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Behavioural Insights

Advanced Professional Certificate Program


At a Glance

  • Format LIVE ONLINE
  • Duration 9 Months
  • Program Fee $5,995
  • Webinar
  • Stay in Touch
  • Next Start Date MAY 3

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The science of smarter decisions. Become a Behavioural Insights (BI) practitioner.

Behavioural Insights (BI) uses principles from the Behavioural and Decision Sciences (including Psychology and Economics) to encourage decisions that promote heath, wellness, and happiness. By accounting for the ways that people make decisions and behave in the real world, BI improves programs, policies, and products in ways that encourage positive changes in consumers, citizens, and employees. BI knowledge and skills are increasingly in-demand in both the public and private sectors.

The UBC Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights employs a formal, competitive admissions process designed to support a high-quality educational experience that meets the needs and expectations of students. Learn how you can harness the power of BI to create positive behavioural change.

Who Should Attend?

This program appeals to working professionals who want to create positive change for consumers, citizens, and/or employees. It is an ideal fit for those who develop or deliver programs, policies, or products in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. Past students have represented local and provincial governments, Crown corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, and companies focused on marketing, market research, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability. Students may come from a wide range of fields including communications, healthcare, HR, insurance, management, marketing, psychology, research, social work, and sociology. The program is complementary to training in project management, change management, business analysis, innovation, lean, and agile.

The program is strategically designed by a nationwide steering committee and delivered by leading BI experts to provide immediate professional impact. The program steering committee partners include:

Ontario Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU)

“The Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights has been fascinating and eye-opening thus far. I like how practical the program is, and I’m excited to use what I’ve learned in real-world scenarios with a hands-on approach.”

Rachel Yang, Senior Account Manager – Market Research, Ipsos North America

Program Benefits:

  • Gain a greater understanding of the theory and practice of BI
  • Design and conduct exploratory research
  • Design BI solutions that shift behaviour to improve outcomes
  • Explore how to design and conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
  • Analyze and interpret data to evaluate BI solutions
  • Evaluate BI projects using ethical frameworks to create positive change solutions
  • Apply project management, strategic thinking, and creative problem-solving skills for successful implementation of BI solutions


The UBC Sauder Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights program is designed to advance your career by training you to use the science of Behavioural Insights (BI) to create positive behaviour change with behaviourally-informed, evidence-based policies, products, and processes. Theory and practice are integrated through a combination of 8 learning modules and a capstone project.

This 9-month-long rigorous BI practitioner training equips students with the knowledge and skills required to design and evaluate BI solutions in the workplace.

  • Prerequisite: “Behavioural Insights Fundamentals”, a 2-week online module that introduces key concepts about Behavioural Insights, research design, and ethics, is a required prerequisite for beginning the certificate program. The module can also be taken as a standalone course.  We encourage you to register for the prerequisite course, and if interested in pursuing the advanced professional certificate program, apply for both at the same time.
  • Coursework: Eight learning modules are delivered over five months in a live online format.
  • Online modules are designed to require approximately 10 hours per week of course and/or project work. During learning modules 1 – 8, there is a weekly livestream seminar from 5-7pm PST on Wednesdays

Problem Discovery: September 6-19, 2021

Choosing, describing, and scoping a problem appropriate for the behavioural insights approach

Exploratory Research: September 20 - October 3, 2021

Using secondary and qualitative research methods to understand the problem context, including the target behaviour, barriers, population(s) of interest, and touchpoints.

The Behavioural & Decision Sciences: October 11 - 24, 2021

The history and theory of the behavioural and decision sciences for everyday use.

The Behavioural Insights Toolkit: October 25 - November 7, 2021

Designing a fitting behavioural insights solution using tools such as defaults, social norms, and pre-commitment.

Research Design: November 15 – 28, 2021

Using rigorous quantitative research methods, such as randomized controlled trials (RCTs), to evaluate a  Behavioural Insights solution.

Introduction to Data for Behavioural Insights: November 29 – December 12, 2021

Measuring behaviour and using Microsoft Excel and JASP to prepare, process, and explore data.

PO1: Capstone Project - Project Scoping & Planning: September 6 – December 12, 2021

Students will present their capstone project proposals and workshop their ideas with their instructors and peers.

PO2: Capstone Project - Project Research & Design: January 3 – 30, 2022

Student teams will conduct exploratory research, design their Behavioural Insights solutions, and develop their quantitative research design, all with guidance from their faculty advisor. At the end of P02, teams will present their project proposals.

PO3: Capstone Project - Project Launch: January 31 - February 27, 2022

With guidance from their faculty advisor, student project teams will manage their capstone projects, including monitoring data collection, analyzing results, and reporting results and recommendations.

LO7: Basic Statistical Analysis for Behavioural Insights: February 28 – March 13, 2022

Using Microsoft JSAP. To analyze, interpret, and visualize data

LO8: Insights Communication & Implementation: March 14 – 27, 2022

Reporting, sharing, and scaling the results of evaluating a behavioural insights solution.

PO4: Capstone Project - Project Management, Analysis, & Reporting: February 28 – May 29, 2022

Student teams will manage their capstone projects, including monitoring data collection, analyzing results, and reporting results and recommendations, all with guidance from their faculty advisor. At the end of P04, teams will present their projects.




Regular Program Required Courses

Note: This course is a prerequisite for the Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights but can be taken as an open enrolment. For those who successfully complete the course and are accepted into the certificate, the $995 fee will be reduced from the total program cost.

Spring / Summer2021

Program schedule may be subject to change.

Delivery Formats

UBC Sauder Continuing Studies offers 3 different delivery styles to fit your learning needs. Some courses are taught in multiple formats while others are delivered in one format only.

Delivery Scheduled Classes Location Features & Benefits
Yes On campus & Online  Learn in the classroom through in-person interaction with instructors and classmates and through self-paced online instruction. Blended learning combines all the benefits of the in-person classroom experience and allows for easy access to learning materials increasing the flexibility to learn at your own pace.
Live Online
Online Teaching
Yes Online Learn through online classroom-style interaction with instructors and classmates in real time from anywhere in the world.  Live Online creates a learning environment in which you collaborate and engage in live Q&A, webinars, and discussion forums.
No Online Learn independently when it’s convenient for you, while having the flexibility to collaborate with your classmates.  Online coaching is available from our experienced industry professionals through virtual office hours and optional webinars to help assist you with course materials, assignments, and projects. 



Admissions to the UBC Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioral Insights is based on academic qualifications, work experience, interest in the field, professionalism, and program fit. Prior study or experience in Behavioural Insights, while helpful, is not mandatory.

Academic Achievement and Work Experience

Applicants are required to have a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent experience, and 11th-grade math skills.  Work experience is an asset, but not required.

English Language Proficiency 

Strong written and spoken English skills are required.

Applicants who completed an undergraduate degree in a language other than English may be required to submit official test results as follows:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no individual score less than 6.0
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) overall score: 90 with a minimum score of 22 in reading and listening, 21 in writing and speaking

Satisfactory Completion of prerequisite course:  Introduction to Behavioural Insights & Evaluation

How to Apply

UBC Sauder Continuing Business Studies is accepting applications for the Fall 2021 program. The program is capped at 30 students; to avoid disappointment, we encourage you to apply well in advance of the deadlines.

Early Bird Deadline: May 31, 2021 (Apply early to win a free copy of a top introductory BI book! *)

Final Deadline:  June 30, 2021

*Prizing is reserved for the first 30 accepted applicants who apply on or before the May 31, 2021 deadline.

You will be required to provide basic personal information, employment information (if applicable), and education background. You will also be required to provide the names and contact information of 3 professional or academic references from individuals in a supervisory capacity. Lastly, you will need to upload a Resume that highlights relevant work and volunteer experience and a Letter of Intent.

Admission Decisions

Applications will be reviewed after each deadline in the order they are received. Upon acceptance, a $400 tuition deposit is required to reserve your seat. A wait list will be maintained until a few weeks prior to program start; if applicable, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis over the summer to fill any remaining spots in the cohort.



The UBC Sauder Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights program is designed by a nationwide steering committee and delivered by leading BI experts to provide immediate professional impact.

Dale Griffin

Dale Griffin

BA (British Columbia), MA PhD (Stanford)

Dale Griffin is a professor of Marketing and Behavioural Sciences and was the interim Academic Director of the Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at UBC Sauder School of Business. He has taught at leading universities in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States, most recently at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Professor Griffin teaches courses in Responsible Business, Marketing Research, and Strategic Decision Making at the undergraduate, MBA and PhD levels, and lectures on strategy and decision-making for executive audiences, and provides legal consulting on consumer behaviour and risk perception. He is the co-editor, along with Thomas Gilovich and Daniel Kahneman, of Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment. He received his PhD from Stanford University.

Kate White

Kate White

BA (SFU), MA (Waterloo), PhD (UBC)

Kate White is currently Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science at the UBC-Sauder School of Business. She holds a professorship in Consumer Insights, Prosocial Consumption, and Sustainability and is Academic Director of the Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics. Kate’s research focuses on how to encourage ethical, prosocial, and sustainable consumer behaviours. Kate has consulted on various behaviour-change projects with industry collaborators such as The City of Calgary, Health Canada, BC Women’s Hospital, My Sustainable Canada, BC Hydro, Big Rock Brewery, The United Way, and Celgene Health Care.

Jiaying Zhao

Jiaying Zhao

PhD (Princeton)

Jiaying Zhao is the Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Sustainability, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Jiaying uses psychological principles to design behavioural solutions to address financial and environmental sustainability challenges. Specifically, she examines the cognitive consequences of poverty and designs interventions to alleviate the cognitive burdens in low-income individuals. In addition, she develops behavioural interventions to encourage recycling, composting, and biodiversity conservation. Jiaying has served as a research advisor and consultant for a number of organizations, including Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Policy Horizons Canada, City of Vancouver, and the U.S. Social and Behavioral Sciences Team. She received her PhD in cognitive psychology from Princeton University in 2013.

David Hardisty

David Hardisty

BA (Stanford), MA (Université Paris Descartes), PhD (Columbia)

David Hardisty is Associate Professor of Marketing & Behavioural Science at UBC Sauder School of Business. His research focuses on decisions about the future, including sustainability, financial planning, and impulsivity. He also studies attribute framing and social dilemmas. At UBC Sauder, he teaches Ethics & Sustainability and Consumer Behaviour. His ultimate goal is to develop tools to improve long-term decision making. He received his PhD in Psychology from Columbia University in 2011.

Kirstin Appelt

Kirstin Appelt

BA (Dartmouth College), MA PhD (Columbia University)

Kirstin Appelt is Research Director, Decision Insights for Business & Society (DIBS) at UBC Sauder School of Business. Her research explores why people struggle with important decisions about the future and how to use choice architecture to help them make the best decisions for themselves and for society. Kirstin is also a behavioural science consultant for organizations including the BC Behavioural Insights Group (BC BIG), the California Health Benefit Exchange (Covered California), the Columbia University Center for Decision Sciences, Google, the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), Temple University, and WorkSafeBC. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University and her B.A. magna cum laude in Economics from Dartmouth College.

Our Alumni
Rachel Yang

Rachel Yang

Senior Account Manager - Market Research

Ipsos North America

Behavioural Insights student, September 2020

"The Advanced Professional Certificate in Behavioural Insights has been fascinating and eye-opening so far. I like how practical the program is, and I'm excited to use what we've learned in real-world scenarios with a hands-on approach."

Kelsie Wright

Kelsie Wright

Child Protection Social Worker

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Behavioural Insights student, September 2020

“The program has been great so far in furthering my skills to implement evidence-based Behavioural Insights practices. It has been refreshing to see the many ways Behavioural Insights can be applied and get to know people in the Behavioural Insights community directly. I am often amazed by the caliber of my professors and classmates, who come from a variety of professions.”

Parinda Chagani

Parinda Chagani

Senior Consultant

Cognitive Process Consulting Ltd. Burnaby, BC.

Behavioural Insights student, September 2020

“This is a fascinating area of study – how principles from behavioural and decision sciences can help us understand human behaviour. What I really like about this program is that it isn’t simply academic - we are learning how to actually apply behavioural insights to bring about positive change at a societal and community level, in an ethical manner. Even at an individual level, these insights can help us be more effective in our interactions and relationships with others. “

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