The two year programme is divided into four semesters. The curriculum comprises three major components: theoretical models and advanced theoretical topics, advanced research methods, and the preparation of a Master's thesis.


There are four parallel courses in each of the two semesters of the first year:

  • Human development and developmental psychopathology
  • Context of psychosocial development Family Processes, Peer Relationships, and Culture
  • Relationships, personality, and adjustment in adolescence
  • Societal and cultural perspectives on development and socialisation

Two courses of the first year are devoted to methods and statistics: Multivariate statistics in practice and Introduction in multilevel and structural equation modelling.

The remaining two courses are Research Practicals, integrating the knowledge and insights from the theoretical and methodological courses.


The programme addresses such crucial issues as:

  1. the development of an integrated picture of the processes of individual functioning by theoretically and empirically modelling developmental pathways;
  2. consideration of the substantial importance of parenting and family socialisation for individual development;
  3. disentanglement of peer socialisation processes and mechanisms of social influence and social selection;
  4. understanding of the individual and contextual conditions that determine maladaptive developmental trajectories, and
  5. development of prevention and intervention programmes.

The second year of DaSCA includes a course on academic skills and methodology and statistics (DaSCA09), a course on assessment, treatment, and evaluation (DaSCA11), the internship (DaSCA12), and writing a master's research thesis (DaSCA13).

One of the courses (DaSCA10) is the elective course. The elective course is chosen individually, according to the specific needs of each individual student, in close consultation with the coordinator.

During the internship, students learn to function within a team of researchers in a research institute. In their master's thesis, which has the format of a publishable article, students apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge to a specific research project of their choice.

The courses have an intensive format with written (research) assignments, class presentations, final papers, written exams, and short exercises. For each course a course manual is available in the electronic learning environment Blackboard. In these manuals you will find more detailed information about the content, aims and structure of the course.