MSc Developmental Psychopathology
The MSc in Developmental Psychopathology is the most popular taught postgraduate programme in the Department of Psychology.
The MSc in Developmental Psychopathology is aimed at students who are seeking to build a clinical or research related career in developmental psychology or psychopathology. It therefore focuses on building project management skills and knowledge of developmental psychology and psychopathology. In addition, the programme is aimed at those from closely related science backgrounds to build up a knowledge and practical experience of developmental psychology before embarking on a psychology related career. Students on this course typically go on to pursue careers in clinical psychology or in research.
The programme is aimed at providing advanced research training for students interested in pursuing careers in the fields of child development and child health. The Department of Psychology at Durham University has particular strengths in these areas, with teaching reflecting the breadth of knowledge within the department (Research Groups). This MSc provides students with detailed historical, philosophical, theoretical and practical knowledge of a broad range of developmental topics and techniques. This wide-ranging knowledge will makes students extremely strong candidates for future positions in clinical programmes.
The course is available full-time, commencing at the beginning of October for the duration of one year. It is aimed at UK and international students who are seeking a future career in clinical psychology. The Course Director is Dr David Williams.
This is a full year course. Teaching is primarily organized into a number of 10 week course units involving 2 to 3 hours per week via lectures, seminars and practical sessions. The course comprises modules taught across three terms, together with a dissertation conducted throughout the year (see below). Modules are divided into 8-10 week teaching blocks. Teaching and course material is 'step-linked' so that knowledge builds up over the course of the programme.
The programme is inherently broad ranging; as developmental psychology uses a wide range of methodologies to explore many different aspects of development, considered from positions as diverse as health psychology through to cognitive psychology. As a consequence, our modules cover a wide range of techniques and their use in a variety of topics. The MSc will provide students with a wide range of knowledge (both theoretical and practical) and transferable skills including various professional ways of disseminating knowledge. The MSc can be divided into three subsections of equal weighting. One third is the dissertation, one third is related to the development of critical research skills and one third is from modules related to developmental psychology.
Subject Specific Modules
Current Issues in Developmental Psychology (15 Credits) investigates current major trends in developmental psychology. It provides a basis for tackling the complexity of development, and allows us to put developmental research and issues into a wider framework of understanding.
Current Issues in Developmental Psychopathology(15 Credits) considers topics related to our current understanding of developmental psychopathology. We also consider the relationship between typical and atypical development. Topics covered include eating disorders, autism and SLI.
Research Design in Child and Clinical Psychology(15 Credits) covers issues when dealing with these special populations, in terms of how we assess and measure issues with these populations. It is taught via lectures and practical exercises.
Advanced Developmental Psychopathology Review (15 Credits) involves interaction with a supervisor who will mentor you during the production of a compehensive literature review.
Core Research Skills Module
Applied Statistics (30 credits) provides training in the selection, interpretation, and application of statistical methods. Statistical techniques studied include ANOVA, regression analysis, categorical data analysis, and exploratory statistical techniques. This unit provides hands-on experience of research methods and research tools.
Research Practice (15 Credits) provides training in data management, accessing information sources, project organization, and the fundamentals required in order to perform research in an applied manner.
Critical Analysis (15 Credits) provides the analytical skills required to engage with and evaluate work derived from psychological research. As the ability to compare and contrast conclusions and positions is essential for disambiguating competing psychological claims, this module will focus on the nature of the peer review process, academic publishing and the construction and validity of research articles from different psychological sub-disciplines.
The Dissertation module (60 Credits) represents an opportunity for students to undertake in-depth research work in a particular area to answer a particular empirical question and builds on both the general background to scientific methodology introduced in the core research skills module, as well as the in-depth subject knowledge provided in the other modules. As such, it represents the culmination of the learning that has taken place throughout the year on all modules.
Each 10 week unit is assessed by means of one formative assignment and one summative assessment. The summative assessment counts towards the final degree. For the programme as a whole, this assessment is divided in relatively equal proportions between examinations (33.3%), written assignments (33.3%) and the dissertation (33.3%).
Current Issues in Developmental Psychology Seminars: 25 hours
Current Issues in Developmental Psychopathology Seminars: 25 hours
Research Design in Child and Clinical Psychology Seminars: 25 hours
Advanced Developmental Psychopathology Review Tutorials: 4 hours (and mentoring sessions)
Applied Statistics Lectures: 22 hours and Practical Sessions: 44 hours
Critical Analysis Seminars: 30 hours
Research Practice Seminars: 20 hours
Dissertation Tutorials: 25 hours
Entrance Requirements for Taught Degrees
To be admitted to do a taught master's course you should have normally have received an appropriate upper second or first class undergraduate degree, or its equivalent for overseas candidates. If you are unsure whether your first degree is appropriate, please contact the degree director of the degree you are interested in. References will also play an important part in the admissions process.
The Postgraduate Team
Director of Postgraduate Research - Dr Nadja Reissland
Course Director (MSc Cognitive Neuroscience) - Dr Cristiana Cavina-Pratesi & Dr Susanne Weis
Course Director (MSc Developmental Psychopathology) - Dr David Williams
Course Director (MA Research Methods) - Dr David Williams
Course Director (MSc Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) - Dr David Williams
For more information please contact us
Applying for a Postgraduate course in Psychology?
For more information please contact the Psychology Postgraduate Co-ordinator.