Developmental Psychology

Key Information


1 year


2 years

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

See More


Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

The MSc Developmental Psychology focuses on developmental pathways throughout the life-span (children, adolescents, young adults, older adults), and is designed for graduates who want to expand their knowledge in several different areas of development while also acquiring a specialism in this area.

The School of Psychology has a growing reputation as a centre of expertise in developmental psychology, with research expertise in cognitive development, language acquisition, autism, motor development, and human-animal interaction. 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.

Students may have access to the specialist Lincoln Infant and Child Development Lab, which is equipped with facilities for preferential looking, listening, and eye-tracking, as well as a motor lab and other research facilities for examining aspects of psychological development.

Why Choose Lincoln

Continuing career support after your course finishes

A focus on theoretical knowledge, understanding, and practical experience

Teaching delivered by experts in the field

A range of optional modules

Complete a research project in a specialist area

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How You Study

Teaching is predominantly delivered on two days per week for full-time students, with part-time students expected to be present for one day per week. Delivery times are subject to time-tabling constraints.

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, supporting a rich postgraduate environment.

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

You will also receive tutorial sessions with a personal tutor, and if you are international student, an international tutor.

Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the materials covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, students are expected to spend at least two to three hours of independent study. For more detailed information please contact the Programme Leader.

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


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Advanced Research Methods in Psychology 2024-25PSY9250MLevel 72024-25This module covers basic concepts underlying multivariate analysis, such as factor analysis and multiple regression as well as qualitative data analysis. Students gain an appreciation of advanced statistical procedures and methods via hands on practical experience in computer workshop sessions. By the end of the course students will understand how to select appropriate methodologies in relation to research aims and be able to critically appraise the advantages and limitations of these methodologies in relation to research aims.CoreBrain, Behaviour and Lifespan Development 2024-25PSY9249MLevel 72024-25Using a combination of lectures and interactive seminars, this module will focus on the development of the brain from birth through to adulthood and later life. Contemporary research addressing how environmental and genetic factors influence the brain and behaviour will be appraised allowing students to apply a systematic approach to critically evaluate new scientific evidence in the field of Developmental Psychology.CoreEvolution and Human Social Behaviour 2024-25PSY9247MLevel 72024-25CoreMSc Thesis 2024-25PSY9008MLevel 72024-25The thesis is designed to allow students to explore their interests in a specific area of research in more detail. It provides the opportunity to design, implement, analyse, and write-up a substantial piece of empirical work.CorePostgraduate Psychology Tutorial 2024-25PSY9244MLevel 72024-25CoreResearch Methods and Assessments in Developmental Psychology 2024-25PSY9253MLevel 72024-25This module provides an opportunity to explore different research methods in a variety of applications and develop practical skills as well as critical thinking and developing research designs. In addition, it enables students to study individual differences and diversity in psychology.CoreResearch Methods in Psychology 2024-25PSY9251MLevel 72024-25The module will discuss a range of research methods and skills used in psychological research including a broad coverage of different statistical techniques in psychology. The module will discuss research designs, data preparation, data analysis, and dissemination. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods and skills will be covered.CoreSocial and Emotional Development 2024-25PSY9027MLevel 72024-25This module provides an opportunity to study social and emotional development with regard to recent developments in social and emotional development. Also, it includes an opportunity to study historical approaches to the study of development and contexts for development (e.g., with regards to family, school, community or culture). The potential applications of psychological research and theory to typical and/or atypical development will be considered where appropriate.CoreTheories and Mechanisms in Developmental Psychology 2024-25PSY9028MLevel 72024-25This module typically considers child development in relation to theory and research in core topics of Developmental Psychology, for example, vision and brain development, memory and motor development, cognition and language development.CoreAdvanced Research Internship 2024-25PSY9217MLevel 72024-25As 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.OptionalAdvanced Topics in Developmental Psychology 2024-25PSY9227MLevel 72024-25The 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.OptionalFrom the Lab to the World: Psychology Research in Practice 2024-25PSY9226MLevel 72024-25OptionalWork Experience 2024-25PSY9270MLevel 72024-25The University has a strong commitment to providing academic programmes with public and private sector employers through student work placements. A work placement is a three way co-operative activity between employer, student and University from which all parties are expected to benefit. This module provides students with the opportunity to enhance their practical and transferable skills while gaining insight in how to use the theories and methods learned in their masters programme in a work environment. By linking academic experience to the world of work students also have the opportunity to reflect on possible career pathways and on how to apply psychological perspectives to future workplaces.Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.


Specialist psychology research facilities include a sleep laboratory, motor lab and EEG laboratories, a psychophysiology laboratory and Lincoln Infant and Child Development Lab – a specialist area for the study of child development. Students have access to ICT suites and technical staff are on hand to aid in the design and execution of experiments and provide assistance with specialist software.

A student working with a test subject at a machine

British Psychological Society

This programme is accredited with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and for those with BPS Graduate Basis of Chartership (GBC), acts as Stage 1 training towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

A drawing of someone kneeling with The British Psychological Society written next to it

Research Areas

The School of Psychology fosters a rich research environment where there are a number of specialisms and research interests. This course has links to all of the research groups within the School, in particular the Development and Behaviour Research Group. 

Development and Behaviour Research Group

This group is an interdisciplinary team of developmental, social, and evolutionary psychologists who cross the boundaries between psychology and disciplines such as anthropology, economics, and linguistics to investigate the development of cognitive, language, social, emotional, motor and behavioural processes.

A student being fitted with an ECG cap

How you are assessed

Assessments for this course are varied and may include a research proposal, essay, case study, literature review, research report, or presentation. Exams are not part of our assessments.

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

Career Development

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future. It can help you to further or completely change your career, develop your knowledge, enhance your salary, or even prepare you to start your own business. 

Specialists in the field work in a range of settings, such as hospitals, children and adult care services, schools, and non-governmental organisations. In addition, for those students who do not yet have a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited degree (Graduate Basis for Chartership; GBC), this Master's programme opens up opportunities for further postgraduate study requiring GBC, such as Forensic Psychology, Counselling, and Clinical Psychology. This programme also benefits graduates who want to further their careers by undertaking a PhD in a specific area of developmental psychology.  

Why Postgraduate Study? 

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

The admissions criteria for the programme are a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree and the equivalent to a C in GCSE maths. Applicants with non-standard entry requirements will also be considered, including those with relevant experience (for example, mature students with work experience). These applicants will be requested for additional information to assess their aptitude for the programme and are invited for interview.

Applicants may be interviewed before they are accepted on the course, to make sure that they are suitable for the course. Students can study this programme either full-time (one year), or part-time (normally two years).

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

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

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

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Emile van der Zee 

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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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.