Clinical Child Psychology


Intermediate award(s): PG Dip, PG Cert

Course overview

This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of atypical development. This will encompass both developmental disorders and childhood mental health, looking at the developmental cause, assessment, classification, and treatment. It will provide a good foundation for those wishing to pursue further training in professional clinical training, child psychology and research. You will develop your academic knowledge in these areas as well as training in relevant assessment and research techniques. Please note that this course does not include clinical work with children, neither does it constitute professional training (e.g. training in clinical psychology).

This course will:
  • provide you with a comprehension of the principles of research design and strategy within the field of developmental disorders and child psychopathology, including an understanding of how to formulate researchable problems and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research
  • enable you to understand a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and tools, including infant observation, assessment and diagnostic interviewing, neuroimaging (electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG)) and neuropsychological assessment
  • give you a comprehensive understanding of current theoretical issues in relation to cause, classification and treatment protocols for a range of developmental disorders and childhood mental health
  • provide you with the skills necessary for managing research, including the process of research and its dissemination in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and the normal principles of research ethics
  • develop your understanding of the significance of alternative epistemological positions that provide the context for theory construction, research design, and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques
  • prepare you for careers in research, research methods, and provide you with a wide range of transferable skills
  • provide you with the opportunity and the practical skills to carry out research with a clinical population using either quantitative or qualitative methodology.

Aleksandra Dlugokencka

Find out what it's really like to be a student on our MSc Clinical Child Psychology course by reading Aleksandra Dlugokencka's student blog.

Core modules
  • Issues in Scientific Research

    This module introduces many of the historical, contextual and epistemological issues that affect the science of psychology. You will learn about research directed by political and social desires through research funding. Additionally, this module will equip you with the necessary skills to succeed in research and will directly help with your dissertation.

  • Diagnosis and Treatment in Clinical Child Psychology

    In this module, you will be given an overview surrounding diagnosis of different developmental psychopathologies, looking at the different classifications systems. You will gain knowledge about methods of diagnosis, including infant observation, psychological assessment and diagnostic interviewing.

  • Developmental Psychopathology

    This module covers the developmental cause, risk factors and implications to everyday life in children with both developmental disorders and child-related mental health problems. Within developmental disorders, the topics covered will include normative development, autism and pervasive developmental disorders and language and communication disorders. Within child mental ill health the topics covered will include affective disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse, and childhood trauma.

  • Quantitative Research Methods

    In this module, you will develop a critical understanding of the principles of data collection and analysis for psychology and will consider the theoretical basis of various advanced quantitative methods. Example data sets will be analysed using, for example, ANOVA, MANOVA, ANCOVA, multiple linear regression, effect size, and factor analysis. These chosen statistical methods have been directed by the Economic and Social Research Council's Postgraduate Training Guidelines (fourth and fifth editions).

  • Dissertation

    You will chose an independent research topic from an area of expertise within our department (subject to availability of suitable supervision) and will conduct a significant research project in that area which may involve a literature review, data collection, analysis and a write-up.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
  • current methodological issues within the clinical field specifically related to children
  • current theoretical issues in developmental disorder and psychopathology
  • the context (at the national and international levels) in which research takes place
  • issues relating to the rights of other researchers, research subjects, and of others who might be affected by the research (e.g. ethical and legal issues, confidentiality, copyright, malpractice)
  • good research practice in psychology clinical settings
  • the relevant health and safety issues and responsible working practices
  • the processes for funding and evaluation of research
  • the process of academic and commercial exploitation of research results
  • the scientific basis of the discipline of psychology: its philosophical, historical, and epistemological context
  • the relationship between hypotheses, research design, data collection, interpretation, and theory
  • a range of quantitative research methods and general statistical techniques.


A broad range of assessment methods will be used measuring every aspect of your understanding and skilled application of the relevant techniques. These will include essays, portfolios, exams, presentations, poster presentations, debates, data analyses and a final dissertation module worth one-third of the total course assessment.


You will have access to several dedicated, sound attenuated research laboratories, equipped with networked computers. Additional specialist laboratories exist: an observation laboratory, including a two-way mirror (this can double as a baby-lab); an electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory; an eyetracking laboratory; a psycholinguistics laboratory; a psychometrics laboratory; a psychoneuroimmunology laboratory.

Find out more about our facilities.

Psychology Masters Dissertation Conference

You can see examples of our Masters students' dissertation work presented at our annual Psychology Masters Dissertation Conference.

Associated careers

This course is ideally suited to those wishing to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a career working with children or in a variety of other clinical settings. The skills obtained from completing this course are highly employable in many other research environments.
Main requirements:
  • Either 2.2 in BA or BSc Psychology with Graduate Basis for Recognition (GBR) for the British Psychology Society (BPS) OR 2.1 or above in non-accredited BA or BSc Psychology (or closely related discipline, e.g., Health Psychology, Joint honours Psychology, or Neuropsychology)
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

International and EU applicants

We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
If you do not meet the above requirements, then there is an alternative. Consider entry to the course via an integrated foundation year at Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.

How to apply



September start:
12 months

January start:
15 months

Available starts

September, January

Fees & funding

Open Day

25 April, Chelmsford and Cambridge
Postgraduate Open Day

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UK and EU applicants:International applicants:
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