This 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 supervised placement in the second year within a mental health service.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £9,570 (FT) £N/A (PT)
- £24,420 (FT) £N/A (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
The programme draws together theory, research and therapeutic thinking from a range of perspectives, including clinical and cognitive psychology, systemic thinking, 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.
This two-year MSc has a total value of 270 credits. Each year students complete modules to the value of 135 credits.
Year one: taught modules (135 credits). Year two: clinical skills modules (35 credits), a clinical practice in context module (15 credits) and the research dissertation (85 credits).
Year one core modules
- Multiple Perspectives on Development Psychopathology I
- Multiple Perspectives on Development Psychopathology II
- Research Methods I (formative)
- Research Methods II: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
- Research Methods III: Introduction to Qualitative Research (formative)
- Evaluating Clinical Interventions
- An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory
- Building and Maintaining Therapeutic Relationships
- Assessment and Planning Clinical Interventions
- Parent-Infant Observation
Year two core modules
- Clinical Practice in Context
- Clinical Skills I
- Clinical Skills II
- Research Dissertation
- Research Workshop
All MSc students undertake a research portfolio which may include both a developmental and a clinical focus, such as the evaluation and understanding of clinical and therapeutic services for children and young people. This culminates in a dissertation made up of an 8,000-word journal paper and a poster.
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 in a child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) setting, supervised by an experienced clinician. Assessment is by a mixture of coursework, examinations and the dissertation.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families offers one bursary for this MSc programme (£3,000 per year) which is open only to Home and EU students. It is awarded based on academic ability and potential as well as on financial need. Please note, students are only eligible to apply once they have been issued with a firm offer from UCL for this programme. The bursary is administered by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and not by UCL.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Since the MSc was established in 2011 graduates have gone on to work with children and families in various therapeutic settings, or to undertake further doctoral-level clinical training, such as clinical psychology, child psychotherapy, or counselling psychology. Some of our graduates also pursue research careers, including PhD study.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Mental Health Researcher, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- Research Assistant, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- PhD in Clinical Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University
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, such as in clinical psychology or child psychotherapy.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The programme is based at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London, a world-renowned centre for research, training and clinical practice in the field of child mental health. Distinctive features include teaching by highly experienced clinicians and researchers working in the field of child mental health; the opportunity to develop clinical skills for working with children; practical training in conducting research in clinical settings.
Please note: during the course of the academic year 2018/19, the centre will relocate from Hampstead to a new, purpose-built campus near King's Cross Station.
You will also gain exposure to clinical work within NHS and/or voluntary sector organisations involving children, adolescents and families, under the supervision of an experienced clinician.
To read past students' testimonials, please visit the departmental programme page.
Department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Student / staff numbers
› 181 staff
including 173 postdocs
› 780 taught students
› 440 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
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 students per year, so students with relevant experience prior to application will be at an advantage.
- All applicants
- 5 February 2018
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Developmental Psychology at graduate level
- why you want to study Developmental Psychology 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.