Developmental Psychology

The scientific study of human behaviour

Developmental psychology is growing in profile and status with policy-makers, practitioners, business and the general public alike. At a time when the concept of healthy ageing is high on the political agenda, we are advancing vital knowledge on how to ensure good foundations for health from an early age, and across the lifespan.   

Our expertise in child development means we can offer training and consultancy services to parents, carers and professionals, drawing on latest scientific research into how and why humans change and develop over the course of their lives.

This includes a focus on how to support children with challenging conditions such as autism and ADHD which impair the traditional path of development. Greater appreciation of such conditions has never been more important at a time when around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum and ADHD affects some 2.5% of children in the country.   

With around one in 13 babies in the UK born prematurely, we are also exploring the psychological impact on parents and new-borns while they are in neo-natal care. The emphasis is on ways to provide better support for families, with the aim of improving parental self-esteem and parent-to-infant attachment.

Our work in these areas – and many more – is captured in our inspirational MSc Applied Developmental Psychology, aimed at professionals who want an up-to-date, in-depth understanding of this exciting discipline.

Mother playing with her child - adding a wooden circle onto a pole

Our expertise

Our team of specialists is made up of Chartered Psychologists and includes Associate Fellows of the British Psychology Society (BPS) with a strong track record of publication, for example:

The impact of having a premature baby

Dr Christopher Barnes, MSc Applied Developmental Psychology Programme Leader, discusses the impact of having a baby born prematurely on parents and their babies, and the support offered during hospitalisation.

Read Christopher's blogRead Christopher's blog

Developmental Psychology Services

Developmental psychology can be harnessed in education, health, clinical and other related real-world environments. Our aim is to create an important bridge between academic and professional psychology in ways which are relevant in a wide range of contexts.

We provide workshops, training, consultancy, evaluation and research tailored to meet the specific needs of different client groups – from providing baby massage training for parents to helping raise awareness of autism in business and industry.