Designed for health and social care professionals this unique programme combines theory, practice and research in the field of child and adult attachment and trauma.
1 year (full-time)
2–3 years (part-time)
Number of credits:
MSc: 180 M level credits
PGD: 120 M level credits (exit award only)
PGC: 60 M level credits (stand-alone award)
Online only option available. The programme is geared towards distance learning, and can be undertaken online-only, or mainly online, with some in person sessions on campus.
Apply the insights of attachment theory to clinical, practice and research settings. The programme is designed for psychologists, social workers, therapists, occupational therapists and professionals working with adults, children and families.
Gain the evaluation skills and practical tools that will help you assess attachment and family functioning, and think about intervention and treatment in your area of practice.
This unique programme combines theory, practice and research in the field of child and adult attachment and trauma in very troubled populations.
Course and Module Details
This pioneering programme is tailored to the learning needs of busy health and social care professionals including three main course offerings:
- MSc in Attachment Theory, Research and Practice: (180 credits) full-time or part-time.
- The MSc offers a comprehensive qualification in the use of attachment theory in practice and research settings
- Postgraduate Certificate in Attachment Theory, Research and Practice: (60 credits)
- The PG cert consists of the 3 modules drawn from the MSc, covering theory, assessment and formulation to offer professionals a working model of using attachment theory in clinical practice.
- Professional Development Courses: Choose from a range of Attachment Studies Short Courses.
The Attachment Theory, Research and Practice programme provides students with a specific qualification in the assessment of child and adult attachment, parenting and family functioning. Designed for health and social care professionals, our aim is to prepare you to be at the forefront of the next generation of attachment scholars and practitioners.
This course is best suited for professionals such as psychologists, social workers, therapists, and occupational therapists who are interested in broadening their skills in assessing attachment, improving the outcome of interventions with their clients and conducting small or large scale research projects. Central to the programme is the Patricia Crittenden’s Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation, combined with a culturally sensitive approach uniquely applicable to alleviate the suffering of distressed and traumatised people.
The short course, online led, blended-learning delivery of the programme is designed to enable you to attend and get the most from the programme regardless of your location. It can be attended entirely online, or mainly online with a small number of in-campus sessions to facilitate collaboration and learning from other students. Both the MSc and the Postgraduate Certificate are structured as a series of short courses (usually 2-3 days). On average, part-time students need to set aside 8 days a term for live teaching, delivered mainly online, and full-time students, 16, but this can vary according to options taken. In addition, students need to set aside an equivalent time for guided and self-directed study. Whilst there is some flexibility and support for those who cannot attend particular sessions, live online attendance at UK times will be required.
This reflects the practical and skills-based aspects of the programme, which teaches students to observe and make sense of attachment relationships in particular contexts, as well as be familiar with the underlying research evidence upon which this is based. You will study how attachment is assessed and be accredited in the proper administration of formal procedures that assess attachment. Students learn how to use attachment thinking to make sense of the problems of children and adults, identifying areas of adaptation and resilience, and offering creative solutions.
Although this course does not offer therapeutic training, you will be taught by experts in the field to gain the necessary knowledge to formulate intervention plans and select or mould therapeutic approaches to benefit your clients.
You will gain a comprehensive understanding of attachment theory including the latest developments in the neuroscience of attachment relationships and parenting. Our systemic approach broadens the study of attachment from mothers and infants to the attachment of older children, adults, family systems and wider social and community networks.
You will gain an in depth understanding of attachment theory, including the Dynamic-Maturational model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) and other approaches. In addition to studying the underpinning research, there is extensive use of videoed interaction and interview transcripts to teach students to observe patterns of attachment and the impact of trauma. This includes an understanding of the latest developments in the neuroscience of relationships. You will study core concepts of Attachment Theory, as well as related fields such as family systems theory, reflective functioning, trauma research, as well as the critiques and limitations of attachment theory.
You will also gain a comprehensive knowledge of how attachment and mentalising can be formally assessed in children and adults, including the opportunity to become accredited by the University in the administration of up to three procedures.
The interdisciplinary focus on both practice and research is invaluable for students interested in a research career in the field of attachment studies. Examples of recent and current PhD students’ research include the development of the Meaning of the Child Interview, the physiology of developmental trauma (PTSD) in children, the effectiveness of play therapy with traumatised children, and attachment in chimpanzees reared by humans.
Overall, the course seeks to give students the understanding and skills they need to use Attachment Theory to make a substantial contribution to their area of practice, and should they wish, contribute to the cutting-edge research of the programme team and department.
Course subject to curriculum review
These modules are those we currently offer and may be subject to change each year.
Attendance is in short blocks of intensive teaching, usually 2-3 days and conducted mainly live online (with a small number of optional in campus visits for those who choose this option). There are approximately 8 days (typically 10 – 4.30pm) of live teaching a term for PT students, 16 days for FT students, but this does vary. Please enquire for details. There is also guided and self-directed work to be carried out at home.
Our graduates go on to careers in health and social care, or undertake further study in fields such as Clinical Psychology. Students who already have a professional background have started their own businesses, such as residential assessment centres, or work as independent experts for the courts in England and Ireland.
How to apply
You can now apply for any programme for any entry point in 2023.
All postgraduate taught applications can be made via our online application form.
- Check our application deadlines
- View our entry requirements for postgraduate programmes
- View our general entry criteria and application FAQs below
If you need any help or advice with your application, or just want to ask us a question before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.
- See our Finance pages for more details
Postgraduate application process FAQs
No, you can save and revisit your application form and can contact us directly at any time if you need advice or assistance.
If you are a prospective postgraduate student who has home fee status, then you can apply close to the start of the course of study. However, if you have international fee status and require a Tier 4 Visa, then you will normally need to apply much earlier. Please see our application deadlines for postgraduate study.
We encourage all students to apply as early as possible, as some programmes have limited numbers.
Yes, we offer a range of scholarships, alongside support on managing your finances while you are with us.
Yes, we have a wide range of high quality and competitively priced on-campus student residences. We are able to offer quiet rooms and can adjust for those with specific access needs.
Find out more on our accommodation pages.
Postgraduate Certificate in Attachment Theory, Research and Practice
Designed for busy social care professionals, the Certificate enables you to build upon your skills at a pace that suits you. It can be undertaken entirely online, or an online led blended approach, consisting of live teaching online in 2-3 day blocks, guided and self-directed study, and up to 2 campus 2-3 day blocks for those not taking the online only option.
The Certificate consists of three 20-credit modules in Theory, Assessment and Intervention offering the foundations of an attachment-based approach to practice.
You will gain an in depth understanding of attachment theory, including the Dynamic-Maturational model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) and other approaches. In addition to studying the underpinning research, there is extensive use of videoed interaction and interview transcripts to teach students to observe patterns of attachment and the impact of trauma. This includes an understanding of the latest developments in the neuroscience of attachment and trauma. You will study core concepts of Attachment Theory, as well as related fields such as family systems theory, reflective functioning, trauma research, as well as the critiques and limitations of attachment theory.
You will also gain a comprehensive knowledge of how attachment and mentalising can can be formally assessed in children and adults, including the opportunity to become accredited by the university in the administration of up to three procedures.
The Formulation module teaches you to interpret the results of attachment assessments and use attachment theory to make sense of relationships in ways that inform intervention and practice. Rather than promote one kind of therapy or intervention, Attachment Theory offers an integrative framework for understanding mental distress, troubled behaviour, resilience and adaptation; enabling you to make the most effective use of the tools at your disposal in the particular context in which you work.
On successful completion of the Certificate, you can top up to the MSc.
For more information, please contact us.
Doing all we can to support our students' lives at Roehampton
At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.
We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.
We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.