This MSc aims to encourage an integrated understanding of child development and a range of childhood disorders. It also gives 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 (2021/22)
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. Alongside working on a research project and learning about child mental health, students learn how to build therapeutic relationships, and carry out assessments and evaluation. These skills are put into practice during the clinical placement.
Students undertake modules to the 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).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice.
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 is subject to change.
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
- Parenting: Theory, Research and Clinical Intervention
- Research Workshop
Year two compulsory modules
- Clinical Practice in Context
- Clinical Skills I
- Clinical Skills II
- Research Portfolio
- Research Workshop
- Work Discussion Group (formative)
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.
In the second year, students move into a two-three 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.
Teaching and learning
In year one, weekly lectures are delivered, complemented by small group seminars. Modules focusing on clinical skills provide opportunities for role play, reflective practice and working with mock case material. In year two, as well as taking further modules, students move into a two-three days per week placement in a child and adolescent mental health setting, supervised by an experienced clinician. Assessment is by a mixture of coursework, examinations and a 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 children's services and various therapeutic settings, or to undertake doctoral-level clinical training, such as clinical psychology, or counselling psychology. Some of our graduates also pursue research careers, taking up posts as research assistants or going on to 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.
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 £90 for online applications and £115 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 24 students per year, so students with relevant experience prior to application will be at an advantage.
- All applicants
- 30 July 2021
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.
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