Postgraduate taught 

Positive Behaviour Support MSc/PgDip/PgCert: Online distance learning

Hands holding the word support

This programme will develop your knowledge of Positive Behaviour Support and its use for supporting people with intellectual disabilities, particularly those with additional and complex support needs. It will develop your understanding of approaches to the implementation of Positive Behaviour Support, and you'll learn practical skills to design, implement and evaluate Positive Behaviour Support interventions to improve quality of life and promote well-being in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

  • MSc: 36 months part‑time
  • PgDip: 24 months part‑time
  • PgCert: 12 months part‑time
Apply now

We are aware that there have been some issues with our Application System and Applicant Self-Service, and these systems have been intermittently unavailable. Our systems are currently online and available. We apologise for any inconvenience and would like to reassure you that no applicant will be disadvantaged as a result of these issues.

Why this programme

  • This programme is one-of-a-kind. There is no other university-based Positive Behaviour Support qualification available in Scotland.
  • It is also a unique qualification within the wider UK, with its specific focus on implementation and practical skills.
  • The programme closes a skills gap within services that offer support to people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours, including health, social care, and education settings.
  • This programme is well-placed to meet Sottish and UK Government guidance in relation to best practice for supporting people with intellectual disabilities and complex support needs.
  • The approach of the programme is practical and practice-based, supporting you to apply your learning in practice, while still gaining a university qualification.
  • It will allow you to develop skills in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating Positive Behaviour Support interventions.
  • You will have an opportunity to develop your skills based on your current professional role.

Programme structure

All teaching on this programme is delivered online. Content is delivered by both University of Glasgow staff and guest lecturers in a variety of formats. The programme is led by Dr Anne MacDonald.

Learning materials will include pre-recorded teaching, live group sessions, allocated reading, and practical tasks to be carried out in the student’s workplace. Live group sessions will be participatory and will include group exercises, practice-based discussions, and case study work in small groups.  

In addition to the live group sessions, there will be a range of digital learning options for each course, delivered via online platforms. This will include short videos, webinars, individual exercises, online learning resources etc. There will also be an expectation that students will participate in online discussions and contribute to online tasks allocated by teaching staff; they will also be encouraged to share their work-based experience and reflect on their ongoing learning.  

It is advised that each student undertaking this programme be able to access support from a work-based mentor with skills and experience of using Positive Behaviour Support in practice. For the Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma, this is not a university requirement but is advised in order to support the student to apply their learning in practice. For the Practice Portfolio in the Masters’ year, it is a requirement that students have work-based supervision arrangements in place. 

Year 1 (PgCert)

Year 2 (PgDip)

  • COMPLEX CARE NEEDS AND POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT
  • ADVANCED POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT STRATEGIES
  • IMPLEMENTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT IN SYSTEMS

Year 3 (MSc)

  • PORTFOLIO IN POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT

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 and developmental disabilities. 

Options include: 

  • Working for the NHS within community teams or inpatient settings or with health-based specialist Positive Behaviour Support teams 
  • Working for social care providers providing community-based support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities 
  • Working within schools, particularly additional support schools 

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 2023-24

MSc

UK/EU/International:

  • £14,300 (total cost)

You can pay in instalments of £1,589 per 20 credits.

PgDip

UK/EU/International:

  • £9,533 (total cost)

You can pay in instalments of £1,589 per 20 credits.

PgCert

UK/EU/International:

  • £4,767 (total cost)

You can pay in instalments of £1,589 per 20 credits.

NHS-funded students

Fees for students funded by the NHS (after NHS discount):

  • £10,560 (total cost)
  • £1,174 per 20 credits

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

UK Study Online Scholarship

The UK Study Online scholarship is open to UK, EU and international students taking online undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Please see UK Study Online for more details.

University of Glasgow Chancellors Award (Nigeria)

The University of Glasgow has 10 Chancellors Award Scholarships available to Nigerian students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in academic session 2023-24. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount.

University of Glasgow Caribbean Partners Award

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 5 scholarships for students, alumni or staff from our partner The University of the West Indies in the Caribbean.  The scholarship is available to International students, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2023/24.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver.

University of Glasgow African Excellence Award

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 15 scholarships for International students from Africa, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2023/24.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver.

Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500 towards their course. Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500.  

This support extends to online Masters or Postgraduate Diplomas, and not to the online Postgraduate Certificate courses.

For more information visit the SAAS website.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re an English student looking to study a taught Masters programme in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan. Students from England are able to apply for a non-means tested Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students

If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Postgraduate Master's Finance

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:

  • a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
  • a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Alumni Discount

In response to the current unprecedented economic climate, the University is offering a 20% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni, commencing study in Academic session 2023/24. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. This discount can be awarded alongside most University scholarships.

Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)

If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.

For more information visit www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/types-of-finance/postgraduate .

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

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 and developmental disabilities.
  • All applicants must have a current role in services for people with intellectual and developmental 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 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

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

TOEFL (ibt, mybest or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23. 
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test, this includes TOEFL mybest.

PTE (Academic or Academic Online)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

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

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

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

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

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.

Documents

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 (optional for UK applicants)
  • 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 deadlines

  • Applications for this online programme will be accepted up until it starts.
Apply now

We are aware that there have been some issues with our Application System and Applicant Self-Service, and these systems have been intermittently unavailable. Our systems are currently online and available. We apologise for any inconvenience and would like to reassure you that no applicant will be disadvantaged as a result of these issues.