Bachelor's Programme in Psychology with an Emphasis on Behavior Analysis Programme description

Programme name, Norwegian
Bachelorstudium i psykologi med vekt på atferdsanalyse
Valid from
2020 FALL
ECTS credits
180 ECTS credits
6 semesters
Here you can find an example schedule for first year students.
Programme history


The Bachelor’s Programme in Psychology with an Emphasis on Behaviour Analysis is a three-year programme (180 ECTs). Students who complete the programme are awarded the degree of Bachelor in Psychology with an Emphasis on Behaviour Analysis (Bachelorgrad i psykologi med vekt på atferdsanalyse).

The programme was established under Sections 3-2 and 3-3 of Act No 15 of 1 April 2005 relating to Universities and University Colleges, and the Regulations relating to Studies and Examinations at HiOA of 1 August 2012. A national curriculum has not been established.

The bachelor’s degree has been accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), which is the international organisation for research in and application of behaviour analysis.

The programme also meets the criteria for prequalifying for certification through the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) as Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analysts (BCaBAs).

The general objective of the programme is to provide basic competence in psychology and behaviour analysis. Students should be to carry out functional analyses of their own or other’s behaviour, and to arrange reinforcement conditions suitable for promoting and maintaining desired changes in behaviour.

Students must learn precise scientific terminology, read relevant research literature and participate actively in discussions in the behaviour analysis community in order to achieve this competence.

Through such activities, students will also acquire sound knowledge of the ethical and professional standards in the field.

The Department of Behavioural Sciences is a strong academic community with links to natural science and an evidence-based approach to learning. Through this academic profile, the department has also established a considerable national and international cooperation and research network.

Relevance to further education

A bachelor’s degree in psychology based on behaviour analysis is a good basis for further studies, e.g. a master’s degree programme in psychology* or learning in complex systems/behaviour analysis. The bachelor’s programme in psychology with an emphasis on behaviour analysis is adapted to the European EUROPSY standard.

*For admission to further studies, the individual educational institution's admission requirements apply at all times.

In the final semester, students do an empirical study and write it up as a bachelor’s thesis, according to the IMRAD model for writing articles and conforming to the APA standard for manuscript preparation.

Psychology and behaviour analysis are particularly well-suited in combination with other subjects such as educational theory, health disciplines, economics and other social sciences.

Relevance to working life

After completing the programme, the students will have knowledge, skills and competence in the field of psychology and behaviour analysis. These can be used in independent work or in cooperation with other professionals for organising, planning and conducting goal- directed processes of change in knowledge-based activities in the public sector, business and industry and voluntary organisations, at the level of the individual, group or organisation.

Education, training and treatment processes are subject to increasing demands for record keeping and documentation. Empirically supported methods based on recognised theory allow predicting outcomes, which is important, both from an individual and socio-economic perspective. The programme will be useful for everyone who wishes to work with change processes. There is an increasing demand for practical knowledge of learning and psychology in both public and private enterprises.

The Bachelor’s Programme in Psychology with an Emphasis on Behaviour Analysis has two practicum periods (six and nine weeks respectively) where the students gain experience in working independently and cooperating with other professionals on change work in general, and specifically in relation to treatment and training.

Target group

The programme is aimed at persons who wish to take a bachelor's degree in psychology with an emphasis on behaviour analysis. The bachelor’s degree is intended to provide the students with basic professional competence through the provision of education in a scientific behavioural research and practice environment. The students will acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that qualify them for continuing their education by taking a relevant master’s degree programme, and for working in positions where such qualifications are relevant.

Admission requirements

The admission requirement is the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, cf. the Regulations for admission to higher education. Applicants older than 25 years who cannot document the Higher Education Entrance Qualification can be assessed on the basis of prior learning and work experience. Separate criteria have been prepared for assessing prior learning and work experience.

The admission requirement is the Higher Education Entrance Qualification for students who wish to take individual courses in the programme, where prior knowledge is not required. Applicants are considered on a case-to-case basis for courses that have prior knowledge requirements.

In connection with admission to the programme, the applicant must submit a transcript of police records, cf. the Regulations for admission to higher education.

Learning outcomes

After completing the programme, the candidate is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence:


The candidate

  • has broad knowledge and understanding of how human behaviour is influenced by and changes in interaction with the surrounding world
  • has broad knowledge of fundamental principles of learning and how they are applied in various areas of society
  • has knowledge of the history of psychology and behaviour analysis
  • is familiar with research and development taking place in the field
  • is capable of updating and developing his/her own knowledge in the field of psychology and behaviour analysis


The candidate is capable of

  • applying behaviour analytic principles, carrying out functional analyses and adapting contingencies to change and maintain behaviours and cultural practices
  • applying relevant findings from research and development work
  • describing the advantages and disadvantages of different explanatory models and describing various forms of practical application
  • making well-founded choices for and reflecting critically on his/her own professional practice, and adjusting his/her own behaviour under supervision
  • finding and familiarising him/herself with relevant specialist literature, defining and assessing psychological and behavioural science issues and using different methods to collect and analyse data



The candidate

  • has insight into relevant academic and ethical issues and is capable of distinguishing between discipline knowledge and political statements
  • is capable of communicating research and the application of behavioural science knowledge orally and in writing
  • is capable of exchanging opinions and experience with others who have backgrounds in the field of psychology/behaviour analysis and thereby contribute to the development of good, ethically sound practices
  • is familiar with scientific values such as transparency, logical thinking, precision and reliability
  • is aware of special ethical issues and legal guidelines that apply to psychology and behaviour analytic work
  • is capable of planning and carrying out extended projects, both alone and as part of a group
  • is familiar with the research frontier and new ideas and innovation processes in the field of psychology and behaviour analysis
  • knows the limits of his/her knowledge, skills and competence, and asks for supervision and support as needed

Content and structure

The Bachelor’s Programme in Psychology with an Emphasis on Behaviour Analysis comprises 180 ECTs. It is a full-time programme over three years/six semesters.

The academic year is 40 weeks, and the expected workload is approx. 40 hours per week. This includes scheduled activities, students’ own activity and exams.

The course can be divided into four main thematic areas:

  1. Philosophy of science and research ethics
  2. Topics from psychology (developmental psychologoy, social psychology, perception psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, personality psychologoy and applied psychology)
  3. Research methods in psychology
  4. Behaviour analysis in theory and practice

See also the individual course descriptions and pertinent reading lists.

Study progress

The following shows which courses build on each other and the order in which the courses must be taken. This progress is necessary for the knowledge and skills that elaborate on each other to be combined to form overall expertise.

1. Philosophy of science and research ethics: comprises the courses PSYK1100 and PSYK1200

2. Topics from psychology: comprises the courses PSYK1320, PSYK1600, PSYK1700, PSYK3200, PSYK3400 and PSYK3500. These courses are required before the bachelor's thesis can be submitted.

3. Research methods in psychology: comprises the courses PSYK2100, PSYK2400 and PSYK2600.PSYK2100 is required knowledge for both PSYK2400 and PSYK2600 and must thereby be passed before these two courses can be taken. All three courses are required before the bachelor's thesis can be submitted.

4. Behaviour analysis in theory and practice: comprises the courses PSYK1420, PSYK2200, PSYK2310. These three courses must be taken in the order listed above and are required before the bachelor's thesis can be submitted.

PSYKPRA1 is required before the student can take the third year of the programme.

Other progress requirements:

PSYKPRA1: Passed PSYK1420 and completed /approved coursework requirements PSYK2200

PSYKPRA2: Passed the courses PSYK100, PSYK1200, PSYK1320, PSYK1420, PSYK1600, PSYK1700, PSYK2100, PSYK2200, PSYK2300, PSYKPRA1, PSYK2400 and PSYK2600

The course PSYK1420 is normally taken in the first semester (autumn), but the final exam is held at the start of the spring semester.

Optional course Spans multiple semesters

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of working methods are used in the programme. In this way, students will become more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and improve their relational and professional skills. Lectures, inter-teaching, seminars, group work, written assignments, practice in the lab/practical exercises and practical training are the work methods used in the programme. In some areas, lectures will not be given and students are expected to acquire knowledge through self-study.

Student-active teaching methods are particularly emphasised and it is important that the students receive direct and individual feedback on these activities. Digital aids (e.g. Kahoot) are used in the different topics.


Lectures are primarily used to introduce new subject matter, and to give an overview of and highlight main elements and links between different topics. The lectures focus on the topics the students themselves wish to cover in more depth. Lectures will also be used to deal with particularly challenging parts of the syllabus.


Inter-teaching will be used as a general work method in the theoretical studies. Inter-teaching means that the students read about the topic in advance and discuss the literature in pairs. The teaching session concludes with questions being raised and answered by the lecturer. This encourages students to prepare for and participate in the teaching (cf. the flipped classroom).


The university organises compulsory seminars relating to given assignments or issues. The seminars provide the students with an opportunity to develop their cooperation skills and receive feedback on their performance, in addition to the academic benefits. Oral presentations by students and discussions are emphasised, and students are given an opportunity to practise their academic formulation skills. Course instructors attend these seminars to provide feedback and supervision.

Group work

Work on issues and assignments together with other students is intended to promote cooperation between students and support learning of subject matter.

In the first year of the programme, teaching assistants recruited from the department’s master’s programme are used as group leaders for organised group work. The teaching assistants are familiar with the programme and work methods, and can help the new students to settle into student life.

Exercises in the laboratory/practical exercises and practical training

Several courses include laboratory and practical exercises as important learning methods.

The department’s research and lab groups (animal studies, stimulus equivalence, early intervention, cultural selection, social and emotional learning in school) and laboratories are used to gain experience of and skills in applied and experimental research. Digital simulation programs are also used so the students can practise different learning principles.

Practical training will develop the students’ practical skills and is undertaken at different establishments. Aside from practical training, the most important skills will be practised at the university through various practical exercises. This is to ensure that the students have the necessary theoretical background and a satisfactory skills level before using their skills in real situations. Particularly relevant practical placements for the programme are places where learning or other behavioural changes are in focus, such as schools, kindergartens or similar. See also the section on Assessment of practical training.

Written assignments and the bachelor’s thesis

Through written assignments and the bachelor’s thesis, students will formulate research questions for assignments and work on them over time, either individually or in cooperation with other students. Students will learn theory and develop skills in using and referencing sources, analysis, discussion and written communication. The primary purpose of this is to develop their ability to critically reflect, see elements of psychology in context and develop a deeper understanding of a topic. All submissions are electronic and the students will receive individual written feedback on the submissions.


The students are personally responsible for learning much of the subject matter. Not all topics are covered by organised teaching activities, and students are expected to acquire knowledge of the remaining topics through self-study. When choosing the syllabus, emphasis is placed on finding good textbooks with digital resources so that the students can test their knowledge themselves. The number of hours spent on lectures is relatively low so that students have time for independent study and self-organised group work. Study groups have no teacher participation, and serve as a forum where students can support each other’s learning.


Students are encouraged to take part of their education at one of our partner institutions abroad. In addition to the subject-related learning outcomes, periods of study abroad provide additional skills for professional practice in a multicultural society. The increasing globalisation of the labour market also makes international experience and knowledge of languages and cultures more and more important.

Parts of the programme may be taught in English. See the individual course descriptions.

The structure of the programme and courses facilitates student exchange both in Norway and internationally. This applies throughout the programme, but particularly in the fifth and sixth semesters. The fifth semester only includes courses from the main area Topics in psychology. Many educational institutions abroad have bachelor's degree programmes in psychology so it is easy to find equivalent courses elsewhere. The sixth semester when the students choose their practical training and write their bachelor’s thesis is also well-suited to studying abroad.

For foreign exchange students, the sixth semester can be adapted so that courses worth a total of 30 ECTs can be taken. This concerns PSYK3910, which can easily be offered in English as the working language for the various research/lab groups is English.

An up-to-date overview of the universities and university colleges OsloMet has agreements with can be found on the university’s website.

Work requirements

Coursework requirements are all types of work, tests and compulsory attendance that are requirements for being permitted to take the exam. Required coursework is assessed as approved/not approved. The coursework requirements for each course are described in the relevant course description. The requirements are individual efforts unless otherwise stated in the course description.

The purpose of coursework requirements is to promote students' progress and academic development and to encourage students to acquire new knowledge, as well as helping to document their learning outcomes. The programme has coursework requirements in the form of compulsory attendance, oral presentations and written assignments.

The course instructor approves the coursework requirements. In the event of shortcomings in required coursework, the course instructor in consultation with the programme coordinator will decide how the student can compensate for the coursework.

Compulsory attendance and oral presentations

Attendance is compulsory in areas where the student cannot acquire knowledge and skills simply by studying literature. Therefore, compulsory attendance requirements apply to some teaching activities, laboratory exercises/practical exercises, scheduled group work, seminars and presentations of different types of work. Students are themselves responsible for ensuring that they meet the attendance requirements. If a student does not take part in a group presentation, he/she must give an individual presentation to the course instructor or proxy.

If a student exceeds the maximum limit for absence stated in the course description, the subject teacher will consider whether it is possible to compensate for absence by meeting alternative requirements, for example an individual written assignment. If it is not possible to compensate for the absence, the student must take the course the next time it is taught. Whether or not it is possible to compensate for absence depends on the extent of the student’s absence and which activities he/she has missed.

Written assignments

Several courses have compulsory written assignments, such as reaction papers or summaries, preparation of own learning outcomes and outlines for the bachelor’s thesis, as course requirements.

If the coursework is not approved, the student is given an opportunity to improve and resubmit the work twice. If an assignment is not approved the third time it is submitted, the student must re-take the course.


The examination provisions are specified in the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges and the Regulations relating to Studies and Examinations at OsloMet, and the guidelines for taking examinations.

Emphasis is placed on assessing the students’ knowledge often throughout the programme. Students will often receive feedback on whether their performance is in line with their own ambitions so they can, if needed, adjust their efforts to ensure that their results are more in line with their own goals. This is also important to enable the programme to provide specific supervision to each student, conduct evaluations and improve teaching. A final exam is held after each course and all exams are digital.

Different forms of exams are used and the grade scale A-F is used to assess the different courses, with the exception of the practical training courses PSYKPRA1 and PSYKPRA2, where a pass or fail is awarded.

A portfolio exam is used in five courses. These include tests that are taken during the course. The tests are taken under ordinary exam conditions and are deemed part exams. The results of the tests are made known to the students as soon as they are available.

The assessment forms and criteria are described in each course description. The table below also contains an overview of the different exams/forms of assessment and grading. Resit and rescheduled exams are carried out in the same manner as the ordinary exam unless otherwise specified in the course description.

All exams taken and the title of the bachelor’s thesis will be stated on the diploma.

An external programme supervisor scheme exists for the programme as required by the Guidelines for Appointment and Use of Examiners at OsloMet.

Assessment of practical training

An attendance requirement applies to practical training. Practical training is graded Pass or Fail for.

If there is any doubt about whether the practical training period should be graded Pass, the student must be given written notice of this at the midway point, and no later than three weeks before the end of the period, stating what the student does not master and what requirements must be met for a Pass grade. If, at the end of the practical training period, the student behaves in a manner that clearly does not give grounds for passing the practical training, the training period can nonetheless be graded Fail, even if the student had no midway notification.

Final assessment

At the end of each period of practical training, a final assessment is made in relation to the learning outcomes for the period. The assessment should be based on assessments made throughout the period. The assessment result and description of what has been assessed must be signed by the student and the practical training supervisor.

In order to pass the periods of practical training, 90% attendance for planned activities is required. Absence of between 10 and 20% can be made up for by agreement with the university and practical training establishment. If absence exceeds 20%, the period must be retaken in its entirety. This will result in delayed progress in the programme.

If illness prevents the student from attending the practical training so that their absence exceeds the permitted amount, the student is required to present a medical certificate for all days of absence for the absence to be deemed valid. Absence due to documented illness does not count as an attempt at passing the course.

If the student’s absence exceeds 20% without valid grounds, a fail grade will be awarded for the course and the student will use one of their attempts. If a practical training course is graded Fail twice, the student will normally have to leave the programme, cf. the Regulations relating to Studies and Examinations at OsloMet.

Students are themselves responsible for ensuring that they meet the attendance requirements.