MSc Applied Behaviour Analysis

The MSc in applied behavior analysis students will learn how to apply the general principles of learning and behaviour to improve problems for individuals and society. Evidence based methods, derived from behaviour analysis, are relevant in every community as these methods touch upon common challenges that arise in everyday life.


Students walk across a corridor in RU Credits

120 ECTS


The language of instruction is English.

Length of study

Two years, full time.


The aim of the program is to disseminate understanding of the science of applied behaviour analysis to practitioners. The programme furthermore contributes to evidence-based practice in the field of applied behaviour analysis by conducting research and consultancy services to practitioners and consumers.



The main content of the MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis are courses that are verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The program incorporates strong ties with industry, the service community, and society. 

Tuition fees

Please follow the link below to see tuition fees at RU, per term.


Professionals who are certified as BCBAs are independent practitioners who provide behavior analytic services.

The MSc programme at RU provides a foundation to practice behaviour analysis in accordance with regulations specified by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board in USA, which ensures international "best practice" and the highest ethical standards in the practice of behaviour analysis worldwide. No other program in Iceland offers such training.

Academic staff

Researchers and specialists

Students in the Master's programme are taught by scientists and specialists in applied behaviour analysis, both RU faculty and visiting lecturers with professional experience. 

Name*TitleEducationField of expertise
Anna Ingeborg Pétursdóttir

Part-time Lecturer
PhD in Psychology, Western Michigan University.Associate Professor of Psychology, Texas Christian University.
Fields of expertise: Behaviour analysis.
Ása Rún Ingimarsdóttir Part-time LecturerMSc in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western New England University. Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA. Behavior analyst at Klettaskóli elementary school.
Field of expertise: Behavior analysisþ
Bára Kolbrún Gylfadóttir Part-time LecturerEducation: MSc in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Wales, Bangor; cand.psych from the University of Iceland. Behavior analyst/psychologist at The State Diagnostic and Councelling Centre, Iceland.Field of expertise: Behavior analysis.
Berglind SveinbjörnsdóttirAssistant Professor PhD in Behavior Analysis from Western New England University. MS in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Northeastern University, Boston. Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, BCBA.Field of expertise: Behaviour analysis, autism, problem behaviour, skill acquisition.
Emilía GuðmundsdóttirPart-time Lecturer Cand.psych. and BA in Psychology from University of Iceland.
Psychologist at the State Diagnostic and Counselling Centre, Iceland.
Field of expertise: Autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Hanna Steinunn SteingrímsdóttirPart-time Lecturer PhD in Behavior Analysis from Oslo Metropolitan University. Associate Professor at Oslo Metropolitan University.Field of expertise: Stimulus Control Research, Behavior Gerontology, Teaching in Higher Education.
Hólmfríður Ósk Arnalds Part-time LecturerMSc in Applied Behavior Analysis from University of North Texas. Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA.Field of expertise: Behavior analysis.
Kristján Guðmundsson Part-time LecturerPhD in Philosophy of Science, University of Western Ontario, Canada.
MA in Philosophy, University of Western Ontario, Canada and MA in Psychology, University of Iceland.
Field of Expertise: Clinical psychology, philosophy of science, philosophical counselling, Skinner, behaviourism.
 Richard May Part-time LecturerMSc in Behaviour Analysis, Swansea University. PhD in Psychology, Swansea University. Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of South Wales. Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BACB).Field of Expertise: Behavior analysis, Relational frame theory, verbal behavior.
 Simon Dymond ProfessorPhD in Behaviour Analysis, University College Cork, Ireland.
BA in Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland.
Professor of Psychology and Behaviour Analysis at Reykjavik University and Swansea University. Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BACB).
Field of expertise: Behaviour analysis and learning; experimental psychopathology.
Steinunn HafsteinsdóttirPart-time LecturerMSc in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western New England University, Boston. Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA. BA in Developmental therapy from Iceland's teacher's university. Program Director at Arnarskóli elementary school.Field of expertise: Behavior analysis, autism, problem behavior.
Þorlákur KarlssonAssociate ProfessorPhD in Psychology with a minor in statistics and methodology, West Virginia University.Fields of expertise: Behaviour analysis, research methodology, and statistics.

Please follow the link below to see a complete list of resident professors and part-time lecturers in the Department of Psychology with information about research areas.


Year 1

Fall semester - 30 ECTS

  • Developmental and Intellectual Disorders - 6 ECTS
  • Concepts and Principles - 6 ECTS*
  • Research Methods in Behaviour Analysis - 6 ECTS*
  • Ethics - 6 ECTS
  • Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention - 6 ECTS

Spring semester - 30 ECTS

  • Applied project I - 6 ECTS

  • Behaviour Assessment - 6 ECTS*

  • Behaviour Interventions I - 4 ECTS*

  • Philosophy of Behaviour Analysis - 6 ECTS

  • Research Thesis I - 8 ECTS

Year 2

Fall semester - 30 ECTS

  • Applied Project II  - 6 ECTS

  • Behaviour Analysis in Mainstream Education - 6 ECTS

  • Brain, Aging, and Behaviour Analysis - 6 ECTS

  • Behaviour Interventions II- 4 ECTS*

  • Research Thesis II - 8 ECTS

Spring semester - 30 ECTS

  • Applied Project III - 6 ECTS

  • Clinical Behaviour Analysis - 6 ECTS

  • Personnel Supervision and Management - 4 ECTS*

  • Research Thesis III - 14 ECTS


*BCBA certified courses. Applicants who possess a minimum of graduate degree in acceptable field of study such as behaviour analysis, education, or psychology can apply for the BCBA certified courses (42 ECTS).


Reykjavik University Campus

Set in one of the most beautiful areas of Reykjavik right next to Iceland's only geothermal beach, the newly built campus offers students modern first-rate facilities. The building has well equipped classrooms and students have 24-hour access to the spacious study facilities.

Environmentally conscious

The campus is one of Iceland's most automated buildings designed to provide an environment optimal for working using the lowest amount of energy.

Automated blinds and windows

In the main areas of the building the blinds and windows are controlled by a weather station positioned on top of the University roof. The weather station collects information about wind direction and outside temperature adjusting windows accordingly, and blinds are automated to ensure direct sunlight does not disturb students working.

A breath of fresh air

The University building is constantly ventilated with natural fresh air using the NAVENT system. Fresh air is drawn into the building and then pumped into the rooms. Special CO2 monitors ensure the correct levels of oxygen in the rooms. Heaters ensure that the air pumped into the rooms maintains the correct air temperature. In the summer time the air pumps drag warm air from the building and pump fresh and cooler air in its place.

Intelligent lighting system

Every light in the University has its own IP address and is controlled by the automated system. Light sensors ensure lighting is only on when rooms are in use. Large windows let in natural daylight which creates a more pleasant working environment.

IT facilities

Our IT Services provide a range of computer facilities to help you study. IT suites are located across campus – many with 24-hour access. IT facilities also include:

  • Wireless network
  • Extensive printing facilities
  • Adapted PCs for students with disabilities or additional learning needs

Student study areas

Students have 24-hour access, during term time, to group rooms and private study desks. There is a especially dedicated study area for Graduate students.

Student Union

The University of Reykjavik Student's Union is the focus of many student activities on campus.

Sports Facilities

In the basement of the university, the gym offers discounts to students.


There are three shops and cafés in the building that sell food and beverages to students.

Beautiful surroundings

Our campus is in a unique position of being set in one of the most popular outdoor areas of Reykjavik.

  • The University of Reykjavik is located right next to Iceland's only geothermal beach, Nauthólsvík. Students can enjoy swimming in the geothermally heated sea, or relax in the hot tub on the beach.
  • Right next to the campus is the most environmentally friendly restaurant in Reykjavik, Nauthóll, which has been awarded the Nordic Environmental "Svan Certificate," and was the first restaurant in Reykjavik to receive this certification.
  • Students can enjoy the many foot and bicycle paths in the neighbouring forest.
  • Students can visit the nearby Perlan situated on top of the city's geothermal storage tanks.


Applications open

February 5th

Application deadline

April 30th

Application deadlines for studies at Reykjavik University in autumn 2020 will be extended. A new deadline for postgraduate studies applications is May 20, instead of April 30.

All applications and documents should have reached Reykjavik University before the application deadline.

Necessary preparation

Admission is limited to those that have completed a BA, BSc or BEd in psychology, educational science, social sciences, or a related degree.

Applicants who have completed a masters degree in psychology, educational science, or related fields (masters studies certified by BCBA) can apply for the BCBA course track (42 ECTS).

Application and accompanying documents

Applicants fill out the application on RU´s application site and the following documents must be attached:

  • Copy of official university transcript/s and overview of studies
  • CV/résumé in English or Icelandic
  • Personal statement as a pdf document, answering the questions: Why am I applying and what are my goals relating to the course? (max length 300 words)
  • At least one reference from an individual that is qualified to assess the capability of an applicant to complete the masters course. The letter can be in Icelandic or English and should be sent directly from the individual giving the reference to the course project manager via e-mail:


Proficiency in English is required.

Selection process

Selection is based on a competitive application process. The selection process involves a written application describing the applicant's qualifications and experience, supported by referee reports. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed by a selection panel.

Tuition fees

Please follow the link below to see tuition fees at RU, per term.

Contact us

Got any questions?

If you cannot find the information you are looking for on our website, please do contact us. We are here to help, and we welcome enquiries by e-mail or phone.


Thelma Sif Sævarsdóttir

Programme Administrator

Berglind Sveinbjörnsdóttir

Programme Director



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