Master's degree in Psicologia dello Sviluppo e dell'Educazione - Curriculum Developmental and Educational Psychology

The Master’s degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology is organized in two main curricula: one in Italian, and one taught completely in English.
The Master’s degree provides students with cutting-edge scientific knowledge and skills concerning typical and atypical development, and advanced topics in emotion regulation, peer relationships, and cultural developmental psychology. The program encourages students’ active engagement and participation by combining theory with advanced methodology and practice that can be applied to different developmental periods, from infancy to late adolescence.
The English curriculum, is a new offer of the University of Padova. It combines strong theoretical issues and research methods applied to typical and atypical development. Thus, special attention will be devoted to research methods and statistical methods applied to developmental and educational psychology.

Characteristics and objectives
Knowledge acquired by the graduate concerns the various aspects of typical and atypical development (cognitive, affective, social and communicative), as well as learning (motivation, emotion and the acquisition of disciplinary knowledge), including difficulties and disorders that occur within educational processes. Acquired knowledge may be especially used in educational contexts (school, educational and rehabilitation services, etc.), in healthcare and social institutions, and of the territory (counselling centre, diagnostic and intervention services, communities etc.) and in national and international research institutions and centres.

Occupational opportunities
The master’s degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology will allow to follow a professional career in fields related to applied developmental and educational psychology, such as in educational or clinical centers for children and youth. In particular, graduates may find occupational opportunities in the following areas: (a) promotion of well-being in educational contexts; (b) intervention in cases of sociocultural and linguistic disadvantage; (c) assessment and intervention of learning difficulties and disabilities; (d) assessment and intervention of developmental disorders; (e) interventions in emergency contexts; (f) counselling for parents, teachers, and other professionals in the areas of typical and atypical development, and learning.
The master’s course has a strong focus on acquiring research methods. Hence, graduates in Developmental and Educational Psychology gain theoretical and methodological competencies required for post-graduate trainings, including national and international PhD programs.

Developmental and educational psychology; Psicologia dello sviluppo e dell'educazione

Teachinig list
First year
1. Research issues in typical cognitive development
During the course the students will acquire knowledge on: (a) the most recent theoretical models explaining the genesis and development of human cognition (b) the effects of active learning on cognitive and neurodevelopmental processes in typical development (c) life experiences and changes in cognitive processes associated with environmental factors. Students who attend the class will also have the opportunity to acquire useful skills necessarily to evaluate scientific texts and articles, as well as discussion and presentation competences.

2. Statistical methods and data analysis in developmental psychology
3. Advanced data analysis for psychological science
4. Experimental research methods in psychology
5. Developmental cognitive and social neuroscience
In this course we will consider questions such as: What is the nature of developmental change? What are the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive, perceptual, social, and emotional development during infancy and childhood? We will also evaluate implications of findings from developmental cognitive neuroscience for broader scientific issues including nature vs. nurture, critical periods in development, and the modularity of mental functions. An integral part of the course will be careful consideration of the major methods of developmental cognitive neuroscience including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), recordings of evoked response potentials (ERPs), and behavioral marker tasks. We will devote particular attention to the unique challenges of applying these methods to the study of infants and children in typical and atypical development.

6. Cultural developmental psychology
This course aims to provide a cultural perspective on human development. Specifically, the course will emphasize the usefulness of a (cross-)cultural approach to understand parenting and psychological functioning, to assess culturally diverse children and families, and to implement culturally sensitive interventions. Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be knowledgeable about the role of culture in human development and in socialization processes, as well as to identify the risk and protective factors involved in the adaptation of migrant families.

7. Research issues in atypical development and learning
The course aims to introduce students to a range of both theoretical and practical issues encountered by researchers when planning and carrying out studies involving atypical populations. The course attempts to integrate diverse research topics and explanatory models within a broader framework of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in order to demonstrate how challenging might be an effective end-to-end research process. The second part of the course focuses on critical discussions of current research works in the field, with particular attention to cognitive and emotional aspects in educational settings. Moreover, this course aims to enhance students’ critical-thinking competence, thus supporting their transition into future career plans, giving them some insight into what it is like to both undertake a research programme as well as a clinical path.

8. Advanced topics in emotion regulation and education
This course aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the main and most recent theories on the development of emotion regulation, with a special focus on its role in children’s learning processes. The course will adopt a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach presenting 1) the foundation of the development of emotion regulation and its role for later development of healthy, competent functioning; 2) the strong interconnection between emotion and cognitive regulation; 3) the protective role of emotion regulation when coping with internal and external sources of stress during childhood. Furthermore, research methodologies (including physiological measures) and cultural-contextual influences will be presented. At the end of the course, students should be able to express knowledge about the development of emotion regulation and its role in promoting, wellbeing and learning across the life span. Moreover, they should be able to understand and apply key concepts in the development of emotion regulation real-life practical educational and clinical contexts as well as to plan a research with adequate methodologies for the study of emotion regulation in children.

9. Advanced topics in peer relationships research

Second year
1. Risk prevention and wellness promotion among youth
2. Economic inequality: perception, consequences and legitimization
3. Introduction to scientific writing (Laboratory)
4. Writing grant proposals (Laboratory)
5. Research ethics (Laboratory)

How to apply
Entry requirements:
- A minimum three-year undergraduate degree (in Psychology or related fields, such as Educational Sciences), with proven knowledge in Developmental and Educational Psychology
- English language at a B2 level as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or corresponding level (e.g. Academic IELTS or TOEFL/IBT) is required.
Documents to be filled in and attached to the application (you may find the templates to the link here below):
- CV
- Statement of purpose
Apply Now
7 January - 7 March 2023 Non-EU citizens
Spring/summer 2023 (Eu and equated students)

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