Infancy and Early Childhood Development MSc

London, Bloomsbury

A unique multidisciplinary programme exploring development from prenatal to preschool stages, suitable for practitioners or students. Strong links to Great Ormond Street Hospital offer clinical and theoretical psychology, neuroscience, medical and allied health perspectives. Students curate bespoke study pathways within this framework, boosting clinical practise or academic career trajectories.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in psychology, medicine or other health or education related topic 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 depth and multidisciplinary nature of programme are singular. You leave the programme with a specialism in early years development and students aiming to apply for practitioner training will gain valuable skills for their application.

Core modules describe early development from in utero life to five years of age. Students study across disciplines to connect diverse perspectives on typical and atypical development using psychology, education, medical, health, social and education contexts, developing research skills and an understanding of clinical material. 

The second notable feature of this programme is flexibility. Students choose optional modules allowing them to build a degree reflecting their specific academic interests and career requirements.

Course content includes social, emotional and cognitive development, caregiver relationships including feeding, play and early learning environments, neurodiversity assessments/intervention, childhood disorders, and medical/neurological conditions. You will learn statistics and critical appraisal in child health and MSc students undertake a research project. 

Who this course is for

This programme is suitable for health and allied professionals who wish to specialise in early development and augment their professional portfolio. Many students from our programme - early in their career progression – may go on to apply for practitioner further training. The course also provides excellent opportunities (including valuable networks across the UCL campus) as an introduction into academia and further academic study such as a PhD.

What this course will give you

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is a world leader in the delivery of paediatric healthcare, research and education, and this programme will also take advantage of collaboration with other expert departments within UCL, thereby providing unique opportunities to interface across disciplines. This programme aims to integrate psychological development, education, medical aspects and health and social context factors. Exposure to these topics will ensure you gain an understanding of the many variables relevant to early childhood development.

The foundation of your career

During the programme, you will acquire solid knowledge and theoretical base of child development, environmental influences, medical and educational aspects within the prenatal to five-year period. You will be exposed to a range of evaluation and treatment/intervention approaches and acquire research method, analysis and communication skills, including those for communicating research to the general public.


You will gain skills and knowledge relevant to PhD-level study, a career in early childhood development research, or roles within the medical/educational professions working with infants and young children. The degree is an academic qualification and should not be considered clinical training. However, it is considered a valuable addition to the professional portfolio of those already working in clinical settings or students who are planning to apply to clinical training courses.


The Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (GOS ICH) offers seven MSc programmes as well as an MRes in Child Health encompassing a wide range of topics. Our students come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, from the UK and overseas providing great networking opportunities within and across programmes. We hold social events throughout the year for the whole student cohort to enable networking between students. Students on the master's programmes have the opportunity to join GOS ICH events such as the Otto Woolf lectures hosted by the research and teaching departments. These cover a variety of topics and provide an opportunity to hear from national and international experts and to network at the social event that usually accompanies these events.  

On the Infancy and Early Childhood Development MSc you will also meet and have opportunities to network with professionals from diverse fields including paediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, health visitors, play specialists, dieticians, and early-years educators.

Teaching and learning

We use a variety of teaching methods across the programme. In our core modules, we use lecture-style teaching, interactive seminars, video and online learning as some main features.  Discussion is an important part of all of these, whether face-to-face or online.  We include a number of online interactive and ‘drop-in’ sessions to support academic writing, support in thesis writing. During all of our teaching we use tools such as Mentimeter and other options to support interaction during sessions.

Students will be evaluated by written work (essays, commentaries, research dissertation) and oral presentations. During optional modules assessments may include all of the above or other formats such as writing leaflets for the lay public or creating blogs.

Compulsory (core) modules are delivered as blocks of study normally over 5 full weekdays delivered over a two-week period. However, these may be subject to change depending on timetable demands. Face-to-face contact for each of these is typically between 9:00am - 5:30pm.

A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (60 credits), two to four optional modules (60 credits), full-time one year or flexible study up to five years, is offered.


This MSc in Infancy and Early Childhood Development focuses primarily on the period from prenatal life to 5 years of age, from a variety of perspectives.

In Term 1, you will study Prenatal and Newborn Development, Infant Development, and Applied Statistics for Health Research I. At the start of Term 2, you will study Pre-school Years.

These modules set the foundation for the MSc, preparing you for further topics by introducing the fundamental principles behind a range of methodologies and perspectives in the first postnatal years, they will provide background on the diversity of development, its assessment and management in various domains. You will also acquire research and statistics skills necessary for MSc project completion, and will hand in your research proposal at the end of Term 1. You will also choose your optional modules.

In Term 2, you will complete the last core module, Preschool Years. This module further develops key concepts learnt in Term 1, and links this knowledge to the emerging skills in pre-schoolers, in relation to the health, educational, social/policy and psychological issues relevant to this age.

In Terms 2 and 3, you will work on your research project, as well as take your optional modules. Options are chosen in Term 1, and can be selected from the list provided or by permission from the course Directors and Module Leaders. You will hand in your research project at the end of August.

This programme is available in a modular/flexible mode of a 2 to 5 year period.

Students must complete all compulsory modules plus 60 credits from the list of optional modules during a 2 to 5 year period. The students should discuss their choices with their Personal Tutor.

We recommend that students start with the core modules Prenatal & Newborn Development, Infant Development, Preschool Years and Applied Statistics for Health Research before moving onto their optional modules. The Research Project must be taken in the final year of study.

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 undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Infancy and Early Childhood Development. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Infancy and Early Childhood Development.


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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Infancy and Early Childhood Development MSc Q&A

We welcome you to book your place at our Virtual Q&A sessions. You will meet our Programme Directors, hear about the courses you are interested in and have the chance to ask any questions you might have. These sessions are free and open to all.

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) £34,400

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

There are no additional costs for this programme.

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

Visit the funding and studentship pages of the GOS ICH website for details of funding available to students, including the GOS ICH bursary.

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

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study Infancy and Early Childhood Development at graduate level
  • Why you want to study Infancy and Early Childhood Development at UCL
  • What particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging 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.

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.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.