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Postgraduate course

Psychology of Child & Adolescent Development MSc

Hone your skills and become an expert in the social, emotional and cognitive development of the young.

Children playing

Led by an experienced team of developmental psychologists, the Psychology of Child & Adolescent Development MSc will advance your knowledge. We will focus on social, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological development, moving beyond the traditional focus on childhood and into adolescence.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 degree in Psychology or related subject

    DBS A satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Course overview

Learn about developmental, emotional and behavioural problems, relationships in childhood and adolescence, and cognitive development in the context of legal, health and educational settings.

You will receive advanced training in psychological research methods and culminate your studies through an extended research project relevant to human development. The content and format of the paper should be suitable for publication in an academic journal in the field.

The transferable skills you will gain through this programme include data collection and analysis, research design, decision making, critical thinking and presentation skills.

The programme is structured to provide in-depth knowledge and skills specifically in the psychology of child and adolescent development. It provides excellent research training through a psychological research methods programme designed to meet the ESRC Postgraduate Training & Development Guidelines (2nd Edition, 2015).

The course is structured across three semesters, with teaching typically arranged over two consecutive days.

Course structure

Level 1

If you're studying full time, your programme is split across 3 semesters. In semester one you'll study Child Development and Psychological Research Methods. The Research Methods module will continue into semester two. You'll also study Adolescent Development in semester two and start thinking about your research project. In semester three you'll focus on your research project.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Semester 1

This module aims to provide an advanced psychological study of child development from birth to 12 years. You will engage with scientific research in the field of child development and consider the implications of this research for educational and childcare practice. The content of the module is aimed at those interested in pursuing careers working with children (eg teaching, educational psychology, child clinical psychology) or in continuing to further postgraduate study in the field of developmental psychology.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

Semester 1 and 2

This module is designed to align with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) postgraduate training and development guidelines. As such, it will provide you with a solid grounding in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, which will underpin your research activities across the programme. 

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Semester 2

On this module you will engage critically with research examining adolescent development, including the critical appraisal of the application of research to real world scenarios. The module provides a solid grounding for those wishing to pursue a career working with young people in a variety of occupations (e.g teaching, educational psychology or social work)  as well as those pursuing further study of adolescent development.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

Semester 2 and 3

This final project involves integrating knowledge from prior modules in order to identify and answer a specific research question. You will plan and conduct a research investigation and write up its findings through the production of a written manuscript in a recognised journal format.

Teaching and assessment

You will learn through formal lectures, seminars, supported open learning, independent study and the virtual learning environments.

Our small class sizes and interactive teaching methods enable you to optimise your learning. Module tutors offer weekly office hours when you can access personalised support. You are also allocated an academic tutor with whom you can develop a supportive relationship whilst also working on a set programme of personal, academic and professional development.

Assessment methods include reports, essays and oral presentations. This will help to develop your skills and challenge you to reach your full potential. Formative activities are a chance to receive relevant feedback in preparation for subsequent summative assessments.

Two well-resourced psychology laboratories are permanently staffed by our technical team, who are on hand to offer support and guidance. Technical resources are continually updated and include portable and static eye-tracking equipment, surveillance rooms equipped with HD cameras and ceiling mounted microphones. Additionally you will have access to virtual reality headsets and motion sensors, Biopac physiological recording equipment, specialist software for creating, recording and analysing experimental stimuli and a range of questionnaires and psychometric tests.

Through the Students as Researchers scheme you can work alongside psychology staff as a research assistant on current research programmes. This method gives you the opportunity to collect and analyse data and possibly co-author a published research paper or present it at a national conference.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 degree in Psychology or related subject

    DBS A satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure


  • Applicants will normally have a 2:1 in Psychology or a closely related discipline, although in cases where exceptional performance on the final year project, mitigating circumstances, or relevant employment can be demonstrated, applicants may be considered who have a 2:2.
  • Applicants whose first degree is not in psychology will be accepted on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they have covered sufficient levels of psychology and research methods during their first degree.
  • A satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure is also required as a condition of acceptance onto the course.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English should have IELTS at grade 6.5 or above (including a minimum of 6.5 in the writing component) or another acceptable English Language qualification.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are an alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (full time or part time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course.

You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

This course is now full. 

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