Live Chat Software
Course Information

MSc Developmental Psychology

1 year 2 years School Of Psychology Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

Open Days

Find out about our postgraduate open days and see Lincoln for yourself.

Order a Prospectus

View and download our latest undergraduate and postgraduate publications.

Virtual Open Day


The MSc Developmental Psychology focuses on the social, emotional and cognitive development of children and is designed for graduates and practising psychologists who wish to acquire a specialism in child development.

The School of Psychology has a growing reputation as a centre of expertise in developmental psychology, with research interests in cognitive development, language acquisition, autism, motor development, human-animal interaction, child safety and injury prevention, cultural contexts of development. Research in the School is finding immediate real-world applications. For example, studies into the misinterpretation of canine facial expressions have led to a prevention tool to reduce instances of children being bitten by dogs.

You may have access to the specialist Lincoln Babylab, which is equipped with facilities for preferential looking, listening and eye-tracking as well as a motor lab and research facilities for examining comparative cognitive development.

Days Taught

Teaching is predominantly delivered on a Monday and Tuesday, although students may be expected to attend on other days of the week.

How You Study

The programme starts every year in September. Teaching is predominantly delivered on a Monday and Tuesday, although students may be expected to attend on other days of the week. Part-time students may attend on one of those days.

The programme is taught by experienced research-active staff with a background in developmental psychology, supported by staff from various Schools across the College of Social Science, thereby contributing to a multidisciplinary learning environment.

On some occasions teaching is shared with other Master's programmes, providing opportunities to interact with students from MSc Forensic Psychology and MSc Psychological Research Methods.

The School of Psychology has a thriving research seminar programme in which national and international researchers present their work, which in many cases is directly linked to issues in developmental psychology.

The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, research and one-to-one learning.

Students are expected to engage in at least 2-3 hours of independent self-study for each contact hour.

How You Are Assessed

Assessments for this course are diverse and could include a research proposal, essay, case study, literature review, research report or presentation.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Interviews & Applicant Days

An interview is normally part of the admissions procedure to make sure that student expectations match course expectations.

Entry Requirements

2:1 honours degree in Psychology or an equivalent qualification plus a Grade C in GCSE Mathematics or equivalent. Candidates with a degree and extensive work experience may be considered.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element, or equivalent.

Key Contacts

Dr Karen Pfeffer
+(44) 01522 88 6293


Master's Level

Advanced Research Internship (Option)

As part of this module students have the opportunity to learn about a specific area of research undertaken by a member of staff. This typically involves learning about a member of staff's research publications, research support structures (e.g., grant applications and/or lab work), data collection and data analysis methods, and research dissemination activities (e.g., conferences submission, peer review submission of work).

Students can only choose this option if an appropriate member of staff has been identified and has agreed to supervise the applied research work. Students are typically involved in literature review work, data collection, data analysis and other work related to the specific research interests of the member of staff. The aim of this optional module is for a student to be immersed and engaged in a specific area of research, and to have the chance to carry out pilot research work in this area.

Advanced Research Methods and Skills (Core)

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the basic principles of a range of advanced procedures for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, typically using appropriate software packages such as SPSS and NVIVO. Familiarity with the use of SPSS is assumed in this module. The module focuses on the use of research methods in an applied context and works towards an understanding of more complex methodologies.

Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology (Option)

The focus of this module is on recent research and current applications in development. Taking a topical approach, this module discusses child and adolescent development in relation to contexts and correlates of typical and atypical development, developmental problems and applications. Topics may include specific developmental problems and/or disorders, problems and transitions in adolescence, context-based problems, and interventions.

Basic Programming Skills (Option)

The aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to develop basic programming skills for data analysis and experimentation. Basic programming skills can provide a greater degree of flexibility in data analysis and experimentation than by relying on ready built software. The module typically consists of two blocks: (1) basic programming skills for data analysis, and (2) introduction to programming for experimentation.

Forensic Child Psychology (Core)

This module is designed to consider forensic issues and mental disorders and how they affect children, and the perpetration of offences by children. The focus is on providing the opportunity to develop an understanding of how critical events result in developmental pathways which lead to emotional and psychological problems and possibly of offending behaviour. The module includes developmental trauma and attachment, child protection, effects of victimisation and child/youth offending.

MSc Thesis (Core)

The thesis is designed to allow students to explore in more detail their interests in a specific area of research. It allows the opportunity to design, implement, analyse and write-up a substantial piece of empirical work.

Research Methods and Skills (Core)

This module discusses research designs, research ethics, data collection, data preparation and data analysis and dissemination. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods and skills are covered in this module.

Research Methods in Developmental Psychology (Core)

This module aims to give students the opportunity to practice research-based learning by providing the chance to develop practical skills and exploring the nature of research methods in a wide variety of applications. Overall, the module aims to widen students’ understanding and appreciation of the main principles of how research methods are applied.

Seminar Diaries in Psychological Science (Option)

Students are expected to attend a series of external and internal research seminars within the School of Psychology with the aim of attending a total of 15 seminars across the academic year. Assessment is via seminar diaries submitted twice during the course of the year.

Social and Emotional Development (Core)

This module provides an opportunity to study topics in social and emotional development in depth. These include emotional development, social-cognitive development and selected topics on development in family, school, community and cultural contexts. Typical development, atypical development and the potential applications of psychological research and theory will be considered where appropriate.

Theories and Mechanisms in Developmental Psychology (Core)

This module considers such topics as visual attention, attachment, categorisation, child safety, friendship, language, motoric development and trust from different angles. These include the social and cognitive aspects of these topics, their possible neuropsychological foundations, relevant cross-cultural or critical period issues, psychological tests and research methods relating to these topics, and the implications of atypical development.


Facilities include specialist laboratories for preferential looking, listening and eye-tracking as well as equipment for monitoring motor function and comparative cognitive development.

Other supporting facilities include a psychological test library, an equipment office, lab technicians, a subject librarian, statistical support and dedicated admin support.

Career and Personal Development

As specialists in developmental psychology, graduates may work in a range of areas that value expertise in child development including the police, hospital and care settings, schools, social services and children’s services.

The programme can also provide an ideal springboard for further study such as a PhD in Psychology.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and your meals may be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional you will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay your own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

  2017/18 Entry*
Home/EU £7,300
(including Alumni Scholarship 30% reduction)
(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)
International £13,800
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £77 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Find out if you are eligible.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.