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The University of Edinburgh: Developmental Science

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
Telephone 0131 651 5002
Study type Taught


This unique programme seeks to enhance your understanding of key theoretical and practical issues about typical and atypical development in children and young people and provides an opportunity for intensive advanced training in Developmental Science.

You will learn how key topics in Developmental Science can be addressed using research techniques from several inter-related disciplines such as:

  • Developmental Psychology

  • Cognitive Psychology

  • Computational Science

  • Neuroscience

  • Linguistics

Key research areas

The programme aims to equip you with the skills required to conduct independent scientific research that addresses key issues in developmental science.

Your MSc culminates in a research dissertation in a core research area: an original, publication-quality piece of research, undertaken in close collaboration with researchers in the relevant group.

The core research areas of our department are social psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, individual differences, psychology of language and human development.

Psychology is rated 3rd in the UK by Times Higher Education for the quality and breadth of the research using the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

What will I learn?

You will take courses on the theoretical and methodological aspects of developmental science and conduct an original research dissertation in one of these areas.

You will also receive thorough training in advanced academic skills and research methods within psychology, including a comprehensive coverage of statistical modelling and research design using the R statistical language.

Is this MSc for me

This programme provides an understanding of advanced topics, methodologies and issues in the area of developmental science, as well as research design and management. You can flexibly choose optional courses to customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about.

It provides excellent preparation for further research and knowledge of developmental psychology, whether you choose to pursue this in a professional career or further academic research.

Reputation, relevance and employability

The University of Edinburgh has a long tradition of research expertise in developmental psychology. Our large Psychology department is home to academics leading research in the field.

You will benefit from the breadth and strength of the interdisciplinary academic community at Edinburgh, having the opportunity to select option courses and attend research seminars across different disciplines.

Our students’ research projects are often published in academic or professional journals.

Our programme has an excellent reputation amongst employers and further research opportunities. Many of our graduates have gone onto PhD training and academic careers and advanced professional training in psychology.

We maintain close contacts with professional organisations such as British Psychological Society (BPS). All postgraduate students of psychology are automatically members of Psychology Postgraduates Affairs Group (PsyPAG). PsyPag provides support, communication and representation for postgraduates within the BPS. It also brings together postgraduate students from around the country.

Find out more about our community

The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences is home to a large, supportive and active student community, hosting events and activities throughout the year which you can join. As a postgraduate student, you will have access to a range of research resources, state of the art facilities, research seminars and reading groups. different disciplines.


University of Edinburgh 


Be open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings. Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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