Psychology of Child & Adolescent Development MSc

Led by an experienced team of developmental psychologists, our MSc in Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development advances students’ knowledge of social, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological development, moving beyond the traditional focus on childhood into adolescence.

York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 20 Full-time Home & EU students: £6,500, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
Full-time or Part-time
Start date
September 2019
Psychological & Social Sciences

Course overview

The MSc in Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development is aimed at students interested in pursuing careers working with children and adolescents (e.g. teaching, educational psychology, clinical psychology) and/or continuing to further postgraduate study in the field of developmental psychology.

The programme features advanced coverage of both child development and adolescent development, combined with advanced training in psychological research methods. It culminates with students undertaking a major independent research project, with supervision, in an area of child and/or adolescent development. In contrast to a traditional Master’s dissertation, the aim of the independent research is to produce a report in the format of a recognised journal in the field which may lead to publication.

In addition to providing students with an advanced level qualification, the course provides opportunities for the development of valuable transferable skills including data collection and analysis, research design, decision making, critical thinking, independent learning and presentation skills. Additionally, students gain an understanding of the social context of development and an understanding of the applicability of developmental psychology to real world scenarios.

Course structure

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

Semester 1:

The Psychology of Child Development. This module provides advanced psychological study of child development from birth to 12 years. The module is designed to facilitate students’ critical engagement with scientific research in the field of child development and their consideration of the implications of this research for educational and childcare practice. (30 credits)

Semester 2:

The Psychology of Adolescent Development. This module provides advanced psychological study of adolescent development. The module is designed to facilitate students’ critical engagement with scientific research in the field of adolescent development and their consideration of the implications of this research for society. (30 credits)

Semester 1 & 2:

Psychological Research Methods. Designed to align with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) postgraduate training and development guidelines, this module will provide students with advanced practical knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The module runs across semester 1 and 2. (60 credits)

Semester 2 & 3:

Research Paper. Starting in Semester 2 and carrying on into the summer, students will integrate knowledge from prior modules to identify and answer a specific research question. Students will plan and conduct a research investigation and write up its findings through the production of a written manuscript in a recognised journal format. (60 credits)

All modules are compulsory.


Teaching and learning

Students receive high quality education and exceptional personal tuition and support. Module-based learning activities include formal lectures, seminars, supported open learning, independent study, and the use of virtual learning environments (i.e. Moodle). Our small class sizes and our interactive teaching methods enable students to optimise their learning. Module tutors offer weekly office hours when students can access personalised support for their learning. In addition, students are allocated an academic tutor in the first week of study, with whom they can develop a supportive relationship whilst also working on a set programme of postgraduate Personal, Academic and Professional Development.

Assessment and feedback

The programme provides a range of assessment types across the modules including reports, essays and oral presentations. This will help develop your skills and challenge you to reach your full potential. Formative activities are designed to enable you to receive relevant feedback about your learning in preparation for subsequent summative assessments.

Research opportunities

Students and are actively encouraged to use our two well-resourced psychology laboratories permanently staffed by our technical team who are on hand to offer support and guidance at the point of need. There is a range of continually updated technical resources for students to engage with in practical work, including (but not limited to) portable and static eye-tracking equipment, surveillance rooms equipped with HD cameras and ceiling mounted microphones, 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.

Additionally, students are encouraged to apply to the Students as Researchers scheme where students can work alongside psychology staff as a research assistant on current research programmes, with the opportunity to collect and analyse data and possibly co-author a published research paper or present it at a national conference.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


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.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the Fees & Funding webpages for more information.

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is now available to help you pay for your Master’s course for students commencing in the 2019-20 academic year. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.


Overseas 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding

How to Apply

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. 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.

Applications for September 2019 should be submitted by 31 August 2019.

Apply Now: Full-time

Apply Now: Part-time


Thank you for bearing with us while our online application form has been undergoing maintenance. We are pleased to confirm that it is now up and running, and you can submit your application using the link above.

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Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

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