-face.
  • Friday 22nd September 2023. Running from 9am - 2pm on campus face-to-face. 
  • Monday 2nd October 2023. Running from 9.30am - 11.30am on campus face to face.
  • Monday 16th October 2023. Running from 9.30am - 12.30pm on campus assessment presentations. 


The full cost is £917 excluding the course assessment. 

Participants can opt to take the course assessment at an additional cost of £250. The deposit cost is £50 which is payable upon application. The course fee excludes refreshments and accommodation. Information on accommodation on campus or in local hotels can be provided upon request.

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

St Mary's University alumni receive a 20% discount.


This course will be delivered online and in-person in the format of lectures and workshops.

This course covers the following topics:

  • behaviour change theory
  • behaviour change techniques
  • health psychology in practice.

You will attend several practical communication workshops and will learn to apply behaviour change theory to case studies and reflect on and develop your own communication style.

Lead Tutor

Dr Anne Majumdar - Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Chronic Diease Management

Anne is the Programme Director for MSc Chronic Disease Management and teaches across three programmes. She is the Research Director of the Centre for Applied Social and Health Research. As an HCPC registered dietitian Anne has a strong interest in teaching and research related to best practise in a clinical setting.

Other tutors include:

  • Dr Kyriaki Myrissa, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Health and Exercise Science
  • Dr Kate Lawrence, Senior Lecturer in Psychology
  • Other invited guest speakers.


Students will normally be expected to have achieved a 2:1 or a good 2:2 (or equivalent) from a UK university in a related discipline, including: 

  • applied health degrees (such as nursing, medicine or allied health)
  • nutrition
  • biosciences
  • health and exercise science
  • social science. 

Evidence of recent academic study or a period of professional experience with responsibilities in a relevant field is also required.  Without appropriate evidence, such as a degree certificate, you will not be eligible for this course


For participants who choose not to undertake the assignments, a certificate of attendance will be provided. Participants who complete and pass the course assessments will receive a certificate of accreditation at master’s level. 

This course is assessed through a work-related case study including a reflective written piece, as well as a presentation. The assessment will take place within one month of the end of the course, depending on case-study scenarios.


Upon successful assessment, you will be awarded 20 master's-level (Level 7) academic credits. Credits may be transferred onto existing master's degrees at St Mary’s University.

Book your place now


For more information about this course please contact the Short Courses team: