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MSc in Atypical Child Development

The purpose of the MSc Atypical Child Development is to provide psychology graduates with one year of advanced study in specialist topics in developmental psychology, with a specific focus on patterns of atypical development and childhood developmental disorders.

It is widely recognised that children’s development follows different pathways and that there is inherent variability between them. The study of atypical child development addresses questions such as:

  • What is the relationship between typical and atypical development?
  • How do we know that a child’s development is atypical and what criteria can we use to assess this?
  • How can we best explain the causes of atypical development and understand the effects on children’s lives?
  • What programmes and interventions can help atypically developing children and how can they be best designed and implemented?

Why Choose to Study at Queen's?

The School of Psychology at Queen's University Belfast is well placed to offer a course which deals with these issues.  It has a longstanding reputation for research and practice in developmental psychology and currently offers two professional doctorates in applied areas of psychology (Clinical Psychology and Educational Psychology).  

Career Opportunities

The course is designed to prepare graduate students for more advanced research in developmental psychology, for professional training in psychology or related disciplines, and /or for employment in children’s voluntary or statutory services. It will also provide you with the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD in developmental psychology and/or in childhood developmental disorders and to subsequently pursue an academic career. The course is NOT designed as a training in professional psychology and graduates will not be able to offer psychological services or to practice as professional psychologists.


The School of Psychology has historically awarded a full-fee scholarship to each of its MSc programmes.

This scholarship is based on academic performance, and it is up to the Course Director to determine how it is awarded (e.g. one scholarship / two half scholarships).  To be eligible for the scholarship, you must apply, be accepted and register onto the programme.

To learn more, please contact the MSc Course Director Professor Teresa McCormack.


For ways to finance your postgraduate course, please visit:


The closing date for applications for September 2016 entry is 18 April 2016.

Applicants must normally possess or expect to possess by admission to the course, a First Class or 2.1 Honours degree in Psychology, or another relevant discipline, or equivalent recognised qualification.

Students should apply online via the Direct Applications Portal on the Queen’s University website.

Course Information

Professor Teresa McCormack
Tel: +44 (0) 28 90 974174