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Infancy and Early Childhood Development - MSc

Course Description

This degree programme explores the main theories, methods and research findings relating to infants and young children - five years and under - from a variety of perspectives, including psychology, education, and health, and also includes approaches to assessment and intervention.

Degree information

Students will learn about the development of infants and children from in utero life to five years of age from psychology, education, medical, and health and social-related perspectives. This will include coverage of typical and atypical development, maternal/primary caregiver and broader environmental factors and settings including nurseries and other informal learning settings, the importance of early social skills and specific childhood disorders and medical conditions. Students will be exposed to age-specific tools for evaluating typical and atypical development, and to intervention methods appropriate for certain neurodevelopmental disorders. There will be optional modules to allow specialisation within the areas of psychology, education and health, and students will undertake a research project under supervision.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), two to four optional modules (60 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). The optional modules are chosen from a set of approved modules. A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (60 credits), two to four optional modules (60 credits), full-time one year or flexible study up to five years, is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, four core modules (60 credits), part-time one year or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.

Core modules - all core modules from the following list must be taken.
-Research Skills
-Prenatal and Newborn Development
-Infant Development
-Preschool Years

Optional modules - 60 credits of optional modules drawn from the following list (all modules are worth 15 credits unless stated otherwise):
-Infant and Neurodevelopmental Assessment
-Nutrition, Growth and Physical Activity
-Safeguarding and Children in Society
-The Health Child Programme 0-18
-Contemporary Issues in Infancy and Early Childhood Development
-Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education (30 credits)
-Early Childhood Education (30 credits)

Dissertation/research project
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme will be delivered via lectures, seminars and web-based materials (e.g. reading, videos); students will be evaluated by written work (essays, leaflets, commentaries, research thesis) and presentations.


This degree prepares students for progression to higher research degrees, and will enhance knowledge and awareness of the many variables relevant to early childhood development researchers or medical/educational professionals working with infants and young children.

Within this programme, students will acquire a solid knowledge and theoretical base of child development, environmental influences, medical and educational aspects within the prenatal to five-year period. They will meet and have opportunity to network with professionals from diverse fields including paediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, health visitors, play specialists and early years educators. Students will be exposed to a range of evaluation and treatment/intervention approaches and acquire research method, analysis and communication skills as well as communication skills for the lay public.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health is a world leader in the delivery of paediatric healthcare, research and education, and this programme will also take advantage of collaboration with other expert departments of UCL, thereby providing unique opportunities to interface across disciplines. This programme aims to integrate psychological development, education, medical aspects and health and social-related factors. Exposure to these topics will raise awareness of the many variables relevant to early childhood development.

Visit the Infancy and Early Childhood Development - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

For the latest admission requirements, see the website: View Website

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