Graduate Certificate in Behavioural Economics
This new program introduces students to behavioural economics, a field that brings together psychology and economics to better describe and predict what people will do. Behavioural economics takes the methodology of economic theory beyond the standard economic assumptions of rationality and self-interest to consider the trade-offs people make when forming what may well be imperfect decisions in complex environments.
Its insights can be used in a wide range of settings, including financial decision making, health decisions, education decisions, and in addressing environmental issues like climate change. It’s useful across many domains, including fields such as consulting, human resource management, marketing and product design. People with training in this field are increasingly in demand across business and policymaking.
The human brain has 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections. It is one of the most complex objects in the Universe. It is this brain which we use every day decisions, to buy our coffee, or to buy a house. We make decisions all the time, but we are often unaware about the real reasons why we made a given decision. And what may have influenced us in the process of making up our mind.
Behavioural economics is the discipline merging the insights from psychology and the principles of economics to understand how people make decisions. It tells us why people sometimes make mistakes, why sometimes people do not know what they want, or why they fail to carry out their personal plans.
With the knowledge gained from behavioural economics we can help people make better decisions for themselves. We can understand how people interact in groups and networks and how the social environments shape their values and behaviour.
We're launching a new Graduate Certificate in Behavioural Economics at UTS. This programme will teach the foundations of behavioural economics and how to apply them in the real world. UTS is an outstanding group of researchers in this area with extensive experience in industry and policy application.
A key aim of the programme is to give you the practical skills to use behavioural economics in your professional life. You will learn to design and run trials to study how people behave in different situations. You will learn behavioural principles and techniques in the context of practical economic and financial decisions. Whether it is understanding how consumers choose complex banking products or how companies organise team work, this Graduate Certificate will give you a new grasp of the world around you and new skills to change it for the better.
Behavioural economics provides a set of skills in demand everywhere. From private companies to government bodies. Join us at UTS for a new journey.
Economics is about how we organise society. Behavioural economics helps us understand why people make the decisions they do, and how we can help them make better decisions for themselves.
What you’ll learn
Delivered in eight digestible bites, in a blend of face-to-face and online learning, this Graduate Certificate program provides students from diverse professional backgrounds with a thorough understanding of the basic principles of behavioural economics and its application in the real world.
The course starts by ensuring students have a solid foundation in standard economic theory, before moving on to behavioural economics. Students learn how this combination of economic theory and psychological insight can be used to analyse a wide range of situations and behaviours in different decision-making environments.
The Graduate Certificate trains students in best practice in behavioural economics methods. Students learn how to design and run experimental trials to test new designs or new policies. They learn about the ethical challenges associated with behavioural interventions as a way to guide the design of trials. Students are also trained in statistical techniques to analyse experimental data so they can make rigorous conclusions from a trial.
How you'll learn
The Graduate Certificate consists of eight 3-credit point subjects, all taught on Saturdays, so that you can balance a busy career with your studies, and apply what you learn on the weekend to your professional practice during the week.
Behavioural Decision Making
Foundations of Behavioural Economics for individual decisions: heuristic and biases, risk preferences, time preferences.
This subject introduces students to a rapidly expanding area of economics and provides students with an understanding of important concepts from both psychology and economic theory. The subject material addresses current applications of Behavioural Economics tools in the industry and government.
Behavioural Game Theory
Behavioural Game theory, social preferences, Nudging
This subject addresses current applications of Behavioural Economics tools in the industry and government, specifically in settings of strategic decision making and group decision making.
Behavioural Approach to Investment and Insurance Decisions
Consumer decisions with complex economic goods: disclosure, time inconsistency, regulation
This subject equips students with the insights from Behavioural Economics to understand the drivers of financial decisions made by individuals and households. The subject will in particularly look at the many challenges individuals face to make good decisions: uncertainty about long-term preferences, difficulty to stick to long-term plans, inaccurate beliefs about future risks and opportunities. This knowledge is useful in a wide range of industry applications from product design to marketing.
Behavioural Economics and Corporate Decision Making
Markets with behavioural agents: adaptive market hypothesis, corporate decisions
This subject introduces students with the insights from Behavioural Economics to understand dynamics within corporations, for instance how decisions are made within large firms and what pitfalls may exist in organisations’ decision making processes. It will also present students with evidence about how real markets function when these markets results of the actions of consumers, managers and investors as modelled by behavioural economics.
Principles of Causal Inference
Foundations of statistical thinking for social science: causality, experiment and quasi-experiment
This subject equips students with the key principles of causal inference as used in economics and econometrics. The subject will help student understand what causality is and how to study the causal effect of a variable on another one. The subject will start by explaining why the concept of experiment is central to empirical research in science. It will then present to the student the alternative “quasi-experimental” approaches which have been developed in economics to study causal relationships using observational data. Such an understanding is of critical importance to graduates who will work with data in the industry.
Practical methods to design and implement behavioural experiment: RCT.
This subject will present the student with the principle and method of experimental research. Students will learn the theory and good practices to design experiments in the field and test possible options. The subject will review all the different confounds which can appear in an experimental study (e.g. differential selection into the experimental conditions) and how to ensure that an experimental project delivers the right insights (e.g. power, pre-analysis plan).
Rationality and incentives
Theory of incentives, trade-offs, rationality.
This subject will introduce students to the foundations of economics as a behavioural science: economics as a theory of incentives. Students will learn about the different notions of rationality in economics and what it means to consider agents as rational and driven by incentives.
Game Theory and Strategic Decision Making
Equilibrium models of strategic thinking
This subject will introduce students to the key concepts of game theory and show demonstrate how these concepts are helpful to understand a wide range of interactions in the real world. These insights are also relevant to understand how people react strategically when you want to influence them.
Explore the course in more detail
For full course information and subject descriptions, click here.
Talk to us
Participate in one our many activities, from informal one-on-one chats to webinars and experiential sessions.
Ask us a question by filling out our information request form or give us a call on (02) 9514 3074 to talk through your options with us.
Applications can be lodged online and are free for domestic students. The process should take around 20 minutes. Before you start your application, check out all the documents required here.
If you are not an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident you need to apply through Applying to study at UTS.