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Course content

On this course you study

  • development through the lifespan – from infancy, childhood and adolescence into adulthood and old age
  • stability and change in our physical, cognitive, social and emotional development
  • similarities and differences in the development of individuals and how factors such as biology and environment shape our development

This course is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

The course is ideal if you are a

  • psychology graduate seeking to advance your knowledge of developmental psychology
  • graduate from a non-psychology background wanting to apply developmental psychology in the workplace
  • graduate considering professional training in a developmental field, such as educational psychology or in areas of psychology requiring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
  • graduate considering a research career

During your studies you

  • gain insight into how and why developmental changes take place, for example, in memory, problem-solving ability and emotional understanding
  • explore why children differ in their development, for example, in attributes such as self-esteem and motivation
  • gain a thorough grounding in traditional and contemporary developmental theories
  • gain comprehensive knowledge and experience of developmental psychology research methods, enabling you to carry out good quality research
  • apply your knowledge of lifespan development in various practical settings including education and healthcare

You improve key skills such as • critical thinking • group working • report writing • data analysis • IT ability.

We also offer you the opportunity to gain experience of teaching students on our undergraduate programmes.

International students are most welcome on this course. At Sheffield Hallam University we provide international students with a wealth of support, from pre-arrival right up to, and including, study support while you are studying here. Please see the International Experience Team webpage for more information.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), provided you achieve an overall mark of at least 50 per cent and pass your dissertation. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Course structure

Full-time – one day per week for one year

Part-time – typically one day per week for two years


  • Research issues in developmental psychology
  • Cognitive development and psychobiology
  • Psychology of differential development
  • Psychology of social development
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Continuing professional development

Option module

To make sure you graduate with the degree you want, you also choose an option module from one of the following

  • healthy and clinical ageing
  • clinical neuropsychopharmacology
  • theory and practice in counselling and therapy
  • psychology of criminal behaviour.


  • coursework essays
  • research protocols
  • research reports
  • journal article reviews
  • sample lectures
  • presentations
  • exams
  • individual research project


This is one of the few developmental psychology postgraduate courses to study human development through the lifespan and confer eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

Students completing this course have gone on to apply for both educational and clinical psychology training posts, and have also used the course to assist in career change to working with children or for progression in their current positions.

Our careers central website contains useful careers information for students studying psychology.

Visit the Developmental Psychology MSc page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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