Postgraduate taught 

Positive Behaviour Support PgCert: Blended learning

Hands holding the word support

A unique programme to develop your knowledge of positive behaviour support and its use for supporting people with intellectual disabilities, particularly those with additional complex needs. It will develop your understanding of functional behavioural assessment and you'll learn practical skills by carrying out behavioural assessment. There is also the opportunity to design, implement and evaluate positive behaviour support interventions to improve quality of life and promote well-being in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

  • PgCert: 12 months part‑time
Ask a question

Why this programme

Top 10 in the UK for Psychology

  • One-of-a-kind programme in Scotland.
  • Closes a gap in skills within health and social care services that offer support to people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours.
  • No other university-based positive behaviour support qualifications available in Scotland.
  • Unique qualification within the wider UK.
  • More practice-based, supporting you to apply your learning in practice, while still gaining a university qualification.
  • Well-placed to meet government guidance in relation to best practice.
  • Learn skills in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating positive behaviour support interventions.
  • Based in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the Gilmorehill campus in the West End of Glasgow.

Programme structure

Consisting of blended learning, the course will primarily be delivered online, but with an introductory 2-days based on campus in September. Content is delivered by both UoG staff and guest lectures in a variety of formats.

Specific tasks will be allocated to you in preparation for each session, and the sessions will be followed by discussions with the programme lead and the teaching staff.

You will have an opportunity to develop your skills based on your current professional role – the details will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the teaching staff so that individual requirements can be met and the specificity of a particular professional role can be addressed.

There will also be attendance on campus for the final assignment in the summer (both of these COVID regulations permitting).

The programme consists of three core modules:




It is advised that each student undertaking this programme is able to access support from a work-based mentor with skills and experience of using PBS in practice. This is not a university requirement, but is advised in order to support the student to apply their learning in practice.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Students from this programme are likely to develop their career within health or social care settings working with people with intellectual disabilities.

Options include:

  • Working for the NHS within community teams or inpatient settings
  • Working within community settings
  • Working for social care providers, including many of the big third sector providers throughout the UK such as Enable, The Richmond Fellowship Scotland; Mencap; National Autistic Society; Dimensions; United Response.

Depending on their professional background, graduates could expect to work with:

  • Health-based specialist positive behaviour support teams
  • Social care providers who have positive behaviour support teams
  • Practitioners who use positive behaviour support in any way

This may involve providing positive behaviour support training, or supporting the implementation of positive behaviour support by:

  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring social care support staff, community-based health staff, or family carers.

Typical job titles would include:

  • Learning disability nurse
  • Positive behaviour support specialist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Positive behaviour support lead practitioner
  • Positive behaviour support manager
  • Specialist Nurse
  • Positive behaviour support coach

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2022-23



  • Full-time fee: £4550
  • Fees with NHS-discount: £3,333

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Funding opportunities

British Marshall Scholarships

The Marshall Scholarships offer top quality US students the opportunity to study at any British University for at least two years. Up to 40 new Scholarships are awarded annually. A Marshall Scholarship is tenable for 22 months (two academic years). Candidates may apply in any discipline leading to the award of a degree from any British University. The closing date is normally in October. Full details on regional application centres and online application forms are available from the Marshall website.

Graham Trust Bursary Scheme

The Fund is open to students with the surname Graham, or descendants of the Graham family, who are studying at a higher education institute in Glasgow.  Further information about the fund can be found on the Graham Trust website

Clark (Mile-End) Bursary Fund

The Clark (Mile-End) Bursary Fund is a charitable endowment which was established in 1868 by a Victorian philanthropist by the name of John Clark. He was a thread manufacturer and prominent citizen from Paisley. The fund is now governed by Rules laid down in a 1974 Scheme (as varied with the consent of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in 2013).

Please see the Clark (Mile-End) Bursary Fund for more information.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

Applicants must fulfill all of the following entry requirements:

  • Minimum 2:2 honours degree, typically in nursing, psychology, social work, or other relevant social sciences, OR comparable professional qualifications.
  • At least three years relevant experience within the health and social care sector working (paid or voluntary) with people with intellectual disabilities.
  • All applicants must have a current role in services for people with intellectual disabilities.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0. 
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ibt, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23. 
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic or home)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months, combined scores from 2 tests sat within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.


As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Application deadline

  • All applications: 6 September 2021
Apply now