Harnessing behavioural insights

Many of the world’s greatest challenges are caused or influenced by human behaviour. The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the importance of understanding why we do the things we do, so that we can design policies and programs to address problems and create meaningful change. Harnessing behavioural insights is specifically designed and tailored to introduce participants to key behavioural science principles and topics. The evidence-based content delivered by BehaviourWorks Australia - the largest university-based behaviour change research organisation in Australia - offers an engaging, flexible and accessible foundation to support learners’ use of behavioural insights.

ANZSOG and BehaviourWorks Australia have partnered to produce many successful training and capability building offerings over the past six years. This year, ANZSOG has partnered with BehaviourWorks Australia to deliver Harnessing behavioural insights in two modes: assessed and unassessed (more information on assessment modes below). The program launched in 2020 and has since welcomed more than 300 learners, receiving extremely positive feedback and evaluation from participants.

Take control of the change you want to create. Upskill in behavioural science and become a leader in creating behaviour-focused solutions.

What do participants say?

  • “I found the course deeply insightful, thorough and incredibly applicable, and I feel far more confident and skilled as a behaviour change practitioner now.”

  • “Thank you for the readiness of your team to reply to questions in forums, zoom calls and last minute assignment emails, always with thoughtful detail and constructive suggestions.”

  • “I found the online nature of the course presented beautifully, and the assignments (and feedback) were incredibly helpful in comprehending and consolidating my learnings.”

  • “Investing my own money and time in the course was a big decision - one that I am so happy I made.”

  • “I am excited (and determined!) to use what I have learnt in future roles, and am looking forward to staying informed and connected on sustainable behaviour change initiatives going forward.”

What will you learn?

You will develop an understanding of the factors that define and influence human behaviour, and the theories, tools, and methods used by behavioural scientists to tackle key global and local behavioural challenges. You will be able to apply behavioural science concepts and skills, to understand, explore, and address behaviour change challenges from topics such as health, social inclusion, financial literacy and environmental sustainability. 

The course covers key behavioural science foundational topics, enabling participants to:

  • Define behaviour and describe its main influences

  • Unpack and analyse complex issues using a behavioural lens, including identification and selection of target audience and priority behaviours

  • Collect and investigate evidence from a variety of sources and research methods, to inform decision making

  • Critically evaluate, select and apply appropriate tools, techniques and frameworks to assist in the design of behaviour change interventions

  • Design evaluation frameworks to assess the impact of behaviour change interventions

  • Understand the role of behavioural science in policy and practice

The evidence-based course content incorporates behaviour change principles and practices, drawn from academic literature and applied research experience, presented in an accessible and usable way.

Who should attend?

This course is vital learning for anyone driven by the need to create change. It is an ideal course for senior public sector professionals, such as Directors and Branch Managers, who are involved with strategic planning of programs and policies, as well as practitioners who deliver programs and design policies. It will also appeal to those interested in understanding why people behave the way they do, in particular to increase the effectiveness and impact of policy design, program implementation and project management. Suitable for strategists and practitioners, the program provides a solid foundation to apply behaviour change at a range of scales.

Course Structure

The online program offers flexibility and accessibility, to study at times that suit the learner, through videos, readings, interactives and quizzes. In addition, a weekly ‘open office’ hour with the course convenor provides opportunity to address questions and answer queries.

The course also includes five live online seminars;

  • Week One: Orientation and introduction
  • Week Two, Four and Six: ‘An hour with…behaviour change researchers’ – each session will cover a particular topic within the course
  • Week Eight: Summary and next steps for behaviour change implementation

Who will lead the course? 

BehaviourWorks Australia is the largest university-based behaviour change research organisation in Australia. Since 2011, BWA has run more than 200 behaviour change projects with clients and partners, from government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. The research team conducts cutting edge investigations into all aspects of behaviour, aiming to increase efficacy and impact to address social, environmental and organisational problems.  

Areas of investigation include health, environmental protection, financial wellbeing, regulation and compliance, energy, social inclusion, workplace safety, consumer decision-making, organisational change, community engagement and more.

The BWA research team are the course faculty, ensuring material integrity and relevance for participants, as well as sharing the latest insights from behavioural science. The team have a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines including psychology, sociology, behavioural economics, health, systems thinking, political science and education.

“We are passionate about contributing to a better world, creating impact through bridging the research-practice gap, working in partnership with government and industry practitioners. We bring this passion into the program design and content.” Professor Liam Smith, Director BehaviourWorks Australia.

Course Leaders:

Dr Filia Garivaldis – Course convenor

Dr Filia Garivaldis is an organisational psychologist who has worked in Cyprus and the UK before joining Monash University. She is an accomplished educator who specialises in creating impactful online learning experiences. Read Dr Garivaldis’s biography.

Professor Liam Smith – Co-lead

Liam is Director and co-founder of MSDI's BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA) and one of Australia's leading authorities on behaviour change. An exceptional public speaker, Liam believes that education and training is vital to wider uptake and application of behavioural insights and he regularly delivers executive training to government professionals through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)’s Behavioural Insights Unit. Read Professors Smith’s biography

Dr Sarah Kneebone – Co-lead

Sarah manages MSDI's BehaviourWorks Australia executive training program, working with public sector leaders to build capacity in applying a behavioural insights approach to policy development. She's also a member of the teaching team for Monash University's Master of Environment of Sustainability course - Leadership for Sustainable Development, and runs the professional development program for BehaviourWorks Australia's award-winning Graduate Research Industry Partnership doctoral program. Read Dr Kneebone’s biography.

Event Details

Date: Monday 23 May 2022 – Monday 18 July 2022

Duration: 8 modules across 9 weeks

  • Week 1: Orientation: Tuesday 24 May 2022, 12.00 – 13.00 AEST

  • Week 2: Tuesday 31 May 2022, 12.00 – 13.00 AEST

  • Week 4: Tuesday 14 June 2022, 12.00 – 13.00 AEST

  • Week 6: Tuesday 28 June 2022, 12.00 – 13.00 AEST

  • Week 8: Tuesday 12 July 2022, 12.00 – 13.00 AEST

Location: Online via the Monash University Moodle Learning Platform


  • Assessed: $2200 (inc. GST);
  • Unassessed: $1800 (inc. GST);

This online course will be delivered through the Monash University Moodle Learning Platform. To run MSDI’s Moodle learning platform effectively you should, as a minimum, use the system components listed on this page. If you do not, Moodle may still work but some functionality may be lost. See below for specifications.

Operating systems

Windows 7, 10, Mac OS X or newer, iPad iOS 10 or newer.


Use a desktop, laptop or iPad for the best learning experience. Use headphones for the best experience for videos and interactive activities.

Internet browsers

An up-to-date modern web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. MS Internet Explorer is not recommended.

Internet Speed

Use a broadband connection (1 Megabits per second or faster) will ensure the best learning experience. Dial-up access will be significantly slower, and we do not recommend it for using Moodle.


We recommend that the following be enabled:

  • Cookies
  • Pop-ups (in both Internet browser and security software)
  • Javascript
  • Backup and security
  • A back-up plan in place in case your computer fails at any point during the course (utilise an external storage device or cloud-based storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox to back up work and have access to an alternative computer/internet connection).

With all firewalls, ensure that you enable uploading of files.

For those selecting the assessed stream, on successful completion of the course (50% or higher in the assessments) you will receive a Certificate of Completion, a Course Completion Digital Badge, and six credit points towards a Monash Masters of Environment and Sustainability.

Those who complete the unassessed version of the course will be issued a Certificate of Participation and can access a Digital Badge for Professional Development.

Digital badging is provided through the reputable Credly platform, and badges can be displayed and accessed within social media platforms to evidence and share learners’ achievements.

  • Module 1 – The ins and outs of human behaviour
  • Module 2 – Why we do the things we do
  • Module 3 – Practical models for practical methods
  • Module 4 – Decision-making blind spots: What are they and how to avoid them
  • Module 5 – How to explore problems with a behavioural lens
  • Module 6 – Getting to know your audience and what drives their behaviour
  • Module 7 – Designing interventions and measuring success
  • Module 8 – Taking behaviour change into the future.

ANZSOG Alumni receive a 15% discount.

Every person who completes the Executive Master of Public Administration, Executive Fellows Program, Towards Strategic Leadership or an international program becomes part of our alumni. Only one discount is redeemable for each registration.

In addition to the online content, the course includes regular short webinars delivered via Zoom. Participants are encouraged to utilise a personal device if Zoom is unable to be accessed via work issued devices and network connections.

Express your interest now

Got a question?

To enquire about this workshop, please complete the executive workshop enquiry form or please contact ANZSOG's Program Delivery team with the program name as the subject line to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact BehaviourWorks directly on (03) 9905 4058 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read our cancellation, transfer and refund policy.

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