This programme provides a comprehensive understanding of early child development through a range of theoretical and clinical perspectives. Students are able to apply this understanding in a supervised clinical placement normally in the Early Years Service at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, as well as conducting a centre-led research project or alternatively in collaboration with external partners. This two-year full-time MSc programme (formerly known as MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology) has undergone changes to bring it up to date with current research and clinical practice.

Career prospects

The MSc forms an excellent basis for careers in clinical work, research and academia so students who successfully complete it can apply their degree in a variety of settings.

Detailed knowledge of early child development and its impact on later stages of life, as well as clinical practice, would benefit graduates who wish to go on to work with children and families in different therapeutic and clinical settings, or in educational settings. Graduates may also be admitted onto professional doctorates, such as: Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology or Educational Psychology.

The skills in observation and self-reflection are essential for future careers in adult or child psychotherapy. The programme is a recognised pre-clinical course which provides the theoretical and observational requirements to apply for a clinical training in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at a training school of the Association of Child Psychotherapists.

Research skills gained on the programme would equip graduates for work as Research Assistants or for PhD studies.

Further Information

Download our programme brochure.

For more information about the programme, including content, structure and fees or to make an application, please visit the UCL website.


For all enquiries related to this programme, please contact the Programme Officer.


Senior Mental Health Lead training: New dates live

Sign up with the Anna Freud Centre, the UK’s leading mentally healthy schools charity.

DfE grant funding is available to cover the cost of our Senior Mental Health Lead training.

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