Positive Behaviour Support (MSc)

University of Kent the United Kingdom

For more information about Positive Behaviour Support at University of Kent, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
12 Months

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
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International course fees
find out

All study options

About Positive Behaviour Support at University of Kent

Location: Canterbury


Aimed at recent graduates and experienced practitioners, this postgraduate qualification opens up a range of career opportunities. It also provides the necessary coursework for you to apply to sit the international examination and become a certified behaviour analyst.

Deadline for Tizard Postgraduate Taught Applications for entry in September: 18 JULY

Due to a high number of applicants we have been forced to put in place a deadline for receipt of applications for those wishing to be considered for entry to September intake.

Please therefore ensure that your full application (containing reference, all required documentation and evidence of English Language qualifications if relevant) is submitted online via the “Apply Now” link no later than 23:59 BST on 18 July

Incomplete applications, or applications received after 18 July, will be considered for next year's September cohort.

Reasons to study Positive Behaviour Support at Kent
  • Study alongside some of the UK’s leading academics working in autism, learning disability and community care.
  • You will study the coursework required to apply to sit the international examination for certification as a behaviour analyst.
  • We offer a range of funding opportunities to fund your studies.
  • As a student or graduate, you can join the Tizard Practitioners’ Network of experts in the field.
  • Receive academic and professional support from leading applied behaviour analysts and intellectual and developmental disability researchers.
  • Benefit from our excellent links with health and social care organisations, and other relevant establishments.
What you’ll learn

You'll benefit from academic and professional support from some of the UK's leading positive behaviour support and intellectual and developmental disability researchers. Through our research, teaching and consultancy, you'll find out more about how to effectively support and work with people with learning disabilities.

BACB Announcement

Please note the BACB will not be administering certification exams in the UK from 2025. Please visit this page for more information about this from the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis.

ABAI Verified Course Sequence for Fifth Edition Task List

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward 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.

The latest VCS pass rates are available here. Pass rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation., meaning that the latest pass rates for the course currently relate to the 4th edition task list.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Critical understanding of concepts and principles of positive behaviour support
  • In-depth knowledge of values and ethical principles and how to apply these in professional practice
  • Advanced knowledge of methods of observing, recording and analysing behaviour
  • Advanced and in-depth knowledge of methods of assessing and intervening to manage challenging behaviour and support adaptive behaviour
  • Practical understanding of cognitive, communicative and social characteristics of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging and the impact of these characteristics on assessment of challenging behaviour
  • In-depth knowledge and critical appreciation of biological, social and environmental causes of challenging behaviour in intellectual/developmental disability
  • Advanced knowledge of methods of applying positive behaviour support practices in working with individuals whose behaviour is described as challenging
  • Advanced knowledge of use of positive behaviour support to understand, assess and intervene in systems/settings for people who have intellectual/developmental disabilities (e.g. schools, residential settings, families, communities, workplaces etc.)
  • Critical understanding of research methodology and basic statistical analysis

Intellectual Skills

  • In-depth review and critical discussion of literature at the forefront of the discipline
  • Critical analysis of data with particular reference to issues of method, reliability and validity
  • Interpretation of data in the light of in-depth appreciation of theoretical and methodological considerations
  • Presentation of critical, balanced and conceptually-informed arguments
  • Critical conception, design, analysis and interpretation of primary or secondary research investigations (where following the research route)
  • Design of interventions informed by in-depth assessment and advanced, theoretical understanding (where following the practice route)

Subject-specific skills

  • Conduct primary or secondary research on a positive behaviour support topic relevant to intellectual/developmental disability (where following the research route)
  • Design interventions for people with intellectual/developmental disability (and their carers/families/schools etc.) that are applied, behavioural, analytic, technological, conceptually systematic, effective and generalizable (where following the practice route)

Transferable skills

  • To use an advanced range of communication skills including organising information clearly, critically responding to written sources, presenting information orally.
  • To develop advanced numeracy skills enabling the sophisticated presentation of statistical materials and the integration of quantitative and qualitative information.
  • To use information technology to an advanced level to produce high quality written documents and undertake online research.
  • To work with others co-operatively on group tasks showing a good practical understanding of group functioning.
  • To be critically reflective on personal learning and organisational performance, drawing on an analysis of strengths and weaknesses to improve future practice.
  • To problem solve at an advanced level, identifying and defining problems, exploring alternative solutions and reaching reasoned judgements about appropriate ways forward.

  • Develop a critical understanding of concepts and principles of positive behaviour support.
  • Encourage values and evidence based, ethically stringent, advanced practice or research in positive behaviour support.
  • Provide graduates with in-depth knowledge of intellectual and developmental disabilities and experience of practice or conducting research in this field.
  • Produce graduates whose critical understanding, in-depth knowledge and advanced practice/research skills equip them to play a leading role in public services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Provide a programme of study capable of being certified as approved coursework for Board Certified Behaviour Analyst status by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR | Part Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Part Time Overseas: N/A

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

What students think about University of Kent

    Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.

    “Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.

    “The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.

    “I was very fortunate to be awarded an International Scholarship, which meant I could dedicate myself to my studies.”

    Academic excellence - Stephanie Bourgeois from France is studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

    “I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.

    “The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”

    Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

    “I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.

    “Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”

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