The University of Nottingham is home to pioneering research in the area of developmental disorders. Our research-engaged teaching ensures you are taught by the experts. Start your journey with us today.
Knowledge will be acquired through engagement with advanced-level theory and from practical work that will enable you to develop expertise in cutting-edge research methods.
The course also provides practical knowledge of aspects of diagnosis and assessment, and therapeutic or educational interventions for developmental disorders.
Individual research project
This course is closely linked to the school’s research group Human Development and Learning. Researchers in this group have expertise in autism and in development over the primary school years. For your individual research project, you may choose a topic that is supervised by a member of this group.
Example areas of research include:
- Poor mental health and suicide in people with autism
- Using neuroscience tools to illuminate cortical processes and how they are different in autistic people
- Helping the police and legal authorities deal with autistic victims, witnesses and perpetrators
The research project is a highlight of the course for many students. It will provide you with an opportunity to explore in-depth an area of your interest. There may be opportunities to gain experience in working with people with developmental disorders.
Meet your Course Director
"My research looks at aspects of person perception, specifically our ability to read signals in other people’s behaviour to infer their traits and their inner states (and events that caused those states).
I investigate individual differences in the ability to make these kinds of inferences, particularly how such inferences are affected by having a developmental disorder like autism. I also investigate individual differences in the quality of signal one emits. It seems autistic people emit signals that others are liable to misinterpret, which impacts negatively on social interactions involving autistic people.
I currently serve as Chair of the Developmental Section of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Chair of ESRC Grant Assessment Panel A. I have published more than 100 scientific articles and seven books."
Peter Mitchell, Course Director
Professional Skills - Developmental Disorders MSc
This module covers general research skills and personal development skills. It contains a number of workshops examining areas such as presentation and writing skills, careers, understanding the wider context of research, consultancy, and practical and ethical issues, along with appropriate Graduate School courses.
Developmental Disorders in Context
This module will require you to critically engage with front line material on major contemporary topics in developmental psychology covering the broad spectrum of research, covering social, emotional, biological and cognitive development. The module will also introduce you to the wider context of developmental disorders such as diversity, inclusion, cultural issues, and theoretical perspectives on development.
This module will examine:
- Developmental Coordination Disorder
- Intellectual disability
- Communication disorders
- Specific Learning Disorder
- Preterm birth
This module will provide you with the knowledge to be able to select, administer, score, interpret, and provide feedback on educational tests of the kind used when assessing individuals with learning difficulties. You will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of assessment and how to make decisions about test selection for assessments. You will gain an understanding of test theory including the concepts of reliability, validity and the standardization of tests.
The module will provide a skill set that will be useful in completing your chosen project, in which you may have to administer psychometric tests. It will also be useful if you wish to pursue a career in education or educational psychology.
Advanced Methods in Psychology
The module provides an insight into some more advanced or specialised techniques of data collection, organisation and analysis in psychological research (eg eye-tracking, EEG, fMRI, TMS, computational modeling, diary methodologies and workshops). Lectures will include implementation of analytical procedures in, for example, specialised data management and statistical packages and on specialised data-gathering equipment and software.
Childhood Clinical and Behavioural Disorders
This module will examine:
- Conduct disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Childhood onset schizophrenia
- Therapies for young people
- Pharmacological interventions
- Comorbidity of mental health problems and developmental disorders
You will carry out an individual research project with an empirical component.
The method used for this practical work depends on the topic chosen. You will work with an active-researcher who will be your supervisor.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. This course page may be updated over the duration of the course, as modules may change due to developments in the curriculum or in the research interests of staff.
Teaching methods and assessment
You will study a total of 180 credits. Teaching is a mix of:
- individual supervision
Assessment can vary on the module being studied but you can typically expect:
- oral presentations
- practical demonstrations
- written assignments
- a research project report
The skills and knowledge you will learn on this course are great preparation for further study. This could be a PhD or a clinical psychology doctorate. Alternatively, you may choose to work in education, be a research assistant or a psychology technician.
Average starting salary and career progression
94.7% of postgraduates from the School of Psychology secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £28,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £40,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget.
Scholarships and bursaries
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.