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Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development MSc

MSc Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


Welcome from the Head of Programme

The MSc provides students with the unique opportunity to study developmental psychology across both childhood and adolescence. Drawing on the research interests and expertise of the teaching team the MSc will expose students to contemporary issues in developmental psychology. The team has links with local child and youth based organisations and students will be able to engage with professionals working in related fields.


Why study the Psychology of Child & Adolescent Development?

The programme provides a solid grounding for students wishing to pursue a career working with children or young people or to further develop the knowledge base of individuals already working in a related field. Theories of developmental psychology will be explored and you will be encouraged to consider them in an applied context. You will be given the opportunity to study topics such as: developmental, emotional and behavioural problems, relationships in childhood and adolescence and cognitive development in the context of legal, health and educational settings. Your studies will culminate in the undertaking of a research project in an area of development that is of particular interest to you.

The MSc is suitable for students who wish to use it as a stepping stone to either (a) a PhD; (b) a professional doctorate; or (c) employment in related areas (eg education; social work, third sector, public sector).


What will I study?

Full-time:  You will take two 30-credit modules per semester, followed by a 60-credit dissertation in the spring and summer.

Semester 1:  The Psychology of Child Development; Research Methods.

Semester 2:  The Psychology of Youth; Psychological Science:  Perspectives & Practicalities.

Spring/summer:  A dissertation module, in which students undertake and write up an extended research project (with supervision).

Part-time students take one module in each semester in years 1 and 2, and undertake the dissertation in year 3.


Will I get any practical experience?

You will get practical experience of designing and conducting research.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment will take a number of different forms, including essays; project work; brief reports; presentations; a portfolio; a research proposal and an independent research project.


Staff research interests

The core PCAD teaching team have research interests in a diverse range of areas, including: young people’s social networks, safe use of the internet and related technology, experiences of bullying, children’s event memory and eyewitness testimony, interviewing techniques, children's drawings and the development of pictorial representations and alternative educational approaches.

Teaching on the Psychological Science module is undertaken by academics from across the various research groups within the department, and as such you will have the opportunity to engage with academics with interests in other areas (eg cognitive, social) in addition to their primary focus on PCAD.  Similarly, teaching on the Research Methods module is undertaken by academics from across the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences.


What resources will I have access to?

You will have access to the full range of resources available at the university, including a suite of psychology laboratories, newly refurbished library and learning centre and a range of online resources for learning and research.


Can I get involved with departmental activities?

Our postgraduate students are encouraged to play a full part in the life of the department.  Attendance at research seminars and other events is encouraged, and students will be able to get involved with projects in their areas of interest as appropriate.


Student/graduate profile

We anticipate that graduates from this programme, which is running for the first time in 2012-13, will pursue doctoral study in psychology or related disciplines, or will seek employment in fields such as education, third sector/voluntary sector, or the public sector.


Degree programme information

Programme specifications »