• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Social Sciences
  • Study Mode: Full Time+Part Time

This UK master's degree in Developmental Psychology offers advanced training in understanding social, emotional and cognitive development.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework


You will gain practical experience of conducting psychological research with young children and have a chance to work in real world settings


With a focus on infant and child development, the course addresses a comprehensive range of topics surrounding typical and atypical development. Different theoretical approaches to development will be explored together with consideration of comparative and cross-cultural approaches. You will be taught by academic staff at the forefront of psychological research and conduct a dissertation under their supervision.

A distinctive feature of our course is the opportunity to participate in ongoing research that the University is conducting in partnership with local Education Services for the Research in Practice module. This provides practical experience of conducting psychological research with young children. It also provides the chance to experience psychological work in 'real world' settings and in collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams of professionals.

At Dundee, we have specialised equipment, dedicated laboratories and world-class research facilities. These include EEG labs, a variety of eye tracking technologies, 2D and 3D movement tracking systems and offsite fMRI access via the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Teaching Hospital. Learn more about our research facilities.

We are a small, friendly department which offers focused teaching and research in psychology. This means that we get to know our students and can provide them with the individual support they need throughout their studies. 

Our MSc students have their own dedicated social and study areas within the Psychology building. There is an active student Psychology society, which organizes social events. As Psychology is situated in the School of Social Sciences, it is easy to meet students from other disciplines (e.g. architecture and urban planning, business, geography, law, politics and economics) and to attend seminars outside psychology. This will allow you to situate your learning in a broader social context, as well as to make contact with other students who have come from across the world to study in Dundee. 

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

The practicum offered the unique opportunity to observe child development over an extended period of time.  I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with and shadow an educational psychologist and a speech and language therapist. The dissertation allowed me to pursue my interests in cognitive development in bilingual and monolingual children. Supervision was excellent and I was guided and supported along every step of the process.I feel that the MSc in Developmental Psychology has given me a theoretical understanding of child development and valuable practical experience that will help me in my future career.

Current student

How you will be taught

  • Lectures and seminars
  • In-class group work
  • Workshops
  • Research seminars by invited speakers
  • Training and developmental opportunities (e.g. careers, CVs, presentation/interview skills)

You'll also take part in a research practicum based either in a lab in Psychology or in a ‘real world’ educational setting, providing a unique opportunity to work directly with both children and practitioners.

How you will be assessed

All our assessments are 100% coursework-based, including:

  • essays
  • small seminar-style presentations
  • statistics exercises and quizzes
  • research proposals/reports
  • poster presentation
  • research dissertation


I've had the opportunity to learn from professors from all over Europe, meet and learn from peers from all over the world, and observe and participate in nursery settings in Dundee.  

Shaniya Kiana Morris, Master of Science in Developmental Psychology
United States

What you will study

Core Modules

This is a research assistantship, learning about the design, running and analysis of an experiment. You will participate in ongoing research in a Psychology or Computing lab or in a real-world setting. This is an opportunity to add to your portfolio of research skills.

(20 credits)

By the end of the module, you will be able to survey, review, and critique psychological literature; understand ethical issues in research; generate research ideas, evaluate them, and present a coherent case for a research project. You will have the opportunity to develop your ability and confidence in presenting your work in group presentations, written work and research posters. Assessment is 100% coursework.

(20 credits)

Approaches to collecting and analysing qualitative data, including interviewing (open, semi-structured or structured), ethnographic methods, single and multiple case studies, action research, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, textual analysis, content analysis, focus groups, and analysis of audio and video recordings. The class will involve student presentations and much classroom discussion. Formal assessment for this module takes the form of coursework exercises that require you to demonstrate knowledge about a broad range of methodological perspectives and debates.

(20 credits)

You will undertake a substantial individual research project. Assessment is via a written dissertation and a poster presentation.

(60 credits)

This module will provide an understanding of statistical analyses used in psychological research. Quantitative statistics methods will be explained on a high conceptual level, aiming for students to see links between particular analyses. Using this knowledge, students are encouraged to explore and interpret statistical output as well as clearly present the results. Topics will be taught in the context of design issues and students will analyse published data and replicate research findings. Classes will last two hours combining both lecture and computer workshop methods of teaching. To foster learning, weekly quizzes will be given and knowledge will be assessed using a range of methods such as poster and open-ended questions.

(20 credits)

Advanced Modules

You will also select two advanced modules, usually from the following:

This module provides an in-depth look at research concerning the early development and experience of self-awareness. Discussion of a variety of methodological perspectives (social, cognitive, comparative, cross-cultural) will allow you to develop critical thinking skills concerning research methodology.

Topics usually include:

  • agency
  • objective self-recognition
  • the self in time
  • self-conscious emotion
  • social self-regulation
  • comparative self-awareness

(20 credits)

You will learn to analyse reading development from a biological, cognitive and behavioural point of view, and to consider the implications of this research for practical educational questions concerning the definition, assessment and treatment of reading difficulties.

Topics usually include:

  • definitions of dyslexia
  • brain areas involved in reading
  • interventions
  • visual attention and reading

(20 credits)

Gesture, Cognition and Communication will introduce you to the ubiquitous phenomenon of gesture and asks the question ‘Why do we gesture?’ by exploring the communicative and the cognitive functions that gestures play.

Students will gain a broad understanding of classic and current research on social, emotional and moral development in children and adolescents. They will learn about theories of development and gain experience in their critical evaluation. They will develop their awareness of a variety of methodologies and experimental techniques. Finally, students will gain experience in developing their communication skills. Includes the expression of emotions in infants, social referencing, attachment, social interaction, theory of mind, peer relationships, prosocial and antisocial behaviour, and morality. The impact of atypical development will also be explored throughout the course

(20 credits)

The module provides an introduction to cognitive development in human infants.

(20 credits)

Students from this course have used the qualification to improve their chances of getting on to educational and clinical psychology courses. Others use the research training as a stepping stone to PhD research.

Several students have taken the course to move into jobs as support workers, Assistant Psychologists or have gone on to train as Speech & Language therapists. The higher degree generally improves job prospects when competing against Psychology graduates in other fields of business. 

You should hold, or expect to hold a first or second class honours degree in Psychology or another degree that includes a substantial Psychology component. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Lynne Duncan.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £7,300 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,300 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
International students (non-EU) £18,150 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

You apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below

  Degree Course code
Apply nowDevelopmental Psychology MScP043570

Course Contact

Dr Lynne Duncan
Social Sciences
+44 (0)1382 384630

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