The MSc Attachment Studies course provides students with a specific qualification in the assessment of child and adult attachment, parenting and family functioning. Designed for health and social care professionals, our aim is to prepare you to be at the forefront of the next generation of attachment scholars and practitioners.
This course is best suited for professionals who are interested in broadening their skills in assessing attachment, improving the outcome of interventions with their clients and conducting small or large scale research projects. Central to the programme is the Patricia Crittenden’s Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment combined with a culturally sensitive approach uniquely applicable to alleviate the suffering of distressed and traumatised people.
A unique feature of this programme is the opportunity to learn how to apply and conduct a wide range of assessments and procedures for forensic, clinical or research purposes. All students are required to learn to code at least one procedure where you will be able to achieve clinical or research levels of reliability in analysing the results. You can also learn to give and to analyse bio-physiological measures such as cortisol levels, EEG and heart rate variability.
Although this course does not offer therapeutic training, you will be taught by experts in the field to gain the necessary knowledge to formulate intervention plans and select therapeutic approaches that will benefit your clients.
You will gain a comprehensive understanding of attachment theory including the latest developments in the neuroscience of attachment relationships and parenting. Our systemic approach broadens the study of attachment from mothers and infants to the attachment of older children, adults, family systems and the wider social and community networks.
The interdisciplinary focus on both practice and research is invaluable for students interested in a research career in the field of attachment studies. Examples of recent and current PhD students’ research include the development of the Meaning of the Child to the Parent Interview, the physiology of developmental trauma (PTSD) in children, the effectiveness of play therapy with traumatised children, and attachment in chimpanzees reared by humans.
In this course, you will gain a variety of skillsets and knowledge through a substantial coverage of the underpinning attachment theory and research. This includes an understanding of the latest development in the neuroscience of attachment and trauma. You will study core concepts of attachment and Dynamic Maturational Model theory, family systems and object relations theory and primatology.
You will also gain a comprehensive knowledge in learning how to administer a wide range of validated attachment and family assessments applicable for use with adults and children of all ages. Examples of these procedures are:
This programme offers innovative modules such as the infant mental health module, research methods and the formulation of intervention plans. The infant mental health module is designed to deepen your knowledge of early years development and includes an introduction to the Infant CARE-Index. You will also observe a young child in a natural setting. Besides observing a traditional mother-child relationship, this assessment module also includes observations of older children, adults, family and wider systems.
The research methods module prepares you to design and carry out single case study or small sample empirical research. You will also be able to learn how to administer and analyse bio-physical assessments such as heart rate variability, cortisol and EGG and eye tracking.
The formulation module teaches you to interpret the results of attachment assessments and select the intervention most likely to succeed with a particular client or family. We also offer a forensic model of assessment designed for use with courts and other decision-making forums.
Here are examples of the modules:
Designed for busy social care professionals, the Certificate in DMM Attachment based family assessment and intervention enables you to build upon your skills at a pace that suits you.
The Certificate is available for students who would like to apply directly to the University of Roehampton, or it can be delivered by your workplace for employees with a minimum of ten students.
Careers in psychology and social work.
This two year full-time programme integrates theoretical learning, clinical skills and in-depth personal development to prepare graduates for clinical practice, predominantly with children, as a professional play therapist within the public and private sectors.Based on a humanistic person-centred model of therapy, this course emphasises the use of play within a therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client to facilitate therapeutic change. The course encompasses theoretical, practical and experiential learning. With our holistic approach to teaching, you will be provided with thorough and systematic knowledge, experience, skills and the confidence to work as a professionally qualified play therapist. At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of therapeutic techniques and approaches that are required for professional registration purposes.
This course leads to a qualification that entitles you to registration as a Full Member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) whose register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). You will be taught by experienced practitioners who are practising play therapists and will bring the teaching on the course to life by drawing upon their own clinical experiences and case materials.
All students are required to be in personal therapy for the duration of the course and will complete two specified periods of supervised clinical placements alongside their studies. Key areas that you will study include human development and growth, play therapy theory and skills and young child observations (attachment theory). Integral to the programme is your own personal development which will be supported by personal therapy and experiential process groups.
This intense, rigorous and comprehensive programme is made up of ten modules that encompass the theoretical, practical and experiential learning experience required to become a professional play therapist. All modules are designed to prepare you for child-centred therapeutic practice that is theoretically sound and emotionally aware, complying with the core competencies of a play therapist as specified by the British Association of Play Therapists.
The clinical placements are a central component to the training in this programme. In your first year, the modules will include experiential learning to prepare you for your first work placement, as theoretical understanding will give you a strong grounding for your clinical practice. Your professional development is inter-related with the development of theoretical knowledge, skills and personal awareness. Within the clinical placements you will synthesise, integrate and apply all aspects of your learning into practise.
In the second year, you will build upon your play therapy skills and knowledge from your first year modules. You will have the opportunity to develop and explore your understanding of the theory and practice of play therapy in relation to working with different client groups and more complex needs. You will also synthesise your theoretical knowledge and clinical experience to pursue your research interest in the Research Portfolio module. A clinical issue, your own clinical work or a professional issue may provide the inspiration for this research project. Recent research areas have included: child-centred play therapy and the use of therapeutic boundaries, play therapy and unresolved bereavement issues, play therapy in schools, and play therapy and different cultural beliefs.
Here are examples of the modules:
Graduates work as a registered play therapist for both the private and public sectors.
Our unique MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme allows you to study theory while benefitting from hands-on research experience.
It covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods and allows you to develop research approaches to studying psychology, from the level of social groups through to neuro-imaging of brain activity.
Our MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme is designed to provide you with expertise in psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences.
You will develop the skills necessary for critically evaluating research, formulating innovative research questions, conducting empirical research, and analysing, interpreting and reporting research results.
The programme covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways. By the end of the programme, you will have developed an individual profile of research skills.
The programme also provides an ideal stepping stone for research at PhD level.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Students who have completed the Psychology programmes have progressed to a range of careers in areas such as local government, management, research posts in universities and commercial organisations, healthcare and clinical psychology, and many have progressed on to study for a PhD.
We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects.
As a student of the Department of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.