This programme, run in conjunction with, and based in the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, provides a unique foundation for individuals interested in pursuing a psychotherapy training or an academic career in childhood development. The programme combines psychoanalytic theory of development and inter-family relationships with a year-long observation of infants in a family setting, and a research project.
Covid-19 programme updates
Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.
Modes and duration
Please note this programme is now only offered on a full time basis and no longer has a part time option.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students develop a theoretical grounding in psychoanalysis as related to child development and clinical practice. Observations of parents and children allow students to witness some of these theoretical constructs in real world contexts and help students develop the observational skills essential in clinical work. The research teaching covers qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and gives students the tools necessary for conducting reliable, valid and ethical research.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is also offered on a full-time basis.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology.
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.
- Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Child Development I: Infancy
- Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Child Development II: Toddlerhood and Early Childhood
- Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Child Development III: Latency and Adolescence
- Psychoanalytic Thought: Introduction to the Clinical Theory of Psychoanalysis
- Psychoanalytic Thought: Developments and Applications
- Research Methods II: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
- Observation I: Parent Infant
- Research paper
Students choose one of the following:
- Observation II: Observation of a Young Child
- Parenting: Theory, Research and Clinical Intervention
- Evaluating Clinical Interventions
- Multiple Perspectives on Developmental Psychopathology I
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, and theory and observation seminars. Seminar groups are small, often led by clinicians and allow plenty of opportunity for discussion and reflection. Research work is supported by an individual supervisor and by workshops throughout the year. Assessments include a variety of essays, examinations, observation papers and a research paper. Assessment occurs throughout the programme (usually at the end of the relevant module).
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families offers two bursaries of £3,000 for this MSc programme (one bursary is for mature students only) which are open to UK and EU students. They 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 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.
Students who successfully complete the MSc can apply their degree in a variety of settings. Our graduates have found work as psychology assistants or child mental health workers, taken up posts as research assistants and have been admitted to psychotherapy trainings in both adult and child programmes and to PhD positions.
Why study this degree at UCL?
Teaching on 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.
The MSc is based within UCL's Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, one of the world’s leading integrated departments of research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language.
Testimonials from previous students are available on the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families website.
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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
Usually, prospective students have an undergraduate degree in psychology or another relevant social, clinical or life science discipline and have obtained some prior experience of related research. However, we also welcome applicants from other academic backgrounds and mature students already working with children or families. Some experience of working with children is also desirable if possible.
- All applicants
- 24 February 2020
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 Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology at graduate level
- why you want to study Psychoanalytic 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.