Positive Behaviour Interventions - TZ901

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Yearlong
View Timetable
7 20 (10)


The programmes of study to which the module contributes:

MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disability)
Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disability)
MSc in Positive Behaviour Support





The curriculum will include, at an advanced level:

• Behavioural intervention for challenging behaviour
• Assessment and analysis of systemic factors in relation to behaviour described as challenging and the use of setting-wide positive behaviour support
• Specific intervention areas in autism and IDD (e.g. language, sleep issues, feeding problems, toilet training, social skills, and vocational skills)
• Models of consulting to family and service settings
• Staff training methodologies
• Organisational behaviour analysis and management in a human service context


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 45
Private study hours: 155
Total study hours: 200


Spring and summer

Method of assessment

100 % coursework comprising:

Assignment 1 – report - (2750 words) – 50%
Assignment 2 – case study - (1000 words) – 25%
Timed quiz – (1 hour) – 25%

Indicative reading

Brown, F., Anderson, J.L. and Dr Pry, R.L. (2015). Individual Positive Behaviour Support: a standards-based guide to use in school and community settings. Baltimore: Brookes.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill-Prentice Hall.

Emerson, E., & Einfeld, S. L. (2011). Challenging behaviour (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
LaVigna, G. W., Willis, T., Shaull, J., Abedi, M., & Sweitzer, M. (1994). The Periodic Service Review: A Total Quality Assurance System for Human Services and Education. Baltimore: Paul H Brookes.

PBS Academy UK (2015) Positive Behavioural Support: A Competency Framework. http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Document-library/Skills/People-whose-behaviour-challenges/Positive-Behavioural-Support-Competence-Framework.pdf

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Display in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of behavioural approaches for managing challenging behaviour, and know the limitations of these approaches.
2. Show an advanced understanding of the conditions required to develop, provide and sustain supportive environments for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities whose behaviour is described as challenging.
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of recent empirically supported behavioural interventions in key intervention areas such as language, sleeping issues, feeding problems, toilet training, social skills and vocational skills.
4. Describe and critically evaluate the benefits, limitations and research base for a range of other approaches to the development of adaptive repertoires, reflecting recent research and specific interests of teaching staff
5. Develop a critical understanding of models of consulting in family and human service settings.
6. Describe and critically evaluate staff training models used in services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
7. Display a critical understanding of models of supervision in the development and maintenance of effective behaviour analytic practice.
8. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the use of function-based assessment and intervention strategies in the evaluation and improvement of human service practices.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Effectively integrate complex knowledge from different sources, including published work and personal experience.
2. Demonstrate the ability to understand, and communicate in writing, complex, abstract concepts.
3. Show a capacity to effectively prioritise the demands of work and study.
4. Use information technology to a high level (word processing, email, Moodle, e-journals and other online resources).

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