The MSc in Developmental Psychology & Clinical Practice (DPCP) 5 year anniversary

2nd November 2016 By:

Nick Midgley, Director, MSc in Developmental Psychology & Clinical Practice talks about the history and development of the course since its inception in 2011.

Back in 2010 the Centre recognised the need to develop a new multi-perspective course with a joint research and clinical focus.  Kay Asquith and myself were asked to conduct a feasibility study and out of that came the idea of a two year Masters with a substantial, supervised clinical placement and where teaching was a mixture of skills-based, developmental and clinical thinking. 


There was an agreement to have a small intake of around six students in the first year.  We were lucky with the quality of those applicants and from the start, it was clear they were ‘in it’ with us, forgiving and aware that we were doing things for the first time.  They were passionate and committed to helping us develop the course, and taught us a great deal in that first year. (I think they learned a lot too!). 


Since the first year, the course has not changed massively, but there has been a gradual evolution as we developed a better understanding of the nature of CAMHS placements and what support our students needed.  We have also changed our approach to the research dissertation and made it more relevant to the range of skills necessary for a modern Masters Course.


I believe the course has fulfilled the hopes we had for it and after five years it continues to be popular.  Many students have gone on to further specialist trainings including Clinical Psychology, Child Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology.  Others have gone onto work in CAMHS settings, or to further research or study. In fact, some of the MSc students have been successful in gaining jobs within the teams  they have been working with – which is fantastic!


Nevertheless, going forward the course faces massive challenges – not only the impact of Brexit (don’t get me started!), but also the huge changes within CAMHS, including the whole training landscape itself. These are all unchartered territory and we will need to adapt.  It will be a challenge to keep the course relevant to the challenging landscape. One possibility would be for us to look into a professional accreditation for the course… watch this space!