How do children learn to reason in increasingly abstract ways? How do they learn language with such remarkable speed and fluidity? How do children use their reasoning and language skills to help them explain and understand people’s behaviour and emotions? Why does the amount of information that we can hold in mind at once increase from early childhood to adulthood? Why does children’s ability to control their own thinking, attention and behaviour improve as they get older? How does the development of children’s brains affect their behaviour, memory and ability to learn?
In this taught programme on Developmental Cognitive Science, you will learn how questions like these can be addressed using research techniques from several inter-related disciplines (e.g., Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Computational Science, Neuroscience, Linguistics).
This programme aims to enhance your understanding of key theoretical and practical issues about typical and atypical development in children and young people, from a cognitive science perspective. It also aims to equip you with the skills required to conduct independent scientific research that addresses key issues in developmental cognitive science.
The University of Edinburgh has a long tradition of research expertise in developmental psychology and in cognitive science. This programme brings these two strands together focusing on a developmental cognitive science approach to both typical and atypical development in children and young people.
You will benefit from the breadth and strength of the interdisciplinary academic community at Edinburgh, for example by having the opportunity to select option courses and attend research seminars across different disciplines.
You will undertake the following:
Core courses (worth 100 credits in total):
2 option courses worth 20 credits in total:
And a Dissertation in Developmental Cognitive Science (60 credits)
The overall aim of the proposed programme is to advance students’ understanding of how questions about developmental changes in children’s cognitive abilities can be addressed using scientific methods drawn from a range of fields, including developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, computational modelling, neuroscience and linguistics. More specifically, the programme aims to:
Students who successfully complete the programme will be able to:
Career opportunities for graduates from this programme include:
Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:
This programme combines psychological theory, research, and application to the study of cognitive functioning, its typical development through childhood and ageing, and its deficits as encountered in a range of disordered populations.
We draw on theory and methodologies derived from multiple perspectives including cognitive, clinical, health, educational, biological, and social psychology, along with neuropsychology, neuroscience, and gerontology. In all cases, approaches are informed by research methodologies that provide an evidence base for their implementation. Using this broad approach, the programme aims to improve understanding of cognitive development and its disorders, and to demonstrate how this informs development of new techniques for improving assessment of cognitive functioning, diagnosis of deficits, and delivery of support, intervention, and training in education, gerontology and clinical contexts. Furthermore, reflecting the research-led focus of this programme, advanced-level training in research methods will be provided in dedicated modules and embedded within subject-specific modules.
This rich programme draws on many levels of analysis, aspects of psychological theory, research, practice and policy. You will be taught and supervised by subject experts, who actively research and publish in their area, and work with the NHS, industry, charities and other organisations to improve educational, developmental, clinical, and health outcomes.
The School of Psychology is a large and thriving department which has expanded rapidly over the last five years. There are now over 70 members of academic, research and support staff, including nine professors. We offer high quality research-led teaching and you’ll be actively encouraged to engage in ongoing research. Much of this research is collaborative with government departments, research councils, the NHS and industry.
We offer a lively learning environment with modern facilities for teaching and research, which aims to produce graduates equipped with current knowledge and the ability to apply this to different populations.
The programme offers a unique combination of advanced training in research methods and systematic reviewing; subject-oriented modules designed to explore research-led applied perspectives in development, ageing, and neuropsychology; the opportunity to carry out a research project working under close supervision of leading experts in the area; and a Masters-level elective selected from a range of choices across the university.
The programme incorporates a range of teaching methods including workshops, presentations, problem solving approaches and small group discussions, as well as the more traditional lecture and seminar formats. We expect students to spend the remainder of their study time in independent learning, guided by reading lists and assessments.
Innovative forms of assessment such as online group work, short reports, individual and group presentations and case studies sit alongside exams and essays to extend the repertoire of students' skills.
The programme’s exploration of typical and disordered child development, adulthood, and cognitive ageing, and its extensive coverage of research skills, systematic reviewing, and project work, makes this a versatile option for a range of career paths. It will be highly suitable for students wishing to pursue a research-oriented path, with this MSc programme forming a sound basis for subsequent PhD study. The coverage of cognition and its development in healthy and clinical groups should support paths into careers including clinical and educational psychology.
The School of Psychology organises several careers events throughout your time at Leeds. You’ll also have a personal tutor, who’ll offer support through our Leeds for Life approach.