Course Description

CPD in Introduction to Applied Behavioural Science

Trinity College Dublin


This is an exciting new module which will equip you with an understanding of the drivers of human behaviour, and with the necessary skills to apply these insights to improve decision making, engagement and performance within your organisations.  

The module will provide participants with an analytical framework and set of concepts that can be used to explain human behaviour. The course uses ‘classic’ findings and cutting-edge research from the social sciences, psychology, and neuroscience to document the interplay of forces which explain human behaviour.

We begin by interrogating the assumption that humans behave ‘rationally’. We discuss examples of departures from rationality and the insights these afford into the human condition. In doing so, we examine the impact of emotions, ‘automatic’ processes/habits, cognitive biases and ‘heuristics’ (mental shortcuts) on decision-making and behaviour. We examine the extent to which human behaviour is shaped by the environment and context rather than individual agency and choice and discuss the possibility of using ‘nudges’ to steer behaviour. We then explore how social identities and processes (such as belief systems) influence behaviour and examine the extent to which models of behaviour change can inform the design and testing of behavioural interventions. Finally, we discuss the ethics of applying behavioural insights, particularly within a digital environment.

While the module will provide participants with a solid grasp of the theory which underpins behavioural science, there will be a strong emphasis on teaching participants how to apply this knowledge in a variety of real-life organisational contexts.

On completion of the module, you will:

  • Understand the psychological, sociological and economic processes that drive human behaviour.
  • Appreciate the role of context in shaping decisions and choices.
  • Grasp how behavioural insights can be applied to change behaviour and to improve a wide-range of outcomes within organisations.

What Topics will you Cover?

  • What is behavioural science? 
  • Why do we make poor decisions, based on our cognitive biases and heuristics?
  • How does the social context influence our behaviour?
  • How can behavioural science insights, including ‘nudges’ and ‘choice architecture’, be used to change behaviour?
  • How can the effectiveness of behavioural science applications be tested?
  • Real-world applications of behavioural science, such as in recruitment, market research, product design, negotiation, and worker wellbeing.
  • What are the ethical implications of using behavioural science to change behaviour?  
  • Behavioural science in a digital environment, such as nudges in website design. 

Who is this Course for?

Anyone interested in understanding how insights from behavioural science can be used to drive business success, and keen to learn from the experiences of other professionals from a wide range of organisations will benefit from this course.

The module is likely to be particularly relevant for managers; HR professionals; product developers; market researchers and brand managers; service providers; and compliance officers from the financial, insurance, legal, IT and consumer industries.

Who Teaches the Course?

The module will be delivered by Professor Diane Pelly of the Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin. Diane has qualifications in business and economics as well as in psychology and worked for nineteen years in banking and finance. She is currently completing a doctoral degree in behavioural economics on work practices and worker wellbeing.

In order to be awarded the Certificate of Completion in Applied Behavioural Science participants will need to attend and actively participate.

For more information, you can download our Course Brochure.

Dublin, Ireland
College Name Trinity College Dublin
Course Category Business, Data Analytics
Course Type Online Learning
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 2
Course Fee 1,500
Course Duration The CPD will be delivered online over eight weeks, from Thursday 28th September to Thursday 16th November. 
Course Times The CPD will be delivered online over eight weeks with one two-hour tutorial on a Thursday, between 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
Awarding Body Trinity College Dublin
Entry Requirements Participants will need to have access to a laptop with a working camera and microphone. They will be encouraged to critically engage with the materials and to actively contribute to group discussions and activities.
For information about Trinity College Dublin, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

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