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Postgraduate Course

Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development MSc

Develop your knowledge in advanced areas of social, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological psychological development of young people.

Person in a field with a child on their back

Led by an experienced team of developmental psychologists, our Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development MSc will deepen your understanding of classic and contemporary models of development. This course features investigation into child development and adolescent development, together with advanced research method skills.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, 2 years part time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    2:1 honours degree in psychology or closely related subject

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £8,000 full time

    International 2024-25 £11,300 full time

Course overview

On this course you will learn about psychological aspects of human development from infancy to young adulthood. You will explore social relationships and emotional wellbeing in childhood and adolescence. You will also learn about cognitive and language development, especially as applied to educational contexts.

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 project should be suitable for publication in an academic journal in the field.

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

The course is structured to provide in-depth knowledge and skills 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 and Development Guidelines.

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study 4 compulsory modules.

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete and the modules will be split across both years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the advanced psychological study of child development, from birth to 12 years. You will engage with scientific research and consider the implications of this research for educational and childcare practice. This module is key if you are interested in pursuing a career working with children, for example, teaching, educational psychology and child clinical psychology. It is also relevant should you wish to continue to further postgraduate study in the field of developmental psychology.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

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 course.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will engage critically with research examining adolescent development, including the appraisal of the application of research to real world scenarios. You will gain a solid grounding in key areas relevant to careers working with young people in a variety of settings. You will also be well equipped for further study of adolescent development.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

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

Teaching and learning

You will undertake high quality research training designed to meet the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postgraduate Training and Development Guidelines.

This course provides a range of structured learning across the modules, including:

  • Supervised research
  • Seminars
  • Supported open learning
  • Independent study
  • Virtual learning environments, for example Moodle

You will receive exceptional personal tuition and support. Our small class sizes and interactive teaching methods enable you to optimise your learning. All tutors offer weekly office hours where you can access personalised support.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


In relation to specific assessments, this course provides a range of assessment types across the modules in order to help you develop your skills and challenge you to reach your full potential. Assessments could include:

  • Information sheets for practitioners
  • Academic essays
  • Research skills portfolios
  • Research proposals
  • Oral presentations
  • Examinations
  • Research papers

You will be encouraged to apply to the Students as Researchers scheme where you can work alongside psychology staff as a research assistant on current research programmes.

You can create your own final year research project under the supervision of one member of staff, which you can tailor to your own interests and career goals.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:1 honours degree in psychology or closely related subject

If your first degree is not in Psychology but you have covered sufficient levels of Psychology and research we will consider your application. Applications such as this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry is:

  • £8,000 for full time study
  • £4,000 per year for part time study

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

Funding opportunities

International 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry is:

  • £11,300 for full time study
  • £5,650 per year for part time study

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £8,000 full time

    International 2024-25 £11,300 full time

Alumni Scholarships

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

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While 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.

Accommodation and living costs

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

Career outcomes

Where could Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development take you?

This course could lead you to a career directly related to psychology, such as working as an educational psychologist, or it could take you in a completely different direction, using the many transferrable skills you will develop. These include problem solving, developing arguments, analysing and evaluating information, collaboration, independent working, communication and more.

This will give you an advantage in careers such as:

  • Educational psychologist
  • Counsellor
  • Education consultant
  • Forensic psychologist
  • High intensity therapist
  • Psychological wellbeing practitioner

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £6,500 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2022).

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you need to fill out for this specific course. 

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details. 

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Fees and key information

Apply now

Course highlights

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