Psychology of Child Development MSc

Psychology of Child Development MSc

School of Psychology


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years minimum.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The MSc Psychology of Child Development is designed to advance your knowledge of child psychology and research skills, and is ideal for graduates in Psychology or related subjects and professionals working with children as continued professional development.

You’ll further your knowledge through a number of exciting taught modules and an independent research project tailored to your individual interests. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art research facilities including our specialist Child Observation Suite (COS) which you can utilise as part of your research project. There are opportunities to work to participate in research conferences, peer reviewed publications or work as a research assistant. Our current students regularly publish alongside academics in peer-review journals.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Entry Requirements

Students should have a minimum of an upper second class honours degree in Psychology or an equivalent qualification with sufficient psychology content and research skills, including a suitable dissertation/research project, to enable them to undertake the course.

Students with a relevant lower second class honours degree, but showing a good final year performance, including a good quality dissertation/research project, will be considered on an individual basis.

A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent qualifications.

Programme at a Glance

Modules Include

  • PS4700 Advanced Methods in Psychology
  • PS4906 Advanced Developmental Psychology Project
  • PS4710 Advanced Workplace Credit

  • PS4118 Social Relationships in Childhood
  • PS4211 Development in Context
  • PS4212 Language Literacy and Learning


Further Information

Taught modules account for two thirds of the course and focus on psychology in the classroom, understanding how child behaviours impact on their development, and the impact of types of bullying and anti-social behaviour on children.

The remainder of the course is based on an advanced project where you will be expected to complete an original piece of empirical research in psychology. Staff members with a range of expertise in child development will supervise your research project, and guest lecture visits is an integral feature of the programme to enhance your learning experience. A range of coursework assessments are used to examine your progress.


Child Observation Suite

Students in Child Observation Suite

The Child Observation Suite is a large observation room with mirrored walls. It is equipped with video and audio recording equipment, an L-shaped researcher room from which to observe, including a fully equipped teaching facility with a video editing suite and remote controls for the cameras.

Brain Imaging Laboratory (BIL)

Students in the Brain Imaging Lab

Our Brain Imaging Laboratory (BiL) houses equipment such as electroencephalography (EEG), functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), functional Transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) equipment to enable you to learn the basis of neuroimaging and related techniques to learn more about the brain and brain function.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

The School’s provision is recognised by the British Psychological Society. We continuously engage with employers to make sure our curriculum delivers the skills and knowledge industry needs. These include a number of professionals from various sectors, including NHS Trusts, patient groups, medical practitioners, allied health professionals, the Prison Service, police forces, local education authorities, schools and professional sports organisations.

Learning Environment and Assessment

We aim to provide the best possible facilities for our students. The School is based in the multi-million pound purpose-built Darwin Building. There are specialist teaching and research labs, whilst the Building also includes a state-of-the-art lecture theatre and computer rooms. The modules are delivered in a variety of ways, for example, the advanced methods module is taught via lectures and SPSS workshops. The three child development modules are taught by lectures, interactive workshops and directed reading. The advanced research project involves individual meetings with a supervisor. Assessment is by 100 per cent coursework.

Teaching takes place on a Tuesday, between 11am-4pm, to support those of you with full-time jobs or family commitments, and the course can be completed over 1 year (full-time) or 2 or more years (part-time).

  • The major aim of this MSc. is to provide a quality programme that will develop your knowledge and understanding of Developmental Psychology to a professional level.
  • In particular, the course aims to provide a thorough grounding in methodology and analysis, to produce a well-developed ability to critically assess and synthesise psychological literature, and to develop further your ability to engage in empirical study.

In addition, the aim is to provide coverage of a variety of current topics that will give a good overview of current research and theoretical perspectives in the Psychology of Child Development.

In the spring of 2019 the library dedicated additional space for postgraduate students, the Postgraduate Room in the Library (LIB242). This is a quiet study space with networked PC’s, a small meeting area and a large presentation screen. This area provides an additional resource for our postgraduates alongside the extensive laboratory facilities in the Darwin Building.


 We offer a number of places to students who wish to pursue research degrees (MSc by Research/MPhil/PhD). For more information, please visit Research.

There are opportunities to work to participate in research conferences, peer reviewed publications or work as a research assistant. Our current students regularly publish alongside academics in peer-review journals.