Developmental Psychology MSc develops your understanding of the psychological processes that underlie an individual's social, emotional and cognitive development throughout their life.
To understand any psychological phenomenon fully it is necessary to understand how it develops. The Master’s programme at Kent gives you a deep understanding of the advanced methods, analytical techniques, and theoretical and practical approaches to developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology.
You focus on questions such as: What psychological changes occur during infancy, childhood, and adolescence? What psychological processes drive the development of children? What can psychologists do to promote healthy development in neurotypical individuals and support development among individuals with developmental disorders?
The MSc in Developmental Psychology at Kent is taught by academics and professionals such as educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, child therapists, and speech and language therapists.
The programme draws on the strengths of academic staff and researchers working in the field of developmental psychology, with expertise including language development, representational ability and early social-cognitive understanding of others, singing, infant face processing, the development of prejudice and social exclusion, and developmental psychopathology. MSc students also have the opportunity to use the Kent Child Development Unit (KCDU) (http://www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/childdevelopmentunit/index.html), a resource including child-friendly lab space and a register of 3,000 potential child participants.
As a student within the School of Psychology at Kent, you benefit from our supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research and learning.
All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.
Conducting both basic and applied research in several areas, Psychology at Kent is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research. Our cutting-edge, internationally recognised research in developmental, cognitive, social, and forensic psychology underlies our reputation for research excellence across these areas. We attract excellent visiting scholars and postgraduate students from both within the UK and overseas.
Some of our PhD students are self-funded, and others are funded by grants or awards either from the School, UK or their countries of origin. Some are also paid to undertake part-time teaching within the School. We have a strong track record of attracting ESRC research studentship funding, which involves partnerships with external organisations such as Age UK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and collaborative studentships with partners such as People United.
We provide you with specialised knowledge of a range of theoretical and practical approaches to developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology, including an understanding of how research in developmental psychology can inform policy and practice across educational, health, forensic and clinical professional practice (eg research on language and reading development, social and emotional development).
You study four compulsory modules and two option modules. The compulsory modules are Advanced Statistics and Methodology (SP801), Advanced Topics in Cognitive Development (SP581), Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychopathology (SP854) and a supervised empirical or theoretical dissertation (SP998).
The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
SP801 - Statistics and Methodology (40 credits) SP851 - Advanced Topics in Cognitive Development (20 credits) SP854 - Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychopathology (20 credits) SP998 - Advanced Research Project in Psychology (60 credits) SP802 - Current Issues in Social and Applied Psychology Part 1 (20 credits) SP813 - Advanced Topics in Intergroup Relations (20 credits) SP850 - Advanced Cognitive (Neuroscience) Methods in Practice (20 credits) SP817 - Current Issues in Social and Applied Psychology II :Applications (20 credits) SP842 - Advanced Developmental Social Psychology (20 credits) SP852 - Developmental Psychology in Professional Practice (20 credits) SP853 - The Psychology of Eyewitness Testimony (20 credits)
The programme includes lecture, workshop, and seminar-based teaching, as well as practical demonstrations of modern methods for studying child development (eg behavioural techniques, eye-tracking, electroencephalography), and an individually supervised empirical research project. Assessment is mainly by coursework assignment (4000-6000-word essays), examination (for the Advanced Statistics and Methodology, and the Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychopathology modules only), plus the dissertation.
This programme aims to:
- foster your intellectual development by providing you with specialised knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches to developmental psychology and statistical and methodological expertise in order that you should be well equipped to make your own original contribution to psychological knowledge
- provide teaching that is informed by current research and scholarship and that requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
- help you to develop research skills and transferable skills in preparation for entering academic or other careers as practicing professional psychologists
- satisfy the academic requirements of the knowledge base specified by the British Psychological Society
- enable you to manage your own learning and to carry out independent research
- help you to develop general critical, analytic and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings.
Our Developmental Psychology MSc graduates commonly go into the fields of health, teaching, or further education. Many of our graduates take up roles as assistant psychologists in the NHS with a view to becoming a professional clinical psychologist, or pursue doctoral study and academic careers at higher education institutions. Because the MSc Developmental Psychology programme is taught by academics and professionals, it offers students wide opportunities to pursue a variety of careers.
The programmes we offer help you to develop general critical, analytic, and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings. For example, last year’s graduates have taken up full-time salaried/funded positions as assistant psychologists, as PhD trainees, as healthcare advisers/workers in the private sector and in Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and as specialist charity workers.