Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MSc

This is a unique two-year international programme where students are based at UCL (Year 1) and Yale University (Year 2), providing students with a sound understanding of neuroscience, research, and child psychopathology. The course draws on multiple perspectives, including cognitive, neuro-scientific and psychoanalytic approaches and the expertise of leading clinical academics.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700

Application date

  • All applicants: 11 July 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme provides an introduction to a broad range of perspectives on developmental psychopathology, including cognitive and psychoanalytic theory, and neuroscience research. Students cover key disorders of childhood including autism, anxiety and conduct disorder as well as a broad framework of child development. Students also learn skills in research design, and neuroimaging and psychological approaches to research.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. The division has well-established links with other universities (including Yale).

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources such as a behavioural neuroscience laboratory, a centre for brain imaging, and extensive laboratories for research in speech and language, perception, and cognition.

Opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers exist in all areas of investigation, from basic processes to applied research. The division offers a supportive environment including numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

This two-year MSc has a total value of 300 credits. 165 credits of taught modules are taken in the first year and 35 in the second year. The research dissertation, also in the second year, contributes 100 credits.

Core Modules Year One

  • An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory
  • The Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis
  • Developmental Psychopathology II: Development Disorders from Multiple Perspectives
  • Research Methods I: Research Skills
  • Research Methods II: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • Research Methods III: Evaluating Research Literature
  • Introduction to Neuroscience Methods
  • Affective Neuroscience
  • Multiple Perspectives on Child Development I
  • Multiple Perspectives on Child Development II
  • Evaluating Clinical Interventions

Core Modules Year Two

  • Advanced Neuroscience Methods
  • Clinical Applications of Neuroscience Methods
  • Research Thesis (see below)


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–17,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, research classes, tutorials, seminars, and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through essays, statistical assignments, submission of a literature review and unseen examinations. In the second year assessment will be by research dissertation, essay and unseen examination.

Further details available on subject website:

Scholarships available for this department

Sully Scholarship

For current students in their final year of a research programme in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. This award is based on academic merit. Students must contact the Division of Psychology & Language Sciences for application information.

Linguistics Departmental Award

Awarded for academic merit

MRes Speech, Language and Cognition Awards

To reward academic merit.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 11 July 2014. We suggest applying in January or February of the year of entry as this is a highly selective course. Interviews are held from February to July. Interviews can be held by telephone for international applicants, and in London for those able to attend in person.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a strong academic background in psychology, medicine, genetics, neuroscience and related disciplines who have an interest in neuroscience. Applicants are not required to have extensive research experience, but some familiarity with experimental work (e.g. data collection, analysis and writing up) is important.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme, particularly in relation to research skills
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Typically, students are interested in pursuing a research or clinical career. Of students who graduated in 2012, 35% are enrolled on PhD programmes; 29% are in employment as research associates; 29% are enrolled in Clinical Psychology doctoral programmes or engaged in psychology practice. The remaining 6% are currently applying for further training.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • University of Oregon, PhD student, 2011
  • Yale University, Postgraduate Research Fellow, 2011
  • NHS, Clinical Psychology Trainee, 2011
  • Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, PhD student, 2011
  • Queen Mary University, Research Assistant, 2011


The two-year structure allows students to not only develop in-depth theoretical knowledge but also undertake a substantial piece of research under the mentorship of leading academics at Yale. The quantitative analysis skills and fMRI/EEG skills developed make students particularly attractive as research assistants, prospective PhD candidates and clinical psychology applicants.

Some students seek voluntary clinically relevant experience across both years, which is particularly helpful for those considering clinical psychology.

Students present their research at a poster session attended by Yale Child Study Centre staff, which helps develop generic presentation skills and an excellent opportunity to network.

Next steps


Ms Emily Medlicott

T: +44 (0)20 7794 2313


Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

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Prospectus subject

Psychology and Language Sciences

Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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Student View

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