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MSc Cognitive Development and Disorders

Key facts

Start date September 2018

Duration/mode 12 months full time

UK/EU fees £9,250 (total)

International fees £21,500 (total)

Entry requirements A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in psychology or related subject.

Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component


This programme combines psychological theory, research, and application to the study of cognitive functioning, its typical development through childhood and ageing, and its deficits as encountered in a range of disordered populations.

We draw on theory and methodologies derived from multiple perspectives including cognitive, clinical, health, educational, biological, and social psychology, along with neuropsychology, neuroscience, and gerontology. In all cases, approaches are informed by research methodologies that provide an evidence base for their implementation. Using this broad approach, the programme aims to improve understanding of cognitive development and its disorders, and to demonstrate how this informs development of new techniques for improving assessment of cognitive functioning, diagnosis of deficits, and delivery of support, intervention, and training in education, gerontology and clinical contexts. Furthermore, reflecting the research-led focus of this programme, advanced-level training in research methods will be provided in dedicated modules and embedded within subject-specific modules.

This rich programme draws on many levels of analysis, aspects of psychological theory, research, practice and policy. You will be taught and supervised by subject experts, who actively research and publish in their area, and work with the NHS, industry, charities and other organisations to improve educational, developmental, clinical, and health outcomes.

The School of Psychology is a large and thriving department which has expanded rapidly over the last five years. There are now over 70 members of academic, research and support staff, including nine professors. We offer high quality research-led teaching and you’ll be actively encouraged to engage in ongoing research. Much of this research is collaborative with government departments, research councils, the NHS and industry.

We offer a lively learning environment with modern facilities for teaching and research, which aims to produce graduates equipped with current knowledge and the ability to apply this to different populations.

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Course content

The programme offers a unique combination of advanced training in research methods and systematic reviewing; subject-oriented modules designed to explore research-led applied perspectives in development, ageing, and neuropsychology; the opportunity to carry out a research project working under close supervision of leading experts in the area; and a Masters-level elective selected from a range of choices across the university.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Cognitive Development and Disorders MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

The programme incorporates a range of teaching methods including workshops, presentations, problem solving approaches and small group discussions, as well as the more traditional lecture and seminar formats. We expect students to spend the remainder of their study time in independent learning, guided by reading lists and assessments.


Innovative forms of assessment such as online group work, short reports, individual and group presentations and case studies sit alongside exams and essays to extend the repertoire of students' skills.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in psychology or a discipline containing a substantial amount of psychology and research methods training.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Psychology Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.


How to apply


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £9,250 (total)
International fees: £21,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

School of Psychology support

The School offers a bursary of £1,000 towards fees to one UK/EU student on the masters course. There is no application process for this award. For more information contact Louise Gill, the MSc Course Administrator, j.l.gill@leeds.ac.uk.

All students who pay fees at the international rate are offered £2,000 towards fees if they do not have any other source of funding.

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Career opportunities

The programme’s exploration of typical and disordered child development, adulthood, and cognitive ageing, and its extensive coverage of research skills, systematic reviewing, and project work, makes this a versatile option for a range of career paths. It will be highly suitable for students wishing to pursue a research-oriented path, with this MSc programme forming a sound basis for subsequent PhD study. The coverage of cognition and its development in healthy and clinical groups should support paths into careers including clinical and educational psychology.

Careers support

The School of Psychology organises several careers events throughout your time at Leeds. You’ll also have a personal tutor, who’ll offer support through our Leeds for Life approach.

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