This pioneering programme is tailored to the learning needs of busy health and social care professionals including three main course offerings:
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.
Full-time mode (1 year)
Compulsory modules (MSc students only)
Part-time mode (2 years)
Compulsory module (MSc students only)
Stand-alone Postgraduate Certificate
Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.
Our graduates go on to careers in health and social care, or undertake further study in fields such as Clinical Psychology. Students who already have a professional psychology background have been able to launch independent consultancies in social work and psychology.
This unique two-year international programme is offered in collaboration with Yale University. There is a focus on developmental psychopathology drawing on multidisciplinary perspectives, with a specific emphasis on neuroscience. Students spend year one in London, primarily based at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and year two at Yale.
The programme provides students with an excellent foundation in developmental psychopathology and neuroscience, with a focus on:
This two-year MRes has a total value of 330 credits. 135 credits of taught modules are taken in the first year and in the second year, the research portfolio, comprising an oral presentation, proposal, dissertation and research poster, comprises a total of 195 credits.
Year one core modules
Year two core modules
The research portfolio comprises a project presentation – made up of an oral presentation, slides and a written proposal, a written dissertation and a research poster. All students undertake a research project supervised by a faculty member while at Yale, completing a dissertation of 15,000–17,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme comprises lectures, research classes, tutorials, small-group seminars, and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is predominantly through essays, statistical assignments, a piece of science communication and unseen examinations. In the second year assessment will be based on the research portfolio - comprising an oral presentation, written research proposal, the dissertation and a poster. Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology MRes
Typically our students are interested in pursuing a research or clinical career. Of students who graduated within the last two years, 23% are now enrolled on PhD programmes; 38% are employed as research associates, 23% are undertaking further training and the remaining 16% are undertaking clinical work.
The two-year structure allows students to not only develop in-depth theoretical knowledge and research skills but also provides the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of research under the mentorship of a leading Yale academic and their research lab. A grounding in quantitative analysis and fMRI/EEG skills combined with a focus on clinical disorders during childhood make students particularly attractive as prospective PhD candidates and doctoral Clinical Psychology applicants. Students are encouraged to publish their research where possible.
Some students seek voluntary clinically relevant experience across both years, which is particularly helpful for those considering applications to Clinical Psychology doctoral programmes.
Students acquire excellent research skills in statistical analysis and a grounding in neuroimaging methods, including fMRI and EEG, and expertise in critical evaluation of research.
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. Please note: during the course of the academic year 2018/19, the centre will relocate from Hampstead to a new, purpose-built campus near King's Cross Station.
UCL Psychology & Language Sciences undertakes world-leading research and teaching in mind, behaviour, and language. The division has excellent links with other universities including Yale, providing unique research and networking opportunities for postgraduate students.
Our work attracts staff and students from around the world. Together they create an outstanding and vibrant environment, taking advantage of cutting-edge resources, including state-of-the art neuroimaging equipment.
The division offers an extremely supportive environment with opportunities to attend numerous specialist seminars, workshops, and guest lectures.
You can view video testimonials from previous students on The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families webpage
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.