Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Developmental Psychology - MSc

2018

Developmental Psychology MSc develops your understanding of the psychological processes that underlie an individual's social, emotional and cognitive development throughout their life.

2018

Overview

To understand any psychological phenomenon fully it is necessary to understand how it develops. The Master’s programme at Kent gives you a deep understanding of the advanced methods, analytical techniques, and theoretical and practical approaches to developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology

You focus on questions such as: What psychological changes occur during infancy, childhood, and adolescence? What psychological processes drive the development of children? What can psychologists do to promote healthy development in neurotypical individuals and support development among individuals with developmental disorders?

The MSc in Developmental Psychology at Kent is taught by academics and professionals such as educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, child therapists, and speech and language therapists.

The programme draws on the strengths of academic staff and researchers working in the field of developmental psychology, with expertise including language development, representational ability and early social-cognitive understanding of others, singing, infant face processing, the development of prejudice and social exclusion, and developmental psychopathology. MSc students also have the opportunity to use the Kent Child Development Unit (KCDU), a resource including child-friendly lab space and a register of 3,000 potential child participants.


Watch an additional video about Taught MSc Degrees in the School of Psychology and find out about the excellent support we give to our students. You can also read what our students have to say on our testimonials page

About the School of Psychology

As a student within the School of Psychology at Kent, you benefit from our supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research and learning.

All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.

Conducting both basic and applied research in several areas, Psychology at Kent is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research. Our cutting-edge, internationally recognised research in developmental, cognitive, social, and forensic psychology underlies our reputation for research excellence across these areas. We attract excellent visiting scholars and postgraduate students from both within the UK and overseas.

Some of our PhD students are self-funded, and others are funded by grants or awards either from the School, UK or their countries of origin. Some are also paid to undertake part-time teaching within the School. We have a strong track record of attracting ESRC research studentship funding, which involves partnerships with external organisations such as Age UK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and collaborative studentships with partners such as People United.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Psychology was ranked 11th in the UK for research intensity.

An impressive 95% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 97% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

We provide you with specialised knowledge of a range of theoretical and practical approaches to developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology, including an understanding of how research in developmental psychology can inform policy and practice across educational, health, forensic and clinical professional practice (eg research on language and reading development, social and emotional development).

You study four compulsory modules and two option modules. The compulsory modules are Statistics and Methodology (SP801), Advanced Topics in Cognitive Development (SP581)Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychopathology (SP854) and a supervised empirical or theoretical dissertation (SP998).

View this year's timetable (PDF) for our other MSc courses with some common modules. Please note that timetabling and modules may change from year to year.

Modules

The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Modules may include Credits

The aim of this module is to provide a postgraduate-level orientation to both basic and advanced contemporary statistical and methodological issues in psychology. It is compulsory for all our MSc students. The methodological issues considered include validity and reliability in measurement; experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational research designs in the laboratory and field; observational, archival, and qualitative research methodologies; and the problem of bias in psychological research. The statistical techniques taught include univariate and bivariate descriptive and inferential statistics; psychometric techniques; exploratory data analysis; basic and advanced topics in ANOVA and ANCOVA; multiple regression; factor analysis; and structural equation modelling.

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This module explores the typical development of key cognitive functions and the psychological methods employed to study these developments. The aim of the module is to explore these topics at an advanced level, allowing students to evaluate critically pieces of research in terms of their findings, conceptual underpinnings, and/or methodological approaches. Topics covered in the module usually include, among others: the development of executive functioning; the development of theory of mind; language and reading development; sensory development; methods for measuring cognition in preverbal populations; methods for measuring cognition in childhood; critical periods of development and neurological plasticity.

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The study of developmental psychopathology aims to understand and elucidate the behavioural manifestations of developmental disorders, as well as the cognitive, neurobiological, and etiological bases of those behavioural manifestations. In so doing, the study also has implications for our understanding of typical development, because it provides the opportunity to address questions about the extent to which behaviour and its underpinnings are, for example, innate versus learned and domain-specific versus domain-general. This module aims to provide you with a strong understanding of theories of prevalent developmental disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, specific language impairment) and the methods used to investigate them. You will be encouraged to critically evaluate these theories and methods, and to develop a wider awareness of how the study of developmental psychopathology is relevant to our understanding of typical development. You will also learn directly from practitioners about the challenges faced working with people with developmental disorders and the techniques employed to support them.

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20

All students undertake a supervised empirical research project in an area of psychology relevant to their chosen MSc programme, and submit it as a typed dissertation of approximately 8,000 words. The aim of the dissertation is to test the student's ability to plan, execute, analyse, and report a piece of independent research in the relevant setting. The dissertation requires detailed theoretical knowledge of the discipline, an appreciation of the ways in which that knowledge has been applied in previous research and practice, and the methodological and statistical skills to set up a scientific investigation. Supervision is provided by the principal teaching staff and by other appropriate staff with research interests in a student's chosen area. Students are advised to read the School's Ethics pages for information on submitting applications for ethical approval to the School and to relevant outside bodies.

Timetable: Students are encouraged to approach potential supervisors early to discuss possible topics for research. A research proposal is written and agreed with the supervisor in the Autumn Term. An ethical application is also submitted to the School's Research Ethics Panel and outside ethics committees if appropriate. The research is conducted in the Spring and Summer Terms. The deadline for submission of dissertations is in August.

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60

This module is focused on the conceptual frameworks offered by social psychology, and the ways in which social psychology can be applied to contemporary and relevant real-world issues and problems. The module explores important conceptual issues, including the levels of analysis we adopt; the nature of social knowledge; perceptions of self and others in social psychology; self, group, and ideological motives for action and inaction; the mechanisms underlying social protest; cultural variability in social psychological processes; and the roles of power, gender, and culture for social action and change.

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20

In studying this module you gain a broad and practical understanding of the processes involved in the development of high-quality and ethical research designs and procedures in psychology. One key focus is on gaining a deeper understanding of research ethics, particularly in regard to the practicalities of working with vulnerable populations. The other key focus is on practical issues. Here you will be taught to use Qualtrics, MTurk and E-Prime to present experimental stimuli and/or questionnaires. Additional practical topics include power analysis, stimuli development, counterbalancing and calculation of inter-rater reliability.

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20

This module examines advanced theory and research in intergroup relations. We consider the nature of social categorisation processes and how stereotypes develop, persist and change. We then examine the relationship between intergroup perceptions and prejudice, and how intergroup relationships influence both variables. We consider how and why stereotypes and prejudice become manifested as discrimination and intergroup conflict, and then how groups become mobilised to perform collective action. Finally, we study the motivational and social elements in intergroup relationships, social identity as a group member, and how these issues can be studied both in the laboratory and in real world settings.

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This module will provide students with theoretical instruction and practical experience in some key advanced research methods appropriate for scientific research in cognitive (neuro)psychology. The study of cognitive processes and the temporal nature of brain activity will feature highly in this module. The lectures will introduce key cognitive research methods (i.e. behavioural reaction times, eye-movements analysis and eventrelated brain potentials) and discuss relevant theory, experimental design and analysis. Lab-based practical sessions will be interspersed throughout the course to allow students to gain 'hands-on' experience with using these research methods. This practical experience will enable students to generate concise plans for their own research activity and to develop critical thinking when evaluating others’ research.

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This module provides an understanding of current conceptual debates in Social Psychology together with an appreciation of how practitioners apply behavioural principles in their field of work. The module deals with the application of conceptual and methodological insights to significant real-world problems, and with the development of new theoretical approaches based on the lessons learned from applied research and practice.

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This module offers an insight into how developmental psychology theory and methods are used in professional settings. Students will receive lectures from professionals working in fields such as education, healthcare, and clinical psychology, who can explain, first-hand, current issues/problems where developmental psychology could provide insights or solutions. The invited speakers will outline major theories that inform practice and critically evaluate the role of developmental psychology in their professional settings. The module will be responsive to 'hot topics' in the settings represented.

This module offers an insight into how developmental psychology theory and methods are used in professional settings. You receive lectures from professionals working in fields such as education, healthcare, and clinical psychology, who can explain, first-hand, current issues/problems where developmental psychology could provide insights or solutions. The invited speakers outline major theories that inform practice and critically evaluate the role of developmental psychology in their professional settings. The module will be responsive to 'hot topics' in the settings represented.

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This module will provide students with theoretical instruction about how the methods and techniques of cognitive psychology have been applied to the practical topic of evaluating eyewitness testimony. The study of cognitive processes involved in face recognition and face matching will feature prominently in this module.

This module will provide you with theoretical instruction about how the methods and techniques of cognitive psychology have been applied to the practical topic of evaluating eyewitness testimony. The study of cognitive processes involved in face recognition and face matching will feature prominently.

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20

Teaching and Assessment

The programme includes lecture, workshop, and seminar-based teaching, as well as practical demonstrations of modern methods for studying child development (eg behavioural techniques, eye-tracking, electroencephalography), and an individually supervised empirical research project. Assessment is mainly by coursework assignment (4000-6000-word essays), examination (for the Advanced Statistics and Methodology, and the Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychopathology modules only), plus the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • foster your intellectual development by providing you with specialised knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches to developmental psychology and statistical and methodological expertise in order that you should be well equipped to make your own original contribution to psychological knowledge
  • provide teaching that is informed by current research and scholarship and that requires you to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
  • help you to develop research skills and transferable skills in preparation for entering academic or other careers as practicing professional psychologists
  • satisfy the academic requirements of the knowledge base specified by the British Psychological Society
  • enable you to manage your own learning and to carry out independent research
  • help you to develop general critical, analytic and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of general, historical, theoretical and philosophical issues underlying the discipline of developmental psychology
  • the major analytic techniques and research methodologies employed by developmental psychologists
  • specialist knowledge and systematic understanding of the key issues in developmental psychology.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to critically reflect on key themes
  • the ability to produce sustained work
  • discussion skills
  • written analysis and interpretation of relevant material
  • a critical awareness of both cognitive and neuropsychological approaches to the nature of mind/body.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • how to identify, locate and use material available in the library and online resources
  • the major analytic techniques employed by developmental psychologists
  • how to evaluate and select appropriate methods for researching questions in developmental psychology.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • numeracy: the ability to analyse data and make sense of statistical materials, integrate numerical and non-numerical information, understand the limits and potentialities of arguments based on quantitative information.
  • communication: the ability to organise information clearly, write coherently and concisely about your chosen research area and other areas of developmental psychology, and give oral presentations about your work.
  • working with others: the ability to review the work of others, work co-operatively in groups, understand ethical principles and the procedures for gaining ethics approval for research
  • improving your own learning: the ability to explore your personal strengths and weaknesses, develop the skills of time management, review the student-staff relationship, develop specialist learning skills, develop autonomy in learning
  • information technology: use computers for data analysis, word processing, graphical display of data for analysis and presentation, bibliographical research, documentation and email
  • problem-solving: the ability to identify and define problems, explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them
  • teaching and learning: we will provide lecture workshops on computing, drop-in computing surgeries, training in making oral presentations of research material, lecture-seminars on writing critical reviews of literature, carrying out literature searches, lecture-workshops on career development, media training and training in the dissemination of research findings.
  • you will also sit computing tests and unseen examinations and write coursework essays.

Careers

Our Developmental Psychology MSc graduates commonly go into the fields of health, teaching or further education. Many of our graduates take up roles as assistant psychologists in the NHS with a view to becoming a professional clinical psychologist, or pursue doctoral study and academic careers at higher education institutions.  Because the MSc Developmental Psychology programme is taught by academics and professionals, it offers students wide opportunities to pursue a variety of careers. 

The programmes we offer help you to develop general critical, analytic, and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of settings.  For example, last year’s graduates have taken up full-time salaried/funded positions as assistant psychologists, as PhD trainees, as healthcare advisers/workers in the private sector and in Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and as specialist charity workers.

Professional recognition

All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School has excellent facilities for both laboratory and field research, including advanced laboratory and teaching facilities. Resources include:

  • the Kent Child Development Unit (including a database of children who participate in developmental research) and research team focusing on how children learn about their world, about other people and about the language they hear around them
  • a social cognition laboratory
  • three fully equipped colour video laboratories for face-to-face group research, together with ten satellite laboratories connected via remote-control CCTV and two-way audio links
  • 58 research laboratories, all containing networked computers
  • a further 80 PCs available exclusively to Psychology students, including a designated MSc computer-networked room providing full email and internet access
  • shared offices and a personal, networked computer for research students
  • a full range of computer-based experiment generators and productivity software installed on all the School’s systems
  • an upgraded laboratory suite with equipment for digital sound and vision recording
  • four Brain Vision EEG labs (including one for simultaneous TMS & EEG, and one portable EEG system)
  • two trans-cranial direct current electrical stimulators (GVS, Magstim)
  • Neuroconn tDCS/tACS electrical stimulator with facilities for simultaneous EEG
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) PowerMAG Research 100 High Frequency Stimulator
  • two Tobii eye-trackers (Tobii X120 & Tobii T60 XL portable
  • one Arrington eye-tracker
  • a suite equipped with Bio-Pac recorders to allow for a range of physiological measures to be taken during stressful and other tasks
  • specialist laboratories equipped for face processing and vision research
  • CRS ColorCal II Colorimeter/Photometer
  • CRS Audiofile for synchronized audio-visual presentation
  • numerous PC and Mac labs to run behavioural experiments
  • Mirror Stereoscopes for dichoptic presentation and stereo vision research
  • immersive virtual reality lab (including integrated eye-tracker).

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Psychological BulletinScienceJournal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryJournal of Experimental Social Psychology; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Child Development. Details of recently published books can be found within the staff research interests.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with:

a. Adequate level of academic achievement

A final degree classification (grade average) of at least a 2.1 or Merit in the UK system (the second highest classification after First/Distinction). Results from institutions in other countries will be assessed individually according to this standard.

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in psychology are preferred and those with related social sciences or science degrees are considered on a case by case basis. If the undergraduate degree is in a different subject, or if it is not accredited by the British Psychological Society, please ask your academic referee to complete the Pro-forma for Developmental Psychology and email it to psypgadmissions@kent.ac.uk.

b. Statistics and research methods training in the social sciences

This programme includes a one-year statistics sequence which you must normally pass in order to receive your award. The teaching assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:

  1. Means and standard deviations
  2. Distributions, hypothesis testing and statistical significance
  3. t-tests
  4. Correlation coefficients
  5. Variables and measurement

Therefore, your existing degree transcript should note that you have taken and passed a minimum of one term each in statistics and social science research methods courses (or two terms of a joint statistics and research methods course).

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research themes

The School of Psychology is highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research, with an international reputation for excellence in social psychology (including group processes and intergroup relations); cognition and neuroscience; developmental psychology; and forensic psychology. We have staff who can supervise research degrees in all of these areas. The research environment is designed to sustain a strong, vibrant research culture, encourage collaboration, and unite staff and students with shared research interests. Our themes ensure critical mass and create a highly energetic and stimulating intellectual climate.

Research activity is supported by:

  • centrally co-ordinated provision and use of laboratories and technical support
  • selection of speakers for our weekly departmental research colloquia
  • weekly research meetings within each theme
  • developing, reporting and analysing research, and hosting our many visiting scholars
  • several monthly small meeting series on specific areas of cross-cutting research (such as forensic, social development, emotion, social cognition and health).

Developmental Psychology

Much of the research conducted by members of the Developmental Psychology group is conducted with neurotypical infants, children, and adolescents.  However, we also take a lifespan approach to the study of development and conduct research with older adults.  Moreover, a key focus of our research is on neuro-developmental disorders.  Central research topics include:

Social development

Developmental group members are particularly interested in the expression and control of ethnic and gender prejudice, social ostracism and inclusion, conversational norms and group identity in children.  We also conduct research on social aspects of older adulthood, in particular self-stereotyping and prejudice against elderly people.

Cognitive development

Cognitive development is a major focus of many of our developmental psychologists.  In particular, members of the Developmental Psychology group actively research topics such as the development of social cognition and theory of mind, language, information and sensory processing, and conversation and pragmatic skills.

Forensic research

Our developmental research also focuses on adolescence, as well as infancy, childhood and older adulthood.  In particular, we are interested in the emergence of gang activity and antisocial behaviour during this period of development.

Developmental psychopathology

We also conduct cutting-edge research into neuro-developmental disorders, such as autism and language impairment, with a view to understanding the nature and basis of, and best ways to treat, these disorders.  

Social Psychology

Much of our social psychology research is co-ordinated through the Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP), the largest research group in this area in Europe. CSGP attracts a stream of major international social psychology researchers, who are officially affiliated to it and visit regularly to work with our staff. The Social Psychology group also includes the co-editor of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (Abrams).

Social psychology research at Kent is funded by a variety of British and international sources, currently and recently including ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme, Age Concern, European Commission, European Science Foundation, Home Office, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Nuffield, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as well as government departments such as the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Social Psychology group includes the following themes:

Prejudice, intergroup contact and social categorisation

This research is carried out in our social psychology laboratories, at schools and in business organisations. For example, research within this topic focuses on questions such as: how contact between members of different social groups is represented psychologically, how intergroup contact affects prejudice, when outgroups are seen as less human, when and why children show prejudice, and why organisational mergers sometimes fail.

Social inequality and cohesion

Research on this topic combines theory-driven research and engagement with policy. It is conducted in real-life settings such as the workplace, and involves national and international surveys. For example, the research focuses on the well-being of elderly people in Britain, work participation and motherhood, and discrimination against different groups in society.

Group dynamics and social influence

Laboratory studies and community-based research are conducted on this topic. For example, research focuses on co-operation in small groups, group decision-making, perception and influence of leaders, social communication and language, subjective group dynamics in adults and children, the dynamics of prison gang activity, and the impact of alcohol on group processes.

Personality and social motivation

Much of this research is carried out in laboratories, through surveys and in clinical or other applied settings. For example, research has examined aggression, the adaptive functions of perfectionism, and consequences of mortality salience.

Cognition and Neuroscience

Research under this theme has an international reputation in the topic areas of Visual Cognition, Attention and Memory, and Language and Communication. Some of this research activity occurs in the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, a strategic partnership between the Schools of Psychology and Computing.

Visual cognition, attention and memory

Research on this topic focuses primarily on the role of vision and visual perception in human performance. The fundamental aim of this work is to identify the cognitive processes and neurological mechanisms underlying various visual tasks. Studies involving neurologically healthy volunteers examine issues such as face recognition and identification, eyewitness testimony, person detection, emotion processing, episodic memory and pattern and motion recognition.

Language and communication

Research in this group examines various aspects of semantic, pragmatic and syntactic understanding. Research questions on healthy populations include the role of executive functions in successful language use and communication, how language influences attentional processes and perspective taking, anomaly detection, and the effect of interruptions on reading. Work on developmental populations examines issues such as how children learn to understand and produce sentences in their own language, and how they learn conversational conventions and self-repair. Research also examines developmental disorders of communication, including autism spectrum disorders and dyslexia. This research group has links with researchers in the School of European Culture and Languages, as part of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology research at Kent and all forensic-related teaching operates through our newly constituted Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP). Current research is focused on bullying in prisons, prison gang behaviour, jury decision-making, child sexual offending, rape, rape proclivity, female sexual offending, theories of offender rehabilitation, firesetting, sexual harassment, violence, aggression and alcohol, and the infrahumanisation of offenders. Other areas of research include social cognition, social and moral emotion, and group process theory, all of which are applied to the study of offending behaviour or court process issues.

Forensic psychology research at Kent is funded by various national and international sources, which include: The British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, Home Office, Leverhulme, Ministry of Justice and the Nuffield Foundation.

Research may be carried out with staff or offenders/ex-offenders in a variety of settings, including prisons, youth offender institutions, secure mental health units and probation offices. Alternatively, research may take place with students or members of the community in our newly equipped laboratories.

Research centres

The School of Psychology currently includes three formally constituted research centres, representing areas of concentration and excellence in research.

Centre for the Study of Group Processes

The Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP) was set up in 1990 to consolidate the School’s excellent international reputation for social psychological research into group processes and intergroup relations. CSGP is now a thriving international research community, including 15 full-time academic staff and a large number of research fellows and PhD students. The Centre also attracts a stream of major international group researchers, who are officially affiliated to it and visit regularly to work with our staff. The Centre also edits an international journal, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems

The objective of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems (CCNCS) is to harness the potential for cross-disciplinary research at the junction of cognitive psychology and the computational sciences. The Centre focuses on how behavioural and neuro-physiological experimentation needs to inform and be informed by the construction of computational models. Furthermore, the results of such studies should inform the construction of artificial systems, such as forensic imaging, human-computer interfaces and robotic systems.

Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology

The main aim of the Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology is to conduct high-impact psychological research to further understand key forensic issues of social significance, and to lead to cutting-edge teaching and research opportunities for postgraduate students. Forensic psychology is an extremely popular and rapidly developing branch of psychology that seeks to understand the psychological processes underlying offending behaviour (including group processes), the reduction and supervision of offending behaviour (ie rehabilitation, treatment and management of community risk), victim responses to offending, the mechanisms underlying the criminal justice system more generally (ie jury decision-making and the courts), and attitudes to offenders and offender reintegration in society.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Amir-Homayoun Javadi: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience

Refining and improving non-pharmacological approaches to the enhancement of memory, learning and decision making, using a variety of methods (eg, physical exercise, electrical and magnetic brain stimulation and sleep); imaging methods including eye-tracking and EEG.

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Dr Kirsten Abbot-Smith: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

The development of verbal communication in typical children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Use of a range of cognitive-experimental techniques with a current focus particularly on pragmatic language development.

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Professor Dominic Abrams: Professor of Social Psychology

Social identity and intergroup relations; prejudice; sexism; deviance; social identity in organisational contexts; group consensus processes; the selfconcept and self-regulation of behaviour.

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Dr Emma Alleyne: Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Socio-cognitive and group processes that underlie group offending e.g. what differentiates gang youth and non-gang youth with similar social/environmental backgrounds; multiple-perpetrator rape (MPR) and psychological factors that distinguish MPR from lone perpetrators; firesetting behaviour and clinical treatment of firesetters.

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Dr Zara Bergstrom: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

The neurocognitive mechanisms of episodic memory; control processes and long-term memory retrieval; cognitive neuroscience techniques; applied memory research; memory in old age.

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Dr Markus Bindemann: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Face and person perception; detection of people in natural settings; person memory and eyewitness identification; perception of eye-gaze and emotion from faces and other aspects of social cognition.

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Dr Anna Brown: Senior Lecturer in Psychological Methods and Statistics

Quantitative modelling of psychological date; modelling response processes to cognitive and non-cognitive assessments using Item Response Theory (IRT).

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Dr Lindsey Cameron: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Social developmental psychology: development and reduction of intergroup prejudice in children; direct intergroup contact and extended intergroup contact; development of ethnic and national identity in children and adolescents; acculturation in childhood; experience of prejudice and discrimination, and its consequences for social development.

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Dr Aleksandra Cichocka: Lecturer in Political Psychology

Links between the self and various social and political realities; how self-concept and group image relate to intergroup attitudes, political ideology and support for status-quo.

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Dr Kristof Dhont: Lecturer in Psychology

Dispositional and situational determinants of explicit and implicit racism: the role of intergroup contact and ideology; political psychology: ideology, political extremism, political cognition.

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Professor Karen Douglas: Professor of Social Psychology

Understanding beliefs in conspiracy theories, language and stereotyping, sexist language, lay theories of persuasion, social psychology of the internet, interpersonal and intergroup communication.

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Dr Heather Ferguson: Reader in Psychology

Language and communication; perspective taking; comprehension of counterfactuals and negation; mental representations involved in language understanding; time-course and brain processes involved in various cognitive functions; autism spectrum disorder.

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Dr Michael Forrester: Reader in Psychology

Children’s conversational skills; discourse and conversation analysis; psychoanalytic developmental psychology; the development of singing and musicality.

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Professor Theresa Gannon: Professor of Forensic Psychology

The cognition of child molesters, rapists and violent offenders; detecting fake-good responses in prison populations; the rehabilitation and treatment of sexual offenders; applied cognitive-experimental psychology; the characteristics and treatment of female sexual offenders and firesetters. 

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Professor Roger Giner-Sorolla: Professor of Social Psychology

The role of emotions in prejudice and self-control; moral judgements and emotion (anger, disgust, guilt and shame); cross-cultural differences in moral beliefs; intergroup emotions.

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Dr Tim Hopthrow: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Small group performance and decision-making especially in the context of co-operative behaviour in social dilemmas; the effects of alcohol consumption on group performance.

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Dr Mark James: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Developmental pathways to street gang membership, assessing stable and dynamic risk and protective factors associated with gang membership, as well as gang members' thoughts and feelings concerning their membership; public and professional (e.g. the police and courts) reactions to crime.

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Dr Lydia Kearney: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

Social anxiety and experience of mental imagery; ways anxious self-imagery reflects cognitive biases in attention and interpretation; imagery and rumination; imagery and emotion; cognitive and behavioural precursors of depression and anxiety.

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Dr Erika Nurmsoo: Lecturer in Psychology

Language acquisition, focusing on word learning; theory of mind development; source monitoring and use of testimony in preschoolers; children’s comprehension of partial and ambiguous input; understanding and use of symbols, drawing, and pretence.

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Dr Caoilte O Ciardha: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Treatment needs of offenders and causal factors in offending with a particular emphasis on the role of cognition; research methods that offer potential in tapping into cognitive constructs in an indirect way, such as looking at people’s response patterns to sexually salient stimuli and how that relates to problematic sexual interest, for example paedophilia. Work to date has primarily focused on behaviours such as sexual offending and firesetting.

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Dr Afroditi Pina: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Sexual violence, gender equality and victimisation, in particular rape and the myths that surround it; sexual harassment, its impact on its victims, women’s coping strategies, and the link between sexual harassment and the emotions of anger and fear; self and sexual objectification and its effects on women’s self esteem; victim blaming; coping strategies.

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Dr Marta Ponari: Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

Interaction between cognition and emotion; embodied semantics, especially the role of sensory-motor and emotional information in how we acquire and represent meaning; facial expression recognition; emotional processing in ageing.

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Dr Georgina Randsley de Moura: Professor of Social Psychology

Intra and intergroup dynamics and social psychology in organisations, especially leadership, innovation and what happens when group members break rules or norms.

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Dr Dinkar Sharma: Reader in Psychology

Cognition and emotion; selective attention; priming; cognitive approaches to addiction.

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Professor Joachim Stoeber: Professor of Psychology

Perfectionism, well-being and performance; coping; personal goals in adolescence; stress and health in the workplace; motivation; personality and individual differences.

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Professor Robbie Sutton: Professor of Social Psychology

Just-world beliefs and system-justification; social norms and communication processes especially as they relate to prejudice, stereotyping and the perpetuation of injustice and inequality; the inner logic of apparently irrational behaviours such as mutually destructive conflicts and environmental despoilation; implications of these processes for gender (sexism, fear of crime and views of rape complainants) and global warming (climate change). 

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Dr Hannah Swift: Eastern ARC Research Fellow

Ageism; attitudes to age across Europe; consequences of age-stereotypes; age-based stereotype threat and stereotype priming; social identity and the social construction of age; loneliness in later life and the factors that contribute to healthy, active ageing. 

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Dr Giovanni Travaglino: Lecturer in Social & Organisational Psychology

Social and cultural psychology of collective action and protest. Factors predicting intentions to oppose criminal (mafia-style) organisations collectively in the South of Italy. Social psychology of deviance and groups’ responses to disloyal members.

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Professor Ayse Uskul: Professor of Social Psychology

Cultural conceptions of honour and roots of honour-related aggression; ecocultural influences on cognitive and social psychological (eg, social exclusion, honour) processes; social, cultural, and religious correlates of attitudes toward inter-ethnic and inter-faith intimate relationships; the role of self-regulatory mechanisms in social cognition (eg, processing of health messages); social interaction (eg, aggression); well-being (eg, depression).

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Dr Eduardo Vasquez: Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Aggression and displaced aggression; anger, rumination, and aggression and violent behaviours; inter-group relations; personalisation, self-disclosure and liking; inter-group conflict and aggression; intergang violence; alcohol and social behaviours: alcohol and aggression, alcohol and inter-group anxiety; applications to criminal behaviour.

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Dr Mario Weick: Senior Lecturer in Psychology

The impact of social and situational factors on people’s perceptions, judgements and actions; the role of power and control – specifically how powerful and powerless people differ in their perceptions, the way they make judgements and their actions.

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Professor David Wilkinson: Professor of Psychology

Visual cognition; perceptual and attentional performance in healthy and brain-damaged individuals; the use of sensory stimulation to rehabilitate stroke patients.

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Dr David Williams: Professor of Developmental Psychology

Various forms of developmental psychopathology, including autism spectrum disorder and specific language impairment; the nature and neurocognitive bases of developmental disorders, as well as what these disorders tell us about typical development; use of cognitive-experimental techniques among typical and atypical populations.

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Dr Arnaud Wisman: Lecturer in Psychology

Coping mortality salience; terror management theory; the self-concept, self-esteem and selfregulation; groups, automatic social behaviour, conformism and cultural worldviews; evolutionary social psychology, attraction, scent and sexuality.

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Dr Jane Wood: Reader in Forensic Psychology

Street and prison gang formation and activity; public attitudes to crime and punishment, bullying in prison and schools; resettlement and rehabilitation of ex-offenders and the role of emotions in judging offenders.

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Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Developmental Psychology - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7300 £15200
Part-time £3650 £7600

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: