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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    12 Months

  • Course Type


  • Last Updated

    15 February 2018

Course content

This course focuses upon both infant and child development, addressing a broad range of topics concerning typical and atypical development. Consideration is given to diverse aspects of cognitive and social development, issues of theory in developmental psychology, and psychopathology. The course is research-led and all staff are research-active, regularly publishing in the discipline's leading journals.

Why study Developmental Psychology at Dundee?

The MSc in Developmental Psychology draws upon the recognised expertise of numerous research-active staff, and addresses a broad range of material, including the scientific study of infancy and childhood, and typical and atypical development.

The School of Psychology has specialised equipment, dedicated laboratories and world class research facilities. These include EEG labs, many eye tracking systems, 2D and 3D movement tracking systems, and offsite fMRI access via the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Teaching Hospital. Learn more about our research facilities.

A distinctive feature of this course is that students have the opportunity to participate in the Fife Education Early Years Collaboration between Fife Council and this University for their Research in Practice module. Unusually, this provides 'hands on' experience of conducting psychological research with young children. It also gives students the chance to experience at first hand psychological work conducted in 'real world' settings.

Every full-time MSc student in the department is entitled to use computer facilities available in the Psychology department and throughout the University. We provide access to all the basic software tools that you are likely to need for your MSc.

Aims of the Programme

This course will enable you to:
Pursue and develop the advanced study of research methods in Psychology and in particular to address contemporary issues of epistemology, data collection, measurement and data analysis

Approach problems in research by critical evaluation of existing psychological paradigms and research literature and to apply this to current theoretical or applied issues in Psychology

Develop advanced research skills which will be relevant to policy and practice in the workplace

Develop and demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in research design, methodology and statistical analysis

Develop and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of current research in a specialised field of experimental or applied Psychology

Engage in the analysis, synthesis, planning, execution and evaluation of research at an advanced level

Make an original contribution to scientific knowledge, methodology or practice in a research project either grounded in experimental psychology or in an applied area relevant to the learner's employment

Develop and practice dissemination and presentation skills to peers and to wider academic and professional audiences

Provide an advanced understanding of scientific issues in the chosen topic specialisation.

Who should study this course?

This course is aimed at:
Psychology graduates wishing to enhance their knowledge of Developmental Psychology

Graduates considering a professional training in a developmental field, such as Educational or Clinical Psychology

Psychology graduates intending to progress to a PhD in Developmental Psychology

This course is also suitable for professionals working with children since many topics have obvious application to real-world problems (for example, attachment and its impact on behavioural and emotional development; nutrition and its role in cognitive development; the impact of marital breakdown on psychological development; etc)

Postgraduate culture

We have a close postgraduate community with a diverse combination of nationalities. The School runs a Postgraduate seminar and a departmental seminar twice weekly throughout teaching semesters, with invited speakers to the seminars. These seminars are a great way to broaden your awareness of contemporary issues within the field of Psychology, to present your own work, and to network with other postgraduate students.

The School of Psychology also has its own facebook group, where you can find out more about their activities.

How you will be taught

One-on-one supervision of a literature review and a research dissertation by a single tutor is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided. Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, peer assessments of oral presentations, problem-solving assignments and feedback, and interactive computer assignments. Some of the exercises will be group-based and will be followed by presentation of the results of the analysis. Learners will be expected to be able to respond adequately to questions relating to the interpretation of the analyses.

What you will study

Core Modules:

Research Foundations
Qualitative Research Methods
Advanced Quantitative Methods
Research Dissertation
Research in Practice
Two Advanced Modules, typically from:

Developmental Psychopathology
Reading Development and Disability
Social, Emotional and Moral Development
Altered States of Consciousness
Comparative Communication and Cognition
Health in Groups
Evolution and Behaviour
Decision Making
Gesture, Cognition and Communication

Or One Advanced Module (from above) plus a Research in Practice module:

Fife Council Education Department Practicum Project

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework only. Each module is worth 20 credits apart from the Research Dissertation Module which is worth 60 credits. The total number of credits awarded is 180 for an MSc course.


Students from this course have gone on to do PhDs and have used the qualification to improve their chances of getting on to clinical and education psychology courses. Several students take the course to improve their chances of getting jobs as support workers in paediatric settings and Assistant Psychologists. The higher degree also generally improves job prospects when competing against other Psychology graduates in other fields of business.

Visit the MSc Developmental Psychology page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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