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Developmental Disorders - MSc


Lancaster University Department of Psychology

Full time & Part time October MSc 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

About the course

Providing you with an advanced understanding of this specialist discipline, this programme ensures you are ideally placed to excel in your career. Whether you pursue research, practice professional psychology or something else, you will be in a strong position to advance into senior roles.

Lancaster is home to one of the world’s largest centres for developmental psychology research. Specialising in infancy and childhood development, our department is one of the UK’s leading research groups in the discipline. This programme will provide you with advanced insight into psychology and offer you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience that will be hugely beneficial in any career. You will benefit from the world-leading research being conducted by our staff, and our Economic and Social

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Entry Requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Psychology or related cognate discipline.

We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.


Course Content



Where is Lancaster University


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Student Profile(s)

Jemma Coulton

I started the MSc in Developmental Disorders at the University of Lancaster in October 2011. I was excited about the opportunity to return to psychology and chose Lancaster because of the diverse range of topics covered on the Masters course.

The course was well organised and the content was varied and interesting. I was able to further my understanding of developmental psychology and developmental disorders, such as William’s syndrome and autism. I also had the opportunity to study the development of language, speech and hearing and child language disorders, such as dyslexia. I found all of the modules I studied were enjoyable and informative. I also was able to develop my research and statistical skills and to put these into practice while completing my dissertation.

The lecturers, professors and postgraduate coordinators were always approachable and helpful, and went out of their way to make sure that my time at Lancaster was worthwhile and enjoyable.

After graduating from Lancaster I worked as a teaching assistant in a special needs school for children with autism spectrum disorders. I was able to put into practice the knowledge I gained through the masters and develop my understanding of how psychology can be applied to education.

In November I started work as a researcher at the National Foundation of Educational Research. I work as part of the Centre for Assessment, which involves developing educational assessments and conducting assessment related research, particularly in the area of literacy development. I believe that the skills I gained at Lancaster in research methods and statistics, and in the understanding of reading development, were instrumental in gaining this position and continue to be of use as I go further.

Studying the MSc in Developmental Disorders has been extremely beneficial; it has allowed me to further my career and to work in an area which I find fascinating. I have good memories of my time at Lancaster and would recommend the masters to anyone who wishes to further their understanding of developmental psychology.


Kirsten Nokling

2309.gif I found the MSc in Developmental Disorders to be a challenging and thought-provoking year of growth and discovery as I developed and enhanced my skills in analytical writing and my understanding of child psychology.

Having completed the MSc in Developmental Disorders, as a direct result from this additional qualification, I was then offered a full time Assistant Psychologist Post at the Spectrum Specialist Research Centre for the Study of Bipolar Disorder.

In this environment I was able to gain relevant research and clinical experience. I was also able to publish my MSc Thesis in two separate papers. My overall aim was to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. I applied in my first year working as an Assistant Psychologist and gained feedback that a years’ full time experience was required – I only had 6 months at the time of application.

I gained another one year Assistant Psychologist Contract, and have this year been successful in gaining a place at Cardiff on the Clinical Psychology Training Course. Having been offered a job immediately after completing my MSc I had no gaps in my CV, and am certain that this MSc enhanced my chances of employment significantly, resulting in me being successful in my application for this post.

Throughout the MSc course I met many dedicated and knowledgeable staff, and found everyone very happy to help. The lecturers and the postgraduate coordinators, the professors, and the statisticians, all of whom we came into contact with regularly were extremely helpful and caring. Furthermore, I created lasting friendships with my peer groups on the MSc, many of whom I am still see regularly as they work on their PhD programmes.

I particularly enjoyed the MSc thesis as it gives the opportunity for such independent writing and the possibility to study any area which is of interest to each individual and to work at your own pace. It was a very positive experience, and I particularly enjoyed the way postgraduates are treated and valued within the department.


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