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MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology

Course Description


The overall aim of the course is to provide students with a structured introduction to undertaking research in social and developmental psychology, and in particular:
- to provide students with the opportunity to study at an advanced level substantive topics at the forefront of current research and theorising in social and developmental psychology;
- to enable students to acquire the skills necessary for undertaking independent research in social and developmental psychology;
- to prepare students for research at the doctoral level or its equivalent in other professional contexts.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpympsdp

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:
- A command of current research in specific areas of social and developmental psychology;
- The skills necessary to conduct independent research and practical experience of their use;
- Knowledge of the methodological, philosophical and ethical issues in psychological research;
- The ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.


MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD may apply to do so.

However, candidates should be aware that successful entry onto the MPhil does NOT guarantee
acceptance for the PhD. Every application will be considered on it's merits and must compete with all other applicants for a place on the PhD programme.

Successful applicants will need to achieve a final mark of at least 70% in their MPhil in order to meet the condition of entry.


Students attend lectures during the first and second terms. Social psychology lectures focus on fundamental concepts in social cognition, personality and individual differences, gender, and social representations. Developmental psychology lectures focus on child development and adjustment in changing family and social contexts, developmental psychopathology, children and the law, and gender development.

- Feedback
Submitted work is marked by two internal examiners who give feedback to the students. All submitted marks are moderated by the course director who has an overview of the entire cohort.
In addition, supervisors will give feedback on their research projects during supervision sessions.


- Thesis
A thesis, of not more than 15,000 words in length, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee.
A viva is usually only required for borderline (pass/distinction or pass/fail) students.

- Essays
Two essays, one of no more than 4,000 words and one of no more than 5,000 words on topics falling within areas of study to be prescribed by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Biology.
An exercise of approximately 3,000 words in length, consisting of a critical appraisal of a research paper specified by the Degree Committee.
Course-work as prescribed by the Degree Committee on subjects falling within the fields of statistical and research methods.

- Practical assessment
All students are required to complete assessments for statistical and research methods modules where they are available.

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Find out how to apply here http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpympsdp/apply

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpympsdp

Visit the MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. Candidates who wish to become graduate students in the Department should have a degree in psychology, neuroscience or in another related subject (for example, physiology, sociology, linguistics, computer science, or engineering), which may provide sufficient background for research in specialised areas of psychology (e.g., social, cognitive, or developmental psychology, or cognitive or behavioural neuroscience). Experience and/or training in psychology is not always a requirement, but may be advantageous for some research projects.

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