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 (2019/20)
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 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.
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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 portfolio (85 credits).
Year one compulsory 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
- Psychoanalytic Thought: Introduction to the Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis
- Building and Maintaining Therapeutic Relationships
- Assessment and Planning Clinical Interventions
- Parent-Infant Observation
Year two compulsory 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.
In the second year, students move into a 2-3 day placement. These placements are in mental health services which specialise in work with children, young people, parents, carers and families. Supervision within the placement is provided by an experienced clinician. Personal Tutors also facilitate placement review meetings once a term, and all students have access to a weekly Work Discussion Group.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information 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 13 students per year, so students with relevant experience prior to application will be at an advantage.
- All applicants
- 4 February 2019
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.