Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice MSc

Options: PG Diploma

This new, unique, MSc aims to encourage an integrated understanding of child development and a range of childhood disorders, and to give students an opportunity to apply this understanding in a clinical setting, through a placement in the second year within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health clinic.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 2 years

Tuition fees

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

Application date

  • All applicants: 17 February 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme draws together theory, research and therapeutic thinking from a range of perspectives, including clinical and cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. In a workshop setting, students develop competencies in engagement, assessment and evaluation, and practical skills necessary for therapeutic work with children and families. These are then put into practice during the clinical placement.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The programme is based at the Anna Freud Centre in London, a world-renowned centre for research, training and clinical practice in the field of child mental health.

Distinctive features include teaching offered by highly experienced clinicians and researchers working in the field of child mental health; opportunity to develop clinical skills for working with children; practical training in conducting research in clinical settings.

You will also gain exposure to clinical work within NHS and voluntary sector organisations involving children, adolescents and families, under the supervision of an experienced clinician.

This two year MSc has a total value of 300 credits. Each year students complete modules to the value of 150 credits. Year one: taught modules (150 credits). Year two: clinical skills modules (35 credits), a clinical practice in context module (15 credits) and the research dissertation (100 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time one year) is offered.

Core Modules Year One

  • Multiple Perspectives on Child Development I
  • Multiple Perspectives on Child Development II
  • Development Psychopathology II: Development Disorders from Multiple Perspectives
  • Research Methods I (formative)
  • Research Methods II: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • Evaluating Clinical Interventions
  • An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory
  • The Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis
  • Building and Maintaining Therapeutic Relationships
  • Assessment and Planning
  • Observation: Parent Infant

Core Modules Year Two

  • Clinical Practice in Context
  • Clinical Skills I
  • Clinical Skills II
  • Research Dissertation (see below)


All MSc students undertake a research project which has a specific clinical focus, and culminates in a dissertation of up to 17,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

In year one students attend weekly lectures complemented by small group seminars. Modules focusing on clinical skills are classroom based. In year two, as well as taking further modules, students move into a 2-3 days per week placement. Assessment is by a mixture of course work, examinations and the dissertation.

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 in Psychology, or in another relevant social, clinical or life science discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. It is highly desirable that students have obtained relevant experience working with children or adolescents prior to application.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Good

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 17 February 2014.

Who can apply?

This MSc provides a solid foundation for those wishing to pursue further clinical training, or to apply for employment with the children's workforce. The programme is highly selective and takes a maximum of 12 per year, so students with relevant experience prior to application will be at an advantage.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • 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. It is highly desirable that students have obtained relevant experience working with children or adolescents prior to application.


We anticipate that our graduates will go on to work with children and families in various therapeutic settings, undertake further clinical training, take up doctoral-level professions, such as clinical psychology, child psychotherapy, or counselling psychology, or pursue research careers, including PhD study. This is a new programme and therefore no information on specific career destinations is currently available.


Completing this MSc will help you develop several core clinical competencies and provide direct supervised experience of work in a child and adolescent mental health service, placing you in a very strong position to proceed to a full clinical training.

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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