Child Development

Study mode:On campus Study type:Part-time Languages: English
Local:$ 7.62 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 17.2 k / Year(s)  
301–350 place StudyQA ranking:6458 Duration:12 months

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What the MSc is for:

To train you how to conduct research into child development. How the brain and mind develop is critical to our understanding of human psychology. Studying this requires special skills and knowledge that you will acquire on this course.

Who the MSc is for:

Graduates in psychology or related subjects, and professionals working with children as continued professional development.

How the MSc is taught:

In addition to core research methods modules, the course includes a seminar series with topics ranging from social and cognitive development, to autism and other atypical developmental issues, to the health psychology of infant feeding practices. The research placement allows direct experience tailored to each students career aspirations, and the dissertation allows extensive research into a chosen aspect of child development.

What you get:

Office space and equipment, a personal academic supervisor, and inclusion in a vibrant, stimulating and friendly research community.

Structure and content:

The course is made up of the following modules:

* Child Development: A series of participatory seminars with developmental psychologists covering a range of topics in child development: socio-cognitive development in pre-school children; the social and cognitive characteristics of Autistic Spectrum Disorders; the health psychology of infant feeding practices; representation and social learning in infancy; cross-cultural differences in cognition; language and communication development and assessment.
* Psychological Research Methods I and II: Covers a wide range of techniques used in psychological research and demonstrates these techniques in relation to topics in a range of areas
* Advanced Statistics: Assumes a reasonable knowledge of statistics, although an additional introductory module is available. The main statistics teaching is aimed at introducing advanced methods such as multivariate statistics and the rationale of using statistical methods
* Key Skills for Psychology Researchers: Focuses on the research process, including ethical reviews, professional conduct and disseminating research effectively to specialist and non specialist audiences
* Qualitative Research Methods: Provides a broad but solid grounding in qualitative research methodology
* Research Placement: This month-long placement is carried out in January/February, allowing students to broaden their practical research experience. The placement may be external to Psychology and can be in a non-academic environment

We also offer some flexibility, allowing students to opt for a module from another subject area if this can meet personal training needs.


For those who go onto the MSc, approximately half of the course of study is devoted to a research project, leading to a 12,000-word dissertation.

Delivery and assessment:

Teaching is delivered using a variety of methods including tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes, but the majority is seminar-based. Students are typically taught in small groups in specialist classes, with first-year PhD students or other postgraduate students (for example, in modules from other MSc programmes).

The individual module components contribute towards 60 percent of the MSc grade, with the research dissertation contributing the remaining 40 percent.

Entrance requirements:A first or second class single or joint Honours degree in Psychology (or related subject). English language requirements:TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

There are typically five £1,000 bursaries to contribute towards fees or maintenance costs for students beginning a taught MSc course. All students, including international students, formally accepted onto the MSc course are eligible to apply for these awards. Awards will be decided on both previous experience and academic record but preference will be given to applicants intending to stay at Stirling to pursue a PhD following the MSc course.


70 percent of research in Psychology at Stirling is recognised as being of a quality that is internationally recognised in terms of originality, significance and rigour in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

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