Students interested in field courses on applying behavioral science to policy may read summaries of each course below. Samples of past projects conducted by students enrolled in these courses can be found here.
Students interested in MLD 335Y: The deadline to apply for the course will be on August 24, and late applicants cannot be considered due to the high volume of applications received. Students interested in applying to MLD 310: see MLD 310 course summary below.
Questions can be directed to: Shibeal_OFlaherty@hks.harvard.edu.
United Kingdom Immersive Field Course: Behavioral Insights
Professor Michael Luca
Summary: Perhaps the most important practical development in the social sciences in the last 50 years has been the development of idea of creating an architecture for changing the environment to lead humans to better decisions through "nudges" (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008). The fields of behavioral economics and psychology have become integrated into governments through this work. Established in 2010 and directed by David Halpern, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) was set up in the heart of the British Government to apply behavioral economics and psychology to policymaking. BIT works with a variety of partners both in government and in industry to implement nudges. They have led interventions in a variety of domains, including tax collection, charitable giving, education, and employment. In this course, students will obtain a basic understanding on behavioral decision research and behavioral economics; muster what we know about decision architecture - or "nudging"; and apply these ideas to a group project with their client from local or national government in the United Kingdom. This course will be of particular interest to students with an interest in obtaining a basic understanding on behavioral decision research and behavioral economics, and mastering knowledge of decision architecture, or "nudging."
Travel: Arrival, January 9, departure on Saturday, January 19, 2019 (NOTE: the immersion departure location will be from Paris, France. For students who want to return to London, there are easy train and flight options from Paris to London.)
Credits: 4.0 (2.0 HKS credits per semester)
Enrollment: Limited to 25 MBA students, 20 students from HKS (cross-registrants may apply for one of the 20 HKS spots, though priority will be given to HKS students)
Fee: There is a mandatory fee for this course of $2,500. This fee will cover double-occupancy accommodations in-country with daily hotel breakfast, ground transportation, local transportation for field work, daily internet access at hotels, meeting space in-country, an iPhone with calling, text, and data, all taxes and gratuities for included activities, and emergency medical, evacuation, and repatriation insurance through HTA). Please note that students will also be required to purchase their own international airfare to and from the destination, entry and transit visa expenses, immunizations, and personal expenses. Enrolled students may make an appointment with HKS Financial Aid with confirmation of their course registration and a plane ticket receipt to discuss increasing their loan amount in accordance with their costs.
Dates: Course meets for six two-hour sessions taking place at HBS on Tuesday evenings, from 5:45-7:00 PM on September 25, October 23, November 13, and December 4, 2018, followed by ten days of travel to the UK from January 9-19, 2019
FAQs for Students
What is the application process and timeline?
The application link will be posted live on this page in early August. The deadline to apply is August 24. Applicants will hear about the outcome of their application the week of August 27.
I have prior commitments that means I may miss the January travel dates for MLD 335Y. Can I complete the client site travel at another time?
No. Students must be available to travel for MLD 335Y with their classmates in January, and you are required to be present during the specified dates.
I’m a dual-degree HKS/HBS student in my first year. Can I enroll?
No – if you are a first-year dual HKS/HBS student, you cannot enroll in classes that are cross-listed between HBS and HKS (MLD 335Y).
I’m not from HKS or HBS. Can I cross-register?
You can apply to cross-register using the above application, but please note that priority will be given to HKS and HBS students.
What are the course credits for each course?
HKS students will receive 4.0 course credits (2.0 per semester) for successful completion of either course. HBS students will receive 3.0 course credits on completion of either course. Please note that although both courses are considered year-long courses, the final project hand-in and final class for both will take place in February.
What are the course fees?
The MLD 335Y mandatory course fee $2,500 will cover double-occupancy accommodations in-country with daily hotel breakfast, ground transportation, local transportation for field work, daily internet access at hotels, meeting space in-country, an iPhone with calling, text, and data, all taxes and gratuities for included activities, and emergency medical, evacuation, and repatriation insurance through HTA).
Please note that the mandatory course fee cannot be reduced, and students must stay in the accommodation provided by the HBS Global Experience Office.
I would like to apply to MLD 335Y but cannot afford the $2500 course fee. Do you offer any financial aid?
We are unable to offer any financial aid to assist with the $2500 mandatory course fee. Please reach out to your respective program officers for information on other potential funding sources.
Where can I find more information?
MLD 335Y Immersive Field Course (UK):
- HKS: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/courses/united-kingdom-immersive-field-course-behavioral-insights
- HBS: http://www.hbs.edu/coursecatalog/6022.html