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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.

The MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice is a two-year, full-time course offered by UCL, based at the Anna Freud Centre (AFC). The aim of the course is to provide a framework for developing an integrated understanding of child development and childhood disorders, and to offer an opportunity to develop practical skills for working with children and families in a clinical setting.

This programme draws together theory, research and therapeutic thinking from a range of perspectives, including clinical and cognitive psychology, systemic theory, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Theoretical learning is complemented by workshop-based seminars where students learn core clinical skills; and in the second year of the course they have a one-year placement in a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS), under the supervision of an experienced clinician. Students also complete a research dissertation in the field of child mental health and/or service delivery, working in collaboration with UCL's own Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and the CAMHS Outcome Research Consortium (CORC), which undertake cutting-edge work on evaluating and transforming CAMHS delivery.

Year One

In year one most modules are taught at the Anna Freud Centre in London, a world-renowned centre for research, training and clinical practice in the field of child mental health. Students attend weekly lectures complemented by small group seminars in a friendly and supportive environment. The teaching is organised into three 'families' of modules: Child Development, Disorders and the Developing Mind; Research Skills; and Clinical Skills. Modules focusing on clinical skills during Year 1 are classroom based, with recorded role-play and video feedback offering students a context within which to develop and reflect upon practical skills.

Year Two

In year two, as well as taking further modules at the Anna Freud Centre and UCL, and continuing work on your research dissertation, students move into a 2-3 days per week placement in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in London. During this placement students have the opportunity to develop core clinical skills relevant to working with children and families, under the supervision of an experienced clinician.

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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

Content

Objectives and Outcomes

Through a combination of lectures, workshops and supervised clinical placements, the programme offers students an opportunity to develop an understanding of child development and psychopathology, whilst developing core clinical skills for working with children and families in a mental health setting. The teaching draws on thinking from a range of perspectives, including clinical and cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. The objective of the course is to give students the chance to develop a set of 'core competencies' in child development, research and clinical practice, essential to those wanting to work clinically or academically in the field of child and adolescent mental health.

Why Study at UCL?

Teaching on the programme is mostly 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.

The MSc is based within UCL's Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology. This is one of the world’s leading integrated departments of applied psychology, focussing on the implementation of ground-breaking research to improve development, education, and mental and physical wellbeing in individuals and social groups. The Department has an exceptional track record of influencing national and international policy in the delivery of health, education and social care.

Who is the programme for?

This MSc provides a solid foundation for those wishing to go on to further clinical training or post-doctoral research, 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.

Please click here to be taken to the Anna Freud Centre website where you can take a virtual tour of the Centre and watch testimonials from former students.

Structure

This two year MSc has a total value of 300 credits. 165 credits of taught modules are taken in Year One and 135 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, small-group seminars, skills-based workshops and practical classes. Assessment is through essays, exams and practical assignments (such as role-plays of clinical work with child actors, or a presentation about the development of a clinical service), as well as a research dissertation which is submitted at the end of the second year.

Dissertation

All students undertake an independent research project, under supervision, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 - 17,000 words. Students will have the opportunity to undertake research related to child and adolescent mental health services through our collaboration with UCL's Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and the CAMHS Outcome Research Consortium (CORC), which play a leading role in evaluation and service-improvement within CAMHS in the UK.

Modules

Modules are grouped into ‘families’

Module Family Year 1 Year 2
Child Development, Disorders and the Developing Mind

Multiple Perspectives on Child Development I and II

Multiple Perspectives on Developmental Disorders

Psychoanalytic Concepts I and II

Parent-Infant Observation

CAMHS in Context
Clinical Skills

Building and Maintaining Therapeutic Relationships

Assessment and Planning Clinical Interventions

CAMHS Placement

Clinical Skills I and II

Research Skills

Introduction to Research Methods (formative)

Quantitative Data Analysis (SPSS)

Qualitative Workshops (optional)

Evaluating Clinical Interventions

Research Methods II (formative)

Supervised Dissertation

(Year 1 and 2)

 For more information on the course structure please click here: /psychlangsci/students/prospective/PGT/TMSPSYSDPC01/MSc_DPCP_course_structure_2013-14.pdf

Application

Entry Requirements

Normally applicants must have 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.

Please click here for information about our English proficiency requirements. 

Deadline for Applications

The deadline for applications is 17th February 2014.

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.

Interviews will be held weeks commencing 17th and 24th March 2014. Interviews are held in person for those in the UK and via telephone for applicants who are overseas.

Application Process

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/

Funding

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

For full information please follow this link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate

Testimonials

“This is a ground-breaking course which offers an understanding of childhood problems along with training in the skills needed to help distressed children and families. We are delighted to be a partner in offering placement experience to students on the course.”
Peter Fuggle, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director of Islington Child and Adolescence Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

“What attracted me to the course in the beginning was how it was a very well-rounded approach to theory, research and practical training … This course provided me with a very broad but proper grounding in all three. My experience of the placement was one of the biggest learning experiences I have ever had … we were not just observing clinicians … we were right in there with them”

Graduate of the MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice.

Click here to listen further to what the Director of Islington Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service has to say about the course and to listen to testimonials from former students on the MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice.

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

Careers

Although this is a relatively new programme we expect that graduates will be ideally placed to apply for doctoral-level clinical trainings, such as Clinical Psychology or Child Psychotherapy, or to work as primary mental health workers specialising in work with children and families.

Completing this MSc does not result in an accredited clinical qualification as a child therapist. However it 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 work in children's services or to proceed to a doctoral-level clinical training. The course will also put graduates in a strong position to go on to PhD studies in the field of child and adolescent mental health and health service related research.

FAQs

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

A. Successful applicants would have a background in Psychology, or a related field. They would have an undergraduate final grade of at least a 2:1 or equivalent. Some experience of working with children or in research would be an advantage as well.

Q. When is the deadline for applying for the course?

A. 17th February 2014.

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

A. Although this is a relatively new programme we expect that graduates will be ideally placed to apply for doctoral-level clinical trainings, such as Child Psychotherapy, Counselling or Clinical Psychology, or to work as primary mental health workers specialising in work with children and families. The course will also put graduates in a strong position to go on to PhD research studies

Q. Is the course professionally accredited?

A. This MSc does not lead to professional accreditation as a specialist child and adolescent mental health practitioner; however, the course is specifically designed to help students gain the key clinical skills, knowledge and experience that will help them to progress to doctoral-level training, if they wish to do so. It is anticipated that completing this MSc, with its range of theoretical and practical components, will put students in a strong position to apply for a range of doctoral-level clinical trainings, or to work directly within children's services.

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. How long is the course?  

A. The programme is a two-year course and is only offered on a full-time basis.

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 and are subject to potential increase. 

Q. What scholarships/funding opportunities are available?

A. There is very limited funding available to masters students through UCL, but further information on this can be found here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate

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. 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. Are second language English students required to prove their English proficiency?

A. Yes. All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence that their spoken and written command of the English language is good. Full details of test requirements can be found here.

Contact

Staff

Dr Nick Midgley is the Course Director for this course, and is available via email: nick.midgley@annafreud.org. Nick is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist based at the Anna Freud Centre and Principal Investigator on the IMPACT-ME Study.

Dr Fiona John is the Clinical Course Tutor, and is available via email: fiona.john@annafreud.org. Fiona is a Clinical Psychologist with many years of experience in the NHS.