module specification

PY7195 - Behaviour Change and Learning (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Behaviour Change and Learning
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 160
112 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Review of theory (2000 words) and client report (2000 words)
Coursework 50%   Coaching assignment OR report on workplace learning theme (4000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Students should demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which individuals learn and develop in the context of work and organisations. The models explores the theories of behaviour change which includes how individual and groups may change behaviour in areas such as such as consumer behaviour, self-development, training and in groups. The module will cover cognitive theories of learning and skill development inform understanding of how individuals learn, and theories of occupational choice frame what individuals choose to do long term in their employment. Different applications of learning theory are contrasted including coaching and training, with particular reference to their psychological underpinnings.  The module explores the evaluation of the learning or change in behaviour. As part of the module students will undertake students will have an opportunity to either develop knowledge and skills in coaching psychology, or to undertake or undertake a related work placement.

Module aims

The module aims to provide students with an overall understanding of the theories and processes of learning, and their application within training and development. It seeks to provide a practical application of these theories with a focus on issues around workplace learning and use lf learning theory in work settings. It explores the use of learning and behaviour change in various contexts including consumer behaviour.


The module cover the BPS are of Learning, Training and Development. The module will cover the organisational perspective, for instance how development activities link to succession planning, and facilitate innovation and creativity.  These themes will be also be linked to consumer behaviour contexts such a change in consumer behaviour.

Topics will include:

  • Learning theories, skill acquisition and self-development, community of practice and social models of learning
  • Overview of training cycle: needs analysis, design, implementation & delivery (including on-line and e-learning methods), transfer of learning, evaluation
  • Organisational and social factors in training and development
  • Employability and trainability
  • Integrated approaches to learning and development, including talent and succession planning
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Psychological theories of occupational choice and career development
  • Individual and team coaching, counselling and mentoring.

-Key issues around behaviour change in consumer psychology

Learning and teaching

This is an innovative module with the focus on how individual’s behaviour may change in the organisational context. The first of the module has a review of core theory and second half students may elect to follow a coaching program or undertake a workplace assignment and write a critical review using the module themes.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Have a critical awareness of learning theories, skill acquisition and self-development and how these are applied in various contexts and applications such as employability, talent management and related issues.
  2. To critically reflect and review psychological models of coaching, and factors affecting the quality of coaching outcomes (i.e., coaching skills). 
  3. To be able to identify individual and organisational learning needs / issues,  training and development needs, and  design learning/training methods and materials to meet those needs, and evaluating training.
  4. Have a critical awareness of how learning theory is applied to various contexts including consumer behaviour.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy had a focus on developing strong academic skills such as critical thinking and problem solving skills, and developing professional and applied skills.

The first assessment is a focused literature review around learning and behaviour change (2000 words) with the application of theory via a client report (2000 words). The second is a reflective review of coaching assignment or a reflection on a work based learning placement (max 4000 words).

This module is assessed by 100% coursework via two pieces of coursework.

Assessment components and Learning outcomes:
Coursework 1 [LO1, LO 2 LO 3 and LO4]
Coursework 2 [LO1, LO2, LO3 and LO4]


Arthur Jr, W., Bennett Jr, W., Edens, P. S., & Bell, S. T. (2003). Effectiveness of training in organizations: a meta-analysis of design and evaluation features. Journal of Applied psychology, 88(2), 234.

Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (2013). Promoting reflection in learning A model. Boundaries of adult learning, 1, 32.

Fletcher, S., & In Mullen, C. A. (2012). The SAGE handbook of mentoring and coaching in education.

Ford, J. K. (2014). Improving training effectiveness in work organizations. Psychology Press. (Core)

Goldstein I L (1993) Training in Organizations:  Jossey Bass.

Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Routledge.

Passmore, J. (2014). Mastery in Coaching: A Complete Psychological Toolkit for Advanced Coaching. London: Kogan-Page

Peltier, B. (2010). The psychology of executive coaching: Theory and application. New York: Routledge.

Tight, M. (2002). Key concepts in adult education and training. Psychology Press.

van Nieuwerburgh, C. (2013) An Introduction to Coaching Skills: A Practical Guide London: Sage (Core)

Wilson, J. P. (2014). International human resource development: Learning, education and training for individuals and organisations. Development and Learning in Organizations, 28(2).

Indicative Journals:
Annual Review of Psychology
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Journal of Applied Psychology
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology
Occupational Health
Personnel Psychology