Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MRes

London, King's Cross (Anna Freud Centre) and Yale University (USA)

This unique two-year international programme is offered in collaboration with Yale University. There is a focus on developmental psychopathology drawing on multidisciplinary perspectives, with a specific emphasis on neuroscience. Students spend year one in London, primarily based at Anna Freud and year two in Yale, USA. There is no part-time option available for this programme.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Feb 2024

Applications closed

Entry requirements

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

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme provides an introduction to a range of perspectives on developmental psychopathology, covering all major disorders of childhood. Why do disorders such as anxiety, depression, or autism emerge? How can we understand these disorders in relation to mental processes and representations? And what can a neuroscience approach add?

The programme focuses on being able to effectively critique current research as we as the development of practical research skills, including techniques such as fMRI and EEG/ERP.

Who this course is 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 and child development. Applicants are not required to have extensive research experience, but some relevant research experience is essential.

What this course will give you

Students acquire excellent research skills in statistical analysis and a grounding in neuroimaging methods, including fMRI and EEG, and expertise in critical evaluation of research.

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

UCL Psychology and Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. The division has excellent links with other universities including Yale, providing unique research and networking opportunities for postgraduate students. We are ranked first for research power in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience by the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), with more than two thirds of our research in these areas rated as world-leading (4*).

Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources, including state-of-the art neuroimaging equipment.

The division offers an extremely supportive environment with opportunities to attend numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.

You can view video testimonials from previous students on the Anna Freud webpage.

The foundation of your career

The two-year structure allows students to not only develop in-depth theoretical knowledge and research skills but also provides the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of research under the mentorship of a leading Yale academic and their research lab. A grounding in quantitative analysis and fMRI/EEG skills combined with a focus on clinical disorders during childhood make students particularly attractive as prospective PhD candidates and doctoral Clinical Psychology applicants. Students are encouraged to publish their research where possible.

Some students seek voluntary clinically relevant experience across both years, which is particularly helpful for those considering applications to Clinical Psychology doctoral programmes.


Typically our students are interested in pursuing a research or clinical career. Of students who graduated within the last two years, 20% are now enrolled on PhD programmes, 40% are employed as research associates, 20% are undertaking further training and the remaining 20% are undertaking clinical work.


Students will have an opportunity to attend the Academic Skills Seminar Series which will be hosted by a variety of guest lecturers from different fields. Students will also be able to attend careers events with a specific focus on clinical careers and research focused careers.

Teaching and learning

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

Assessment is normally through essays, exams and coursework (assessing, for example, science communication and research skills). In the second year a research portfolio will be assessed (see details below).  

Research Portfolio

In Year Two, students will complete a research portfolio that focuses on developing the key skills required for research and clinical careers. Specifically, the portfolio comprises:

  • Project Presentation – an oral presentation of the original research project to be conducted in Year Two, a written research proposal (together 15 credits) and the research dissertation. 
  • Dissertation – a 15,000 - 17,000-word thesis relating to the student’s independent research project. This element is worth 165 credits.

A conference style research poster. This element is worth 15 credits.
Previous projects have spanned a broad range of populations and methodologies and have included:

  • fMRI and social exclusion in autism
  • EEG, face processing and autistic and psychopathic traits
  • fMRI, stress and childhood maltreatment
  • Prenatal stress and ADHD: a translational model
  • Mentalisation in adolescents: understanding addictions
  • Neurocognitive effects of cannabis and nicotine use in schizophrenia
  • fMRI: the biological basis of risk taking and reward
  • Effective attachment-based interventions for mothers in substance misuse treatment

Learn more about this programme by watching a short video of a previous student present his research here.

The majority of taught modules involve approximately 150 learning hours. This typically includes 25 hours of contact time per term in the form of lectures, seminars, and workshops, and 125 hours of self-directed study, including weekly readings in preparation for the teaching, further individual study, coursework, and revision/preparation for summative assessment.

In the second year of the programme, students will complete a full-time research placement (five working days per week) during which students complete the Research Portfolio Module, consisting of a research proposal, research dissertation, and a research poster. The vast bulk of the work involves independent research activity, supported by research project supervision in the context of a lab placement, as well as regular seminars.

Further time is set aside for additional workshops (e.g. professional skills workshops, journal club) and termly meetings with Personal Tutors.


Year One Teaching

In the first year, you will be primarily based at Anna Freud with full access to UCL’s internationally renowned campus, including libraries and computer facilities.

The first-year modules provide a foundation in developmental psychopathology and affective neuroscience, which includes an introduction to the main therapeutic orientations including cognitive behavioural, systemic and psychoanalytic approaches. You will also develop core skills in neuroscientific methods and statistics, providing a necessary foundation for the research project in the second year at Yale.

Year Two Teaching

Teaching during Year Two comprises a series of formative workshops that aim to support you in completing your independent research project and engage productively in the work of the research lab of your mentor/supervisor.

These workshops normally include: fMRI methods; EEG methods and Integrating Multiple Perspectives, which includes clinical, neuroscience, psychoanalytic and other approaches. Electives taught by Yale faculty across disciplines are offered, including neuroscience, philosophy, clinical science, research methodology, and statistics.

We strongly encourage students to produce publishable findings from their research, in collaboration with their research mentor.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertaken modules to the value of 330 credits. Upon successful completion of 330 credits, you will be awarded an MRes in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Travel costs, including travelling to Anna Freud/UCL regularly for teaching in the first year. In the second year, costs in relation to Yale will include: Visa processing costs, private health insurance and transport to Yale.

This programme requires a completed Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for some compulsory modules. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme.

A charge for Post Office ID verification (£15.00) needed for an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service is payable by the student. The cost of the DBS check itself is paid for by UCL.

If you have lived, worked, studied or travelled in any single country outside of the UK for six continuous months or more, in the last five years, you will be required to obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police Check from the relevant country/countries. The cost of this check varies by country and is payable by the student. More information on how to obtain these can be found on

For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the UCL Graduate Admissions team

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Please note that this programme is not eligible for US Federal funding.

UCL Scholarships

There are a variety of different funding options for both UK and International Students. For information on entry scholarships and other sources of funding for Graduate students please visit the UCL Scholarships page.

Anna Freud offers a number of bursaries which are 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 Anna Freud and not by UCL. You can find more information about this funding here.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

We are looking for applicants who demonstrate:

  • an excellent and relevant academic track-record
  • relevant research experience
  • a clear rationale why you want to study Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at graduate level at UCL
  • some consideration of where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Note that this is a highly selective programme and early applications are recommended.

Typically 10-14 students are accepted each year. The overall aim of this programme is to understand how mental health problems emerge in childhood drawing from multiple perspectives, including neuroscience, cognitive, developmental, clinical, and psychoanalytic approaches. A substantial research project is completed in the second year at Yale. As an MRes, this Master’s programme provides an excellent framework to advance students' research skills, important for those planning a future PhD or Clinical Doctorate.

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.

The deadline for applications is Monday 5th February 2024.

Please note: You are required to provide details of 2 referees in 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.