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Child Psychology MSc

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2015
Part time 2 years September 2015

Choose Kingston's Child Psychology MSc

This course is a research-led, innovative programme in child psychology. It focuses on the advanced study of psychological development with regards to children and the implications of psychological theory and research for policy and practice. If you are interested in pursuing a research or professional career in child / developmental psychology this course is ideal. Childcare professionals will find that it enhances your knowledge and provides a valuable opportunity for continuing professional development.

What will you study?

You will be introduced to the theories of developmental psychology and encouraged to consider them in relation to the ‘real world'. This course will also focus on empirical research in typical and atypical development. In addition you will have the opportunity to study topics such as education and school issues, health, developmental disorders, and the issues and factors influencing the development of children's relationships. You will also complete a dissertation on a topic in child psychology and you will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a work placement as part of this course.


Essays, in-class tests, presentations, unseen examinations, laboratory reports and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This core module will introduce students to a broad range of cognitive topics and theories in child psychology. The content of the module will examine key cognitive and developmental theories in child psychology and the current applications of these theories in core areas of research in cognitive development. This module will allow students to examine the practical applications of a developmental theory and research through the development of a research proposal and to develop their critical evaluation skills in an essay.

  • The content of the module will examine a broad range of key theories and empirical research in relation to development in both typical and atypical populations. This module will also allow students to examine a range of methodologies employed in studies of typical and atypical populations.

  • This module is a core module in the MSc Child Psychology and MSc Psychology fields. The module introduces students to the essentials of psychological experimentation and to a range of analysis techniques making use of basic and more advanced (e.g. multivariate) methods. Both experimental and correlational methods are considered along with appropriate techniques of data analysis (e.g. analysis of variance and multiple regression). Both theoretical and practical aspects of experimentation are discussed. The laboratory workshops combine formal teaching with sessions involving hands-on activities. Core factual material is provided via StudySpace with workshops being used to explain key concepts and techniques. The module provides an essential introduction to practical work in psychology, in particular for the MSc dissertation project.

  • The dissertation project will be based on a critical literature review addressing complex and contradictory evidence and will usually require carrying out an empirical study using one or more methodologies of data collection such as experiments, observation, psychometric testing, surveys and questionnaires, interviews and field studies. In all cases, the dissertation will involve the analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data, as well as the presentation and critical evaluation of research findings. Through independent study and meetings with a project supervisor, the dissertation project will allow students to better understand the role of research methodologies, theoretical considerations and ethical issues in psychological research.


Optional modules

  • This module provides students with the opportunity to identify and address real-world issues that can benefit from research input by psychologists. Students will gain an appreciation of the challenges of conducting research in professional settings. Students will gain 50 hours of work experience working in a placement to identify and/or applying psychological research findings in a chosen context under the supervision of a workplace supervisor. In addition, 10 seminars will be held at the University where case studies and examples from current placements will be used to compliment the learning objectives. Students will be required to contribute and draw examples of their experiences in their work place and how this informs research in their specific placements. 

    It is expected that students will arrange their own work placements, the suitability of which will be discussed and agreed upon with the module leader and/or the course director. In the absence of an external placement, students will be offered a work placement in the Department of Psychology where they will contribute to a current programme of research relevant to their studies.

    The nature of the work will usually be determined in part by the focus of the postgraduate programme that the student is following. For example, students of child/developmental psychology may choose to collect data or implement research-led practice in local nurseries and schools; students of clinical psychology may evaluate the efficacy of procedures adopted by local rehabilitation services; and students on the Masters in Behavioural Decision Making are likely to choose a placement in organisation that monitors behavioural change.

    Please note that were appropriate, you will be required to ensure that you have CRB checks in place and if collecting data in the workplace, then the appropriate ethical approvals are in place prior to collecting data.

    The workplace activity is intended to extend students’ independent research skills in relevant contexts as well as enhance future employability.

  • Social development concerns how children become members of their social world and learn how to interact with others in social contexts.  This course explores the concept of social development and examines social relationships throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence. You will explore key issues related to social development in childhood. These will include the early beginnings of social development, development of self and relationships with others, the importance of peers as well as peer rejection and exclusion, child and contextual factors in social development and the importance of family, community and culture.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

For further information

Postgraduate admissions administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2361
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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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