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MSc

Applied Child Psychology

Children standing in a line at football training
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: One year full-time / two years part-time

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This Applied Child Psychology Masters degree combines an in-depth look and critical evaluation of the advanced study of psychological development with regard to children and adolescents. You'll focus on the implications of psychological theory and research for policy and practice across a range of applied settings, for example, education, clinical and social contexts as well as undertake advanced training in relevant research methods.

This is an ideal course for anyone wanting a career that involves working with children or for those interested in securing a doctoral training place in educational psychology*.

*Further study and / or a BPS-accredited conversion course conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership may be required.

What you'll study

*We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to out students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

During the course you'll gain an in-depth understanding of the ethical and professional issues that are integral to working with children, adolescents and vulnerable people.

  • Course modules

    You will complete an extended essay on a relevant topic of your choice and an empirical research project, both under the supervision of a research active member of staff.

    Child in Context

    This module aims to challenge understandings of child development that have emerged within the discipline of psychology. It will examine the range of ways by which knowledge and understanding of the psychology of childhood has been developed, referring to the social construction of childhood from contemporary, historical and cross-cultural frameworks. It will assess critically the consequences of this knowledge and understanding and consider different methodological approaches to understanding the child in context. The module challenges traditional approaches to understanding a range of issues related to children.

    At the heart of the module is the assumption that an inclusive approach to education systems, policy and an understanding of difference is crucial for overcoming the challenges often faced in childhood.

    Social and Cognitive Development in Children

    The module will consider the importance of social and cognitive explanations for understanding, and critically explaining, children’s development within different education settings. The module will consider aspects of social and cognitive developmental psychology within an applied educational setting and aims to challenge some of the traditional approaches to understanding a range of issues related to children within the school context. At the heart of the module is the recognition that social and cognitive explanations need to be integrated to provide better understanding of educational development in children.

    Specifically, the module will focus on examining key concepts in social development, such as the importance of peer relationships, school exclusion, victimisation and bullying alongside cognitive explanations for language and literacy and the development of mathematical and scientific thinking.

    The module will examine the development, and integration of, social and cognitive explanations for understanding children’s development both within (and beyond) different educational settings.

    Research Skills for Working with Children

    The module aims to introduce you to the quantitative and qualitative research methods that are typically used to study child and adolescent psychology. In doing so the module aims to facilitate a critical understanding of the field and explore research methodology that leads to applied initiatives in child and adolescent development.

    The module’s content intends to provide you with a grounding in the approaches used by researchers in child and adolescent psychology. The content is likely to include discussions of the practicalities and ethics of working with children, designing surveys, secondary data analysis, questionnaire design, qualitative methods and developing experimental studies for use with young participants.

    The main methods of analysis that will be introduced include, qualitative analysis, bivariate regression, multiple regression, and analysis of variance.

    Observational Methods

    This module will provide you with a knowledge of, and practical skills in, observational methods. More specifically the module aims to:

    • Develop understanding of the use of different observational methods to address psychological questions.
    • Demonstrate the processes involved in the coding and analysis of observational data.
    • Enable students to conduct a piece of observational research.
    • Allow students to appraise critically the quality of observational designs and address issues concerning relating to reliability and validity.
    • To develop students’ abilities to handle observational data.
    • To further develop students’ abilities to report, present and evaluate observational designs and data.
    • The module aims to provide specialist training in observational methods.

    Topics may include:

    • Observational research designs (the use of structured and un-structured observations).
    • Quasi-experimental techniques.
    • Data gathering techniques.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of observational designs.
    • Data handling, organisation, and management techniques.
    • Developing valid and reliable coding schemes and the application of these coding schemes to analyse video material.
    • Reliability and validity.

    Developmental Profiles of Language and Learning

    The module will consider current theory and research to explain a range of developmental profiles around language and learning. Alongside exploring current perspectives on language and learning ability in children, several types of distinct profile may be covered (e.g., specific language impairment, dyslexia, and downs syndrome).

    Psychological and Behavioural Difficulties in Childhood

    The module is designed to extend knowledge and encourage reflection on psychological and behavioural difficulties that children may experience, and are likely to be identified and managed within clinical settings. The module will consider contemporary approaches to understanding clinical aspects of children’s behaviour. The topics will focus on both emotional and behavioural difficulties across clinical settings.

    Career Focus and Development

    This module will offer the opportunity to reflect on the key professional skills necessary to enhance employability and access to further training courses and ensure you are equipped to best present yourself to prospective employers. Specific overall aims include:

    • The opportunity to develop an application for a position of your choice.
    • Encouraging you to reflect on your own abilities and experiences in relation to the workplace.
    • Application of the principles of communication to different settings and audiences.

    Child Psychology Independent Research Project

    This module will enable you to develop and demonstrate professional psychological research skills appropriate to the discipline by designing (including addressing ethical issues) and undertaking an extended independent research project in psychology, using an advanced research method, under the guidance of an appropriate supervisor.

    The module content will depend on the your choice of topic. Regular supervision will be provided to guide your research projects. Supervisory support will be provided as you plan and prepare their project proposals (e.g., advanced research skills and use of specialist equipment) and at regular intervals afterwards.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

The MSc Applied Child Psychology starts in late September. A dedicated induction day is provided for all students which introduces you to your course, to your teaching teams and to the university facilities. The day ends with an informal social event.

The course is completed in one year of full-time study (your final piece of coursework is submitted in late August) or two years part-time. The teaching terms run from late September to Christmas and then from January to Easter. Part-time students attend for two of the three days only.

Study and support

The course will be delivered through a combination of methods including:

  • taught modules
  • lectures
  • interactive workshops
  • small group teaching

There will also be an expectation that students will engage in independent study during the course.

International students in psychology can also access additional language and study skills support, as well as help in acclimatising, via our own International Student Support Officer.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways and on a modular basis through:

  • examination
  • coursework
  • essays
  • laboratory reports
  • literature reviews
  • research project.

An active research environment

Throughout the course you will benefit from research-informed teaching. All staff teaching on the course are research-active in their field of interest, which includes members from the Communication for Inclusion Research Unit (CIRU) and the Specific Language Impairment Research Unit (SLIRU).

Find out more about psychology research, including the Development, International and Social Relations research group, Language and Psycholinguistics research group and Specific Language Impairment Research Unit.

World-leading research

Psychology at NTU has an established international research reputation and is one of the top risers in the REF 2014 research rankings. The 2014 Assessment also showed:

  • 60% of our research outputs were considered to be internationally excellent or world leading in REF 2014
  • 100% of our research impact is internationally excellent with 73% described as world-leading
  • Our research impact and output is the highest of any UK psychology department with an equivalent research environment.

Find out more about our 2014 Research Excellence Framework results.

In-sessional English language support

In-sessional English language support classes are available to all international (non-EU) students studying on degree courses at NTU. There is no extra charge for these classes.

Learn from a research-active team with considerable expertise of working with children within child-related contexts.

Careers and employability

100% of our full-time MSc Applied Child Psychology graduates are in work or further study within six months of finishing their degrees (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016-17).

Students generally choose the MSc Applied Child Psychology because they wish to pursue a career working with children (as a teacher, support worker, and so on).

Many already work with children and complete the course in order to improve their prospects of promotion and career progression. Others see the qualification as a means of helping to secure a path to teacher training or a doctoral training place in educational psychology*. It is also possible to pursue an academic and / or research career in child / developmental psychology following graduation (by working as a research assistant or associate, for example, or by studying for a PhD).

Your qualification in psychology is likely to be popular with a whole range of potential employers because you will have demonstrated an ability to write essays and reports, to master advanced statistics and to talk and present in front of other people (amongst other transferable skills).

Careers and job application advice is available to all our postgraduate students and is provided on a one-to-one basis by a subject specialist within the Department, supported by the university wide careers service.

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent Psychology graduates are pursuing:

  • Therapist assistant
  • Residential social care worker
  • Special Needs teaching assistant
  • Teaching assistant.

(Data extracted from the Nottingham Trent University Graduate Destinations Database 2015/16 - 2016/17.)

*Further study and / or a BPS-accredited conversion course conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership may be required.

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.

We have a teaching laboratory specifically for postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

    Applying with prior qualifications

  • You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) in Psychology, or an allied discipline (supported by relevant experience of working with children) or other recognised equivalent qualification. Allied disciplines include childhood studies, behavioural sciences, education, social sciences and speech or language therapy.
  • Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters level in their Personal Statement.
  • Other requirements

    Your application form requires a written statement in which you should outline reasons for wishing to undertake the MSc Applied Child Psychology. We will be looking to ensure that you have a sound rationale for joining the course based on a realistic appreciation of the discipline and profession of psychology.

    If you unsure of your status and / or would like an informal discussion with the course leader, please contact us.

    Getting in touch

    If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Applying with prior qualifications

  • You will need an undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) in Psychology, or an allied discipline (supported by relevant experience of working with children) or other recognised equivalent qualification. Allied disciplines include childhood studies, behavioural sciences, education, social sciences and speech or language therapy.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis but will be required to demonstrate how their experiences and knowledge would enable them to study this course at Masters level in their Personal Statement.

Other requirements

Your application form requires a written statement in which you should outline reasons for wishing to undertake the MSc Applied Child Psychology. We will be looking to ensure that you have a sound rationale for joining the course based on a realistic appreciation of the discipline and profession of psychology.

If you unsure of your status and / or would like an informal discussion with the course leader, please contact us.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation or pre-masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

International students in psychology can also access additional language and study skills support, as well as help in acclimatising, via our own International Student Support Officer.

How to apply

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

As places are limited, you are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. The course starts in September 2018 so in order to receive enrolment materials in good time, we advise that applications are submitted before the end of July 2018.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through our NTU Applicant Portal.

If you're applying without prior qualifications, you'll need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally known as a Criminal Record Bureau check

Many students choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. You may be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check depending on your project topic.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.Please allow additional processing time for international applications from countries that require a visa.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) formally known as a Criminal Record Bureau check

Many students from overseas choose to collect research data in the UK as part of their projects. DBS checks only cover students from the UK, so unless you have been resident in the UK for five years or more, we will need a criminal record check from your home country if you plan to work with vulnerable populations. Checks from overseas can sometimes be referred to by a variety of names such as a Police Check or a Good Behaviour Record. To find out what it is called in your home country and how to apply for one, please visit the government website.

If you are an overseas student and are planning to collect data for your research project from vulnerable populations in your home country, you are advised to apply for a home police check to support your research. You will need to demonstrate in your ethics form that you have met all the requirements of your home country to work with vulnerable populations.

If you are unable to obtain a home Police Check and still wish to work with vulnerable populations in your home country, discuss this with your Course Leader in the first instance. It will need to be made clear in your written correspondence with any participants / organisations that the University has been unable to engage with any disclosure and barring service checks prior to you undertaking your research.

Once you have obtained your police check, a copy of the documentation (in English) should be passed to the relevant course administrator in the School of Social Sciences Office.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)
Full-time£7,000
Part-time (cost per year of study)£3,500 (for Year One*)

Fees may be subject to change.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate fees and funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Fees for 2019 entry

Study routeInternational
Full-time£14,500
Part-time (cost per year of study)£7,250 (for Year One*)

Fees may be subject to change.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

For more information on these and other opportunities for funding please visit our international scholarships page.

For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Prestigious postgraduate scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships webpage for further information.

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460