The aim of the MSc Developmental Psychopathology is to provide advanced research training for students interested in pursuing careers in the field of research, child development and clinical or educational psychology. The subject-specific and generic postgraduate training provided by the course enables students to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding required of a professional conducting research in clinical, child development or other fields.
Research training forms a key focus of the MSc programme. In addition to providing training in basic research, the course aims to integrate research perspectives from clinical and educational psychology. This distinctive emphasis is reflected in the learning outcomes, structure and assessment of the course.
Teaching is generally organised into a number of 10 week course units involving 2 to 3 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops. Each 10 week unit is assessed by means of formative and summative assessments. The summative assessments count towards the final degree outcome. For the programme as a whole, the assessments include examinations, written assignments, oral presentations and the dissertation.
The programme is delivered predominantly through a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshop classes. Lectures provide key information on a particular topic, such as ‘autism spectrum disorder’ or ‘developing interventions’. Seminars are held in order that smaller group teaching can take place, with focused discussion on specific topics. Finally, practical workshop classes allow students to gain direct experience, particularly in Applied Statistics and in how to use statistical tools.
The balance of this type of activity varies as a function of the module. This is a one year course, with students having a summer term to work on their dissertation related activities. Students typically attend approximately 12 hours a week comprising lectures, tutorials and seminars. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and broaden their subject knowledge, as well as completing their dissertation. Independent study is a key element to the course, with complex factors raised in lectures that do assume some prior knowledge of the topic area.
The programme is divided into three parts. One third, comprising three modules, is of subject specific topics related to developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology (with a specific focus on neurodevelopmental disorders). A further three modules focus on research skills such as critical thinking abilities and statistical knowledge that are necessary to understand developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology. The final third of the programme is the dissertation module, which reflects the culmination of learning and practical endeavours from throughout the course via the production of an independent and original body of research material. This is performed under supervision with a member of staff, with meetings varying in duration and frequency throughout the year as a function of the needs of the research project and the student.
The MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience is aimed at home and international students who are seeking to build on their undergraduate qualifications to develop their project management skills and theoretical knowledge for a career in research or related disciplines. In addition, the programme is aimed at those from closely related science backgrounds to build up a knowledge and practical experience of cognitive neuroscience and psychology before embarking on a psychology related career. As the theoretical background to, and techniques of, cognitive neuroscience are rarely available to students at undergraduate level, the main objective of this MSc is to provide students with detailed historical, philosophical, theoretical and practical knowledge of a broad range of cognitive neuroscience techniques. This wide-ranging knowledge will make students extremely strong candidates for future research positions, and provide them with an ability to develop broad research programmes, utilising a range of techniques, as independent researchers.
Teaching is generally organised into a number of 10 week course units involving 2 to 3 hours of lectures, seminars and practicals per week. Each 10 week unit is assessed by means of formative and summative assessments.
The summative assessment counts towards the final degree. For the programme as a whole, this assessment is divided (with small variations across programmes) in equal proportions between examinations (33.3%), written assignments (33.3%) and dissertation (33.3%).
The MSc Cognitive Neuroscience is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical sessions, workshops and lab placements.
Lectures provide key theoretical information on general topics such as cognition, emotion and neuropsychology and in depth knowledge of a range of techniques used in cognitive neuroscience research (focusing on their strengths and weaknesses). This core knowledge is then enriched by seminars, workshop, practical sessions and lab placements.
While seminars and workshops allow student-led discussions with the aim of developing their critical thinking, their oral communications and their writing skills, practical sessions provide students with in-depth and hands-on knowledge of selected research techniques as well as programming skills (i.e. Matlab included in the Techniques in Cognitive Neuroscience module) - most wanted key abilities in cognitive neuroscience research. Importantly, practicals also include the application of a range of widely-used statistical tests and a critical understanding of research design, project management and data presentation. All skills that are easily transferable to any future career the students might decide to pursue.
Lab placements are a crowning point of the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience. They allow students to experience directly the “laboratory life” by observing and helping members of staff calibrating lab equipment, recruiting participants and collecting/analysing data. This is a unique opportunity for the students to witness leading experts at work in their own laboratory.
Finally, the dissertation module will give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge of theoretical principles, research skills and statistical techniques during the complete life cycle of a research project, by undertaking a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research.
Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and broaden their subject knowledge.
Altogether, the program is focused on supplying students with broad theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical experience on cutting-edge research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology before embarking on a psychology related career.