MSc Childhood Development and Wellbeing in Practice

How does a child’s environment affect their development? How can you promote positive mental health for young people? How do you identify protective factors for children?

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Explore inequalities in childhood and the factors that can nurture or disrupt child development. Analyse the critical frameworks for understanding relationships such as attachment theory. Critically examine the evidence base and use of practices in children’s services.

Designed for people with an interest in working in children’s services and education facilities, this course will encourage you to explore how to promote positive mental health for young people across a variety of settings.

You’ll develop your practical psychological skills in assessment, formulation and intervention planning, as well as your awareness of yourself as a practitioner.

Some of the topics you’ll study include psychological theories (such as Bowlby’s attachment theory) and how developmental, societal and environmental challenges influence all aspects of young people’s lives. You’ll also learn how to identify and nurture protective factors.

You’ll have a series of guest lectures throughout this course, especially throughout specialist units, to help you understand how the theory you learn in the classroom applies to the practice setting.

Guest lectures include experienced clinical and educational psychologists who contribute to a number of training programmes, as well as specialist speakers with a focus on trauma, creative therapeutic approaches and the development of novel trauma-informed services to help you explore career options.

For this course, you’ll usually complete a service-based dissertation that informs service development or specific interventions for children, young people or families.

Features and Benefits


Dr Sarah Parry - Clinical Psychologist, Senior Clinical Lecturer

Career Prospects

You’ll have the skills to develop your career in mental health services for children and young people, such as in schools, social work, educational psychology and children’s centres.

You could also continue with your studies through a professional doctorate (e.g. clinical, counselling or educational psychology) or through a PhD to further your career in mental health services or academia.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

A 2:1 or above in an honours degree course or overseas equivalent related to the allied health/social care or education professions, or an unrelated degree with some relevant experience in young people’s services and/or settings.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Who is the course for?

Our masters degree in Childhood Development and Wellbeing is designed for practitioners working with children, young people and families, and students looking to develop a foundation in theory and practice issues relating to young people’s mental health.

You might be a social worker, youth worker or a teacher looking to update your knowledge of mental health in children and young people. Or, you might be a speech and language therapist looking for a course combining theory with skills practice.

Whichever stage you’re at in your career, our course focuses on developing your therapeutic and clinical skills, theoretical knowledge, applied research skills, and explores wellbeing for practitioners.

What will you learn and how will you learn?

Some of the topics you’ll consider include key mental health and wellbeing constructs during childhood, ‘typical’ development, strategies to maintain your wellbeing at work, and how to design research projects with impact.

The course will give you the opportunity to understand how major life events and intersectional issues affect development and growth, as well as practical tools for undertaking assessments and designing effective interventions for young people across a range of settings.

Practical skills sessions typically focus on skills such as employing standardised assessment tools, managing important issues surrounding consent and confidentiality when working with young people, and how to be an effective member of an interdisciplinary team.

You’ll learn through a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, interactive workshops and case studies. You might debate policy, analyse examples in practice, share experiences, or present to your class, taking on the role of lecturer.

In some sessions, you’ll work in groups to develop your networking and sharing skills and experience. For other sessions, you’ll work individually and focus on your specialist area.

As you’ll be part of a multidisciplinary team when you work in practice, you’ll experience interdisciplinary teaching from across the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care. Our teaching staff includes people with experience in nursing, public health, and nutrition.

When will you learn?

Core course teaching takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays, although additional study skills teaching and supervisory meetings will take place throughout the week. Therefore, full-time students should ensure they are able to attend all teaching and supervision meetings to maximise their learning experience throughout the course.

Part-time students have core teaching on Mondays in year one and Tuesdays in year two. In year two, part-time students will also need to attend Wednesday lab classes monthly and allow time for dissertation prep.

We recommend one day per week is allocated for independent study for the dissertation from the beginning of year two.

All students should be available for meetings with tutors and supervisors on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.

Over the duration of the course, you'll cover the following units:

  • Childhood and Early Interventions
  • Developmental Stages and Challenges
  • Clinical Skills
  • Personal Development and Reflection
  • Research Principles and Methods
  • Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation
  • Core Therapeutic Principles 
  • Research Dissertation

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Department of Psychology

Our Department of Psychology is a large, diverse team of accredited psychologists, which includes practicing researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

The department aims to bring a real, relevant and modern perspective to teaching, with a view to using its wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of psychologists.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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