M.Sc.-Development and Socialisation in Childhood and Adolescence
Offered by the 5 interconnected research programmes on Child and Adolescent Studies of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Utrecht University, the Development and Socialisation in Childhood and Adolescence (DaSCA) programme focuses on general processes of socialisation and child rearing and on normative developmental pathways. Considerable attention is given to the risk factors involved in the development of children and adolescents with a view to developing treatment strategies and preventive systematic intervention programmes.
The programme courses focus on theory and research in development and socialisation in childhood and adolescence, methodology and statistics, and basic academic skills. The theory courses address various topics of normal and pathological development and socialization of children and adolescents. Topic covered are: cognitive development in early childhood (development of numerical and language skills), social cognitive development in childhood and adolescence (for instance empathic concern and perspective taking), development of temperament and personality, development of relationships with parents and peers, development of internalizing (anxiety and depression), externalizing (aggression and delinquency), and risky behaviour (substance use, drinking and smoking). The theory courses offer also an introduction in the designing of experimental, quasi-experimental (especially randomized controlled trials) and longitudinal studies. The methodology and statistics courses offer training of advanced data-analysis, especially of longitudinal data. The methodology and statistics courses are integrated with the theory and research courses. In year two, students will complete an internship and write their Master's thesis in the form of a draft research article for international publication.
Upon completing the programme, students will have acquired sufficient knowledge to assess cognitive and psychosocial problems in childhood and adolescence and to develop and apply intervention programmes. Programme graduates will be well prepared for a PhD programme or a position as a researcher in general and applied research institutes. Subsequent PhD studies may be pursued at ISED or any other research schools in the behavioural and social sciences. Until now about 70% of DaSCA graduates obtained a PhD position within 4 months of graduation, whereas the the other graduates obtained research jobs outside university.
From 2010 on it is possible to combine DaSCA with academic masters that offer applied training of clinical work or developmental psychopathology. A combined 3 year programme is organized which offers students to graduate in DaSCA and an academic master (for instance Orthopedagogics).
This Master’s programme has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) till 2016. The NVAO evaluation turned out to be excellent and ranks DaSCA among the 10% best evaluated Dutch research master programmes in the behavioural sciences.