Applied Behaviour Analysis Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is a scientific approach to understanding behavior. It refers to a set of principles that focus on how behaviors change, or are affected by the environment, as well as how learning takes place.

The ultimate goal of Applied Behavior Analysis is to establish and enhance socially important behaviors.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Applied Behavior Analysis in the following subject areas:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Sc.) – A study of the practical application of the principles of applied behavior analysis, with particular regard to persons with autism and other developmental disabilities and/or children and adolescents in care or special programmes, and/or those clients presenting learning and/or behavioral challenges in school.
  • Diploma in Applied Behavior Analysis -Gain critical insight into, and evaluative understanding of, the practical applications of the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
  • CPD in Applied Behavioral Science – This programme will be of interest to individuals who wish to progress their careers through acquiring valuable social data analysis skills that are widely sought after in the private, public and non-profit sectors.
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy – A comprehensive training course that offers the best advice and guidance in positive psychology.
  • Psychology: The Science of Behavior and Mind – An overview of contemporary psychology and introduction to cutting edge research.

Studying Applied Behavior Analysis

There are many courses in Applied Behavior Analysis that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Having work experience in a classroom will strengthen your application for teacher training and will help you decide whether teaching is for you. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing an Applied Behavior Analysis course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of behavioral issues and practices for analyzing behavior.

You may work with individuals who have physical disabilities, sensory impairments (i.e. hearing or visual), speech and language difficulties, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, conditions such as autism, social, emotional and mental health needs, or have a combination of these difficulties. You may also work with gifted and talented individuals.

A key aspect of working in this field is identifying individual needs and being responsible for creating a safe, stimulating and supportive learning environment.

You’re most likely to be employed by a local authority or within a school, either in the classrooms or within specialist units, depending on the inclusion policy of the school.

You may also find employment in special schools throughout the country, helping students with learning needs arising from physical difficulties, learning difficulties or behavioral problems.

There are also opportunities to work in further education colleges with special education units, hospital schools or independent schools, learning support teams, young offender institutions, secure training centers and secure children’s homes.

You could also move into training, providing courses and support to SEN teachers, or into lecturing posts in further or higher education.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. Special education needs teachers generally work a school day from around 8.30 am to 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday – during term time. This may vary depending on the school and which part of the country you live in. Teachers also often spend time at home planning and preparing lessons and assessing pupils’ work.

In other office occupations, the standard working week is typically 35-40 hours. There may be after hours or weekend work involved depending on your role.

Related jobs include:

  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Analyst Consultant
  • Special Education Teacher
  • School Psychologist
  • Special educational needs coordinator
  • Teaching assistant
  • Child psychotherapist
  • Social Worker
  • Researcher
  • Human Resources Professional
  • Counsellor
  • School Counsellor
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Consumer Behaviour Analyst
  • FBI Profiler
  • Clinical Director
  • Wellness Coach
  • Family support worker
  • Health play specialist
  • Play therapist
  • Private tutor
  • Youth worker

Further study

After completing a course in Applied Behavior Analysis you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as special educational needs, marketing, human resources, and psychology.


What is the importance of Applied Behavior Analysis?

Behavior analysis helps us to understand how behavior works, how behavior is affected by the environment and how learning takes place.

Applied Behavior Analysis therapy applies our understanding of how behavior works to real situations. The goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning. Applied Behavior Analysis therapy programs can help increase language and communication skills, improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics and decrease problem behaviors.

Where can I study Applied Behavior Analysis?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • It is not in man’s “nature” to be violent. It is in our nature to have empathy. Perhaps one of the most persistent stereotypes about the nature of man that the research is constantly challenging is the notion that man is somehow wired for violence or “naturally” inclined towards conflict and warfare. In fact, what the research consistently identifies is that individuals—whether male or female—have to be systematically indoctrinated into a culture of violence before they can effectively engage in killing behaviors.
  • It takes about 66 days for an average individual to make something a daily habit.
  • Our brain size has decreased by 10% since we were hunter-gatherers.
  • Physically, repetition affects the brain as new associations are made between brain cells.
  • Emotional pain is remembered better than actual pain which has a greater influence on your behavior.

Mariza Halliday

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