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Please note: the deadline for submission of applications for the 2014-2015 intake has now passed.  Late applications cannot be accepted.

This is a highly selective 2-year UCL international Masters programme, with the first year based at University College London and the second year based at Yale, New Haven in the USA. Typically 10 students are accepted each year. This unique programme equips students with an understanding of developmental neuroscience alongside multiple perspectives on developmental disorders (such as autism, post-traumatic stress disorder and conduct disorder) with an emphasis on cognitive and psychoanalytic perspectives. A substantial empirical research project completed by each student in the second year at Yale offers an opportunity to bring together diverse models and theories of development and acquire advanced research skills. 

Year 1 Teaching

In the first year you will be based at The Anna Freud Centre in Hampstead, London. As a UCL student you will have access to the facilities of an internationally renowned university including library and computer facilities. The teaching in the first year comprises 11 mandatory modules, grouped into four streams, which are listed in the structure section below. These modules provide a foundation in developmental psychopathology, neuroscience research, statistics, psychoanalysis and normative developmental psychology. 

Year 2 Teaching

While at Yale students complete two core modules in Advanced Neuromethods and Clinical Applications of Neuroimaging. These modules provide a solid grounding in how atypical patterns of neural structure and function relate to psychopathology, and helps students integrate cognitive, psychoanalytic and neurobiological approaches. Students have many opportunities to attend additional ‘elective’ courses, ranging from neuroscience, philosophy, clinical science, research methodology and statistics. Formative teaching and workshops on behavioural genetics and psychoanalysis are provided to assist students in integrating their research findings within a broader explanatory framework. Students are encouraged to produce publishable findings from their research.

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Start date: September 2014

Mode of study

  • Full-time 2 years

Tuition fees

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


Objectives and Outcomes

The programme provides an introduction to a broad range of perspectives on developmental psychopathology, including neurobiological, cognitive and psychoanalytic approaches. Students are equipped with knowledge and understanding of developmental concepts relevant to psychopathology and the ability to critically evaluate current research and design research approaches using a range of neuroimaging and psychological techniques.

Why Study at UCL?

The Division of Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language.

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.

Who is the programme for?

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 relevant research experience and ideally familiarity with empirical research (e.g. data collection, analysis and writing up) is important.


This two year MSc is comprised of a total value of 300 credits. 165 credits of taught modules are taken in Year One and 135 in Year Two. The research dissertation is also undertaken in Year Two. The programme consists of thirteen core modules (200 credits) and a research dissertation (100 credits).

Teaching and Assessment

The programme is delivered through lectures, research classes, tutorials, seminars, and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is normally 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.


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

Previous projects have spanned a broad range of populations and methodologies and have included:

· fMRI and social exclusion in autism

· EEG, narcissism and face processing

· Mentalisation in adolescents: understanding addictions

· Neurocognitive effects of cannabis and nicotine use in schizophrenia

· fMRI/EEG and the biological basis of risk taking and reward

· Effective attachment based interventions for mothers in substance misuse treatment

· EEG and maternal sensitivity to infant cues (faces and cries) 

Year 1: London

Course Themes Modules
Neuroscience Neuroscience Methods Affective Neuroscience Evaluating Clinical Interventions
Research Methods Evaluating Research Literature Statistical Analysis Research Skills
Child Development and Psychopathology Multiple Perspectives on Child Development I Multiple Perspectives on Child Development II Multiple Perspectives on Developmental Disorders
Psychoanalytic Thought An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory The Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis

Year 2: Yale

Year 2 Advanced Neuroscience Methods Clinical Applications of Neuroimaging Submit Research Project

 For more information on the course structure please click here: /psychlangsci/students/prospective/PGT/TMSPSYSDNP01/MSc_DNP_course_structure_2013-14.pdf



Please note: this course is not eligible for US Federal Loan Authority funding.

The Anna Freud Centre offers one bursary for this MSc course (£3000 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 course. The bursary is administered by the Anna Freud Centre and is not part of UCL.

UCL Scholarships

There is limited funding available to masters student through UCL, but more information can be found here


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.

Please click here for more information about our English proficiency requirements. 

Deadline for Applications

The official deadline is the 11th July 2014 but we suggest applying early as this is a highly selective course.

Please note: you are required to provide details of 2 referees on your application, at least one of whom should be academic. We require your references to be completed on or very soon after the application deadline so please bear this in mind when you apply.

Application Process

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit


Please click here to listen to what past students have had to say about their experience on the course

I made the decision to undertake a degree in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology because I wanted to be at the forefront of a new field that has the potential to link knowledge about the brain with our understanding of the mind. This first year in London also helped forged an awareness about the ways in which neuroscience and psychoanalysis can unite to form a special understanding of development. Being involved with a research lab at Yale during the second year has allowed me to apply my own ideas and create a unique research project. So far my decision has proved to be an extremely rewarding one, and I am confident it will continue to challenge me both intellectually and academically


I have found that the course offers a challenging and fascinating journey through multiple disciplines and their points of intersection. The two year programme has given me practical research experience in two leading research institutions. I have felt that, rather than being simply taught, we have been encouraged to think in order that we might contribute to this new and rapidly growing multidisciplinary debate ourselves.


Click here for a virtual tour of the Anna Freud Centre and to find out more about postgraduate study at the Centre.


Typically, students are interested in pursuing a research career (for example, working as a research fellow, undertaking a PhD) or pursuing a clinical career (for example, applying for Clinical Psychology or Child Psychotherapy training).
At this time over half of students progress to further research, either as research assistants or to PhD programmes. The remainder either pursue further clinical training or work. A minority decide to pursue a career outside psychology. The pie chart below details the career paths of our recent graduates.

DNP Pie Chart

(based on responses received from 100% of MSc DNP graduates 2009-2012)

Click here for a selection of published articles from prior students' MSc research while at Yale.



Q. What kind of careers do people move into after the MSc?

A. Typically two thirds of students progress to a PhD or a research post 

following graduation. About a third take a more clinical route by starting a 

clinical psychology training, usually at doctoral level. A minority of students 

decide to pursue related careers, for example in scientific journalism.

Q. What kind of background do you look for in successful candidates?

A. Previously successful applicants have a strong academic background in:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Neuroscience
  • Related disciplines

Relevant research experience is also highly desirable. 

Q. Are fees payable for both years of the MSc?

A. Yes, fees are payable to UCL for both years of study.  The first year fees for 2014-2015 are displayed on the course webpage.  The fees for 2015-2016 are yet to be confirmed by UCL and are subject to potential increase. 

Q. Would I need to have lots of research experience to secure an offer?

A. Applicants are not required to have had extensive research experience, but some familiarity with experimental work (e.g. data collection, analysis and writing up) is important. 

Q. I'm an overseas student. Where can I convert my grades to find out if I am eligible for the course?

A. You can find information on converting grades on the graduate admissions website under information by country here

Q. Am I required to take the GRE to qualify for the MSc?

A. No. Applicants do not need to take the GRE. This is not required as part of the

selection process.

Q. Do I need a specialist background in neuroscience to apply for this course? 

A. No. All prospective students will be expected to have an interest in neuroscience, and some applicants may have completed introductory courses at undergraduate level. Applicants will need to be able to speak at interview about their interest in neuroscience.

Q. Is it possible to do the MSc as a part time student?

A. The programme is offered as full-time only. 

Q. Are there funds or grants within the University or department which may be able to assist with the cost of the course? 

A. There are a variety of different funding options for both UK/EU and International Students. For information on entry scholarships and other sources of funding for Graduate students please go to the UCL Graduate Scholarships page. To apply for funding it is necessary to have filled in an application form for admission as a Graduate student before completing a scholarship application form. Please note that the deadlines for scholarship applications are strongly adhered to and no application will be accepted after the deadline date indicated. 

Click here to visit the UCL Graduate Scholarships page

The Anna Freud Centre offers one bursary for this MSc course (£3000 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 course. The bursary is administered by the Anna Freud Centre and is not part of UCL.

Q. What happens if I fail an exam? 

A. Candidates will be allowed to re-enter for assessment of an element of the programme in the following session for one occasion only. 

Q. Do you accept mature students? 

A. Yes, we accept students of all ages providing they meet the Graduate Admission requirements for Taught Masters in the Psychology Department. Please click here for more information about the University's Equal Opportunities Policy.

Q. Do I need Health Insurance?

A. Students have access to National Health Service (NHS) provision whilst in the UK. Prior to going to Yale, students are required to ensure that they have adequate health insurance in place in order to meet visa requirements (if relevant) and requirements for admission to Yale. Some students may be eligible to apply for a UCL travel insurance policy. 


Dr Eamon McCrory is the Programme Director for this course. Eamon is also the Head of Postgraduate Studies for all UCL courses at the Anna Freud Centre, as well as Consultant Clinical Psychologist and a Reader in Developmental Neuroscience at UCL. For further information please see:

Professor Linda Mayes is the Programme Coordinator at Yale. She leads the Yale Bridge Programme at the Anna Freud Centre, and is the Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Paediatrics, and Psychology in the Yale Child Study Center. For further information please see: