MSc Developmental Science

Full Time
Degree of Master of Science

"I carried out my dissertation in the Developmental Dynamics Lab, where I used new equipment to study spatial attention in infancy and developed a computational model of my data. Being part of the lab enabled me to do a cutting-edge research project as a masters student and helped prepare me for a PhD in Psychology."

In their words

Sara Mosteller

Nature or nurture? Combining research methodology training with in-depth study at the cutting-edge of the field, our Developmental Science Master’s programme will give you real, nuanced insight into how one impacts on the other.

On the MSc Developmental Science you’ll advance your skills in one of current psychology’s fastest-moving and most fundamental areas. A tailored research placement will see you gain and further hone your research skills.

You can complete the course in one year full-time or over two years part-time. It is ideal if you are a high calibre graduate in psychology or a related discipline, who is looking to develop the specific methodological and analytical skills essential to developmental science.

This is a great choice if you are preparing for a PhD in the subject, or aim to pursue a career with a significant research element.


This MSc in Developmental Science combines research methods training with in-depth study of the subject as a whole. It will allow you to gain hands-on experience of key research methods including eye-tracking, EEG, and other experimental techniques used for working with children.

You will attain an in-depth understanding of human development and also develop the skills needed to prepare research proposals and undertake your own original research, analysis and synthesis. In addition you will acquire transferable skills in oral and written communication, and in the analysis of complex data sets.

One of our programme’s key strengths is the opportunity to experience modern psychological research methods first hand. This includes a research placement, tailored to the specific skills you need to further your research goals.

The programme’s core modules will give you a solid grounding in the subject’s key areas. Optional modules can be chosen according to your specific interests.

The course builds to a substantial piece of Master’s research, undertaken with the supervision of active researchers in the field. Before applying, we encourage you to contact our academics to discuss the topics you’re interested in researching.

Course Structure

You can complete this programme in one year of full-time study, or over two years part-time. You’ll take two compulsory modules, complete a dissertation, and have the choice of two optional modules.

Developmental Science

This module provides a unique perspective on human development, taught by our expert scientists in developmental science. You will study topics ranging from cognitive neuroscience to the role of parents and family in typical and atypical development. You’ll also consider the challenges of working with a wide age range of participants, and the impact this has on research. And you’ll have the opportunity to gain hands-on skills in research methods including eye-tracking, EEG, and other experimental techniques used for working with children.

Psychology Lab Skills

This module introduces the techniques and computer programmes used in psychology data collection and analysis. You will receive guided hands-on experience and acquire skills that you can put to use in your dissertation research. You will also learn how to conduct both systematic reviews and meta-analysis, gaining an understanding of how each technique can help you in your research. And you’ll use E-Prime software to construct experiments, and have the option to learn MATLAB. You will also learn about the Qualtrics Survey platform.


Your dissertation is your opportunity to carry out a piece of independent research on a subject of your choosing. It also allows you to go into greater detail in the area that interests you most.

Optional modules

You will choose two optional modules to complement your studies and areas of interests. Exact modules offered will vary each year but usually include both quantitative and qualitative research options.

Teaching and Learning


You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods throughout the course, including lectures, seminars, workshops, research placements, and the hands-on use of state-of-the-art research equipment.

Independent study

Your schedule will include timetabled classes, private study, completion of coursework assignments and preparation for sessions. You will also complete a major independent research project under expert supervision.


You’ll primarily be assessed through coursework, including critical reviews, research proposals and a research project.


After the course

On this Master’s degree programme you’ll gain advanced training in developmental science research methods. It’s the ideal preparation if you’re interested in studying for a PhD in developmental science. It will also be of great benefit if you’re planning, or already pursuing, a career with a significant research component.

Career destinations

  • Research associate
  • The third sector
  • Government setting

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 140 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module provides a unique set of perspectives on human development, taught by expert scientists in Developmental Science. You will study topics from cognitive neuroscience to the role of parents and family in typical and atypical development. We also consider the research methods challenges posed by working with participants over a wide age-range. The module provides you with the opportunity to gain hands on skills in Developmental Science research methods including EEG, Virtual Reality, working with children and experimental methods.




The dissertation element of the Master's programme offers you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to carry out an independent piece of research on a subject of your choice in greater detail than any taught element of the programme can offer. It allows you to develop and display your skills in independent research, and demonstrate your depth of knowledge of a particular area of research. The dissertation should draw from material from other modules within the Master's programme.




This module gives you an introduction to some important techniques and software programs used in psychology data collection and analysis. You will receive guided hands-on experience. These skills are useful for your dissertation research, and will enhance your CV for job applications. You will learn how to conduct both systematic reviews and meta-analysis, gaining an understanding of how each technique can help you in your research. You will use E-Prime software to construct experiments, and have the option to learn MATLAB. MATLAB is a widely used programming language for data analysis, modelling and writing experiments. You will also learn about the Qualtrics Survey platform, presenting data clearly and using references. Your assessment will be essay based.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


The course builds on coverage of qualitative methods in the Introduction to Social Sciences Research Methods module, where the focus is on developing critical analysis skills that cover a range of ways of gathering and analysing qualitative data.




This module will provide teaching on quantitative research methods, data analysis and the use of statistical software (SPSS). It will provide a grounding in applied statistics which will both develop critical appraisal skills for reading research and enable you to undertake SPSS data analysis.




This module brings together UEA expert researchers, host research organisations and the careers service, offering you advanced knowledge of practical field and employability skills. In particular, the module provides the opportunity to gain hands on skills in real life settings. You will gain valuable employment skills and networks for your future career. You will seek placement organisations with Module leader help and guidance. The type of organisation can be flexible as long as you can demonstrate that you are using research skills. Placement admin and coordination takes place within the school.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Be Creative

    New research has found that people with high levels of autistic traits are more likely to produce unusually creative ideas.

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  • Visit the Developmental Science Group

    A tailored research placement within the Developmental Science group will see you gain and further hone your research skills.

    Read it Visit the Developmental Science Group
  • REF 2014

    The School of Psychology is of international quality, with over 80% rated as world leading or internationally excellent.

    Read it REF 2014

    Your University questions, answered.

    Read it #ASKUEA

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Psychology or relevant discipline
  • Degree Classification Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, from a recognised higher education institution.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on their attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in each component)
  • PTE (Pearson): 65 (minimum 58 in each component)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact

Special Entry Requirements

Applicants must specify a dissertation topic that would form part of their study. They must also name a possible supervisor here at UEA. Please see the list of staff and their research interests.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £6,500
  • International Students: £16,400

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.


The University offers a variety of Scholarships each year to support students in their studies. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Student Loan.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515