Master's degree inThemes of Developmental Psychology

General Objectives of the Course

This cycle aims to increase knowledge and prepare students:
• To recognize the complexity of the concept human development.
• To consider that development is a process coincident with the life cycle and, therefore, there will be particular "developments" at different times.
• To identify the general processes underlying the development of the child, adolescent and adult.
• To know how to integrate the general processes of development (epistemic) with the idiosyncratic aspects of the individuals or of particular "populations" (ex.: family related, social, and cultural).
• To characterize the main theories concerning the development and contribute for the updating and incorporation of new data from the most recent empirical investigations.
• To plan, develop and evaluate activities that promote a well achieved development.
• To participate in the administration and management of systems and organizations for education and training, at central, regional, local and organizational level.
• To develop training activities in the area of developmental psychology.
• To reflect upon measures likely to facilitate the resolution of social problems involving children, adolescents and elderly.

Admission Requirements

- Holders of a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or Psychology Sciences, as long as they prove to have successfully accomplished the curricular internship in Psychology;
- Holders of a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Sciences or Social Work, as long as their Curriculum Vitae demonstrates an adequate basic scientific preparation to approach the specialization’s field of this cycle of studies;
- Holders of a Bachelor’s degree in other fields, that present an academic training or a scientific and professional curriculum relevant to attend this cycle of studies and which is recognized by the Scientific Council responsible for the Master’s degree cycles of studies.

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Professional Goals

The organization of this Master degree and the teaching methodologies enable the acquisition of academic expertise, emphasizing skills that allow master holders to perform, independently, complex professional duties in the scope of developmental analysis through the life cycle.

Mode of Study

The course is delivered in full time or part time attendance and daytime schedule.

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)


Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading

Assessment of the course units that comprise the Master’s syllabus is regulated by the “Normas de Avaliação” (Assessment Norms) document, issued by the Pedagogic Council and in force at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Coimbra.
The final grade in the Master’s degree is determined in accordance with paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Article 51st of Regulation n. 315/2013, August 19th.

Learning Objectives and Intended Skills

By the end of the cycle of studies, students should be able:
• To identify the processes relevant for development at different stages of the life cycle.
• To identify any social, political or educational constraints (significant variables), which may impede or hinder the development of norms.
• To recognize that the various skills and/or characteristics (ex.: cognitive, relational, personality) may take different "forms", while still being normative - that is, a priori the shape assumed by development is never defined.
• To prepare programs to promote specific developments in different periods
• To identify the relevant socio-cultural influences, distinguishing them from the irrelevant, aiming for the normative development at different ages.
• To intervene "indirectly" helping educators/parents/professionals to deal with possible developmental problems of children/students.
• To identify risk factors for the development of children and young people, avoiding risk situations and forwarding them to support services, intervention or specialized educational institutions.
• To develop training activities in the area of developmental psychology.
• To build and use assessment tools of different aspects of development, so as to promote it and/or induce changes.
• To encourage the acquisition of knowledge and skills in order to develop interpersonal relationships which promote well-being in the family, community and society.
• To develop skills and apply knowledge in new situations, adapting well to different environments and contexts.
• To work with a team, contributing to the creation of a good working environment.
• To present autonomy and initiative.

Course Coordinator(s)

Margarida Maria Batista Mendes Pedroso Lima

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

Lisete Santos Mendes Mónico

Recognition of Prior Learning

The recognition of prior learning will be assured according with Article 45 of Decree-Law n.74/2006, March 24th, (as amended by Decree-Law n. 107/2008, June 25th and by Decree-Law n. 230/2009, September 14th and rectified by Corrigendum n. 81/2009, October 27th, amended and republished by Decree-Law n. 115/2013, August 7th), and the Master’s Norms.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations

Decree-Law n. 74/2006, March 24th, in its present redaction; Decree-Law n. 42/2005, February 22nd – approves the tool regulating principles for the creation of the European higher education area; Order 782/2009, July 23rd

Graduation Requirements

Elaboration and of a final assignment that can be a Dissertation or a Scientific project. Attendance at this Master’s course with a successful assessment in the whole curricular units of the first year will allow students to obtain a Post Graduate Studies Certificate in Themes of Developmental Psychology. Number of ECTS credits required to obtain this Master’s Degree: 120 ECTS. Usual course duration: 2 years.

Access to Further Studies

In accordance with paragraph 1 of article 30th of Decree-Law n.74/2006, March 24th, (as amended by Decree-Law n. 107/2008, June 25th and by Decree-Law n. 230/2009, September 14th and rectified by Corrigendum n. 81/2009, October 27th, amended and republished by Decree-Law n. 115/2013, August 7th), completion of this 2nd cycle enables holders to apply for a 3rd cycle.

Study Programme

Master's Degree in Themes of Developmental Psychology

Academic year

Course Type
2nd Cycle Studies - Lifelong Learning Master Programme

DGES Code: M733

Qualification Awarded: Mestre

Duration: 2 Year(s)

ECTS Credits: 120.0

Category: Lifelong training second cycle


Call for Applications (only in portuguese)


1st Semester
Start date: 10-09-2018
End date: 20-12-2018
2nd Semester
Start date: 04-02-2019
End date: 30-05-2019


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2013-08-20 a 2019-08-19
Conselho Científico-Pedagógico de Formação Contínua
2016-07-28 a 2019-07-28
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior