Today the students of the third cohort of the LSE Executive MSc in Behavioural Science (in the picture) are attending the last day of the final taught course at the LSE. It seems like yesterday when they came in for the first taught course last September. They have been a wonderful cohort of students to interact with, impressively smart and nice, and we are going to miss them.
This is just the beginning of a new journey together. First of all, in the next eight months we are going to work closely together with them to support their dissertations, with continuous feedback and regular online contact hours. The Executive MSc dissertations are often the students’ first attempt to design and practically conduct a randomised controlled experiment, either in the field, or in the LSE Behavioural Research Lab, and, increasingly, online. Designing and conducting a real experiment has proved to be an extraordinary learning opportunity in the past two cohorts, and students have really enjoyed the challenge to systematically put in practice the insights and methods that they have learned in the program. Last year, an outstanding proportion of dissertations got awarded a distinction for their excellent rigour and publishable quality. They have also been offered the opportunity to publish lay summaries as posts in our @LSEBehavioural blog, which will be published in the next few days. We have good reasons to believe that also the present cohort of students will be willing and capable to produce outstanding dissertation projects.
Moreover, today we are going to launch the LSE Executive MSc in Behavioural Science Alumni Society. The goal is to provide a further platform and an opportunity to foster communication, research, teaching, and dissemination collaborations, and professional and social networking. The Alumni Society will reach out current and former students with quarterly newsletters, will set up dedicated pages and groups in Facebook and LinkedIn, will invite alumni to networking, mentoring, and social events, to contribute to the @LSEBehavioural blog, and to come and talk to future cohorts, and will facilitate the interaction of faculty and alumni all around the world in collaboration and engagement opportunities.
Furthermore, the launch of the Alumni Society will be the perfect occasion to leverage on, and celebrate with our current and former students, the past three years of outstanding achievements for our programme. It was the first and remains the only Executive MSc in Behavioural Science in the world. They have been three wonderful cohorts of students and three extraordinarily intense and enriching years. During these three years we have been extremely lucky to closely interact with as many as 122 students, from more than 30 countries. We have worked with some of the brightest and most fascinating professionals in the public, corporate, and non-profit sectors, who are currently leading behavioural science projects in institutions such as the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, Amazon, Google, E&Y, PwC, Roche Pharmaceuticals, HSBC, Rothschild, among others.
We have also been delighted to host a series of stellar guest speakers in our Executive MSc special lectures, including Paul Adams (FCA), John Coates (Cambridge), Molly Crockett (Oxford), Greg Davies (Barclays), David Halpern (BIT), Thomas Leeper (LSE), Grace Lordan (LSE), Steven Martin (Influence at Work), Gilberto Montibeller (LSE), Rob Metcalfe (Chicago), Larry Phillips (LSE), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy Change), Ivo Vlaev (Warwick), among others.
The Executive MSc in Behavioural Science continues attracting an increasingly competitive pool of exceptional candidates. It is currently going to migrate from its current home – the Department of Social Policy – to an exciting new home, the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. There, it will seek synergies and further developments with the concurrent launch of a ground-breaking new BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science, also the world-first of this kind.
At the same time, the faculty in the Executive program will join forces with colleagues in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science and all across the School to animate inter-disciplinary seminars and public events within the new exciting cross-departmental LSE Behavioural Science Hub.
Together with these events, and with our web portal and popular @LSEBehavioural Twitter account (more than 11,000 followers), the launch of the LSE Executive MSc in Behavioural Science Alumni Society will be another platform to facilitate impact, engagement, and dissemination, professional and social networking, as well as long-run research and teaching collaborations. We are really looking forward to this new journey together.