Understanding Infant Mental Health & Development (PGT)


Understanding Infant Mental Health & Development Microcredential

Duration: 10 weeks
Credits: 10 Academic Credits (PG)
Delivery: All course content is delivered on Moodle, our virtual learning platform. You will converse with the tutors and fellow students in online forums.
Timetable: Fully online and flexible, with no scheduled classes to attend.
Funding: You are eligible for a fully funded place on this course if you are Scottish-domiciled and/or work for an organisation based in Scotland.
College: College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
School: College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences Graduate School

This course isn't running at the moment. Subscribe to our Mailing List for alerts about future offerings!

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the stark reality of health inequalities in the UK and worldwide, highlighting and exemplifying disproportionate negative impact on vulnerable groups. Infants and their caregivers have been forced to endure prolonged periods of isolation and stress, and the demand for support has surpassed the supply of those capable of providing the necessary level of care. This course aims to equip learners with the theoretical foundations needed to identify, understand and address a child’s needs, making them better equipped to support children and caregivers during these unprecedented times. When applied, the knowledge, confidence and competence gained from this course will ultimately enhance the health workforce.

Why this course

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the fascinating world of the infant. It explores the intricate interplay between developmental and environmental factors that play a crucial role in shaping both the neurotypical and neurodiverse child's potential, focusing on the importance of early relationships and nurture.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Reflect critically on your own experiences, both personal and professional;
  • Analyse and evaluate scientific literature through the lens of the bioecological model to understand how pre- and post-birth environments influence child development;
  • Identify factors that affect relationships between infants and caregivers and discuss how early relationships impact developmental trajectories;
  • Communicate your newfound understanding in a clear and compelling manner.

Course structure

This course is designed to offer a unique and engaging opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills in the field of early child development. It will cover the following topics:

Week 1: Introduction to Infant Mental Health

Week 2: Child Development

Week 3: Understanding Attachment

Week 4: Relationships & Development 

Week 5: Infants with Exceptional Health Needs. Reflective Assessment due. 

Week 6: Introducing Neurodiversity 

Week 7: Conceptualising & Parenting Neurodiversity

Week 8: Adverse Childhood Experiences: Risk & Resilience 

Week 9: Infant Mental Health & Development: A Public Health Perspective 

Week 10: The Child’s World 

Week 11: Analysis & Response Assessment due



  • Written Response (30%) (optional)

Learners will produce a 500-word reflective response on an infant’s key experiences from their personal or professional experience. They will explore 1 factor that could influence the infant's attachment pattern, drawing on scientific literature to support their response. Due in Week 6.

  • Analysis and Response Assessment (70%) (optional) 

Learners will produce a 7-minute recorded PowerPoint presentation detailing their analysis and response to a case vignette. They will create a timeline of significant events in an infant’s life and adapt a bio-ecological model to the circumstances presented in the vignette, engaging with scientific literature to support their response. Due in Week 11.

Learners who choose to submit both assessments will be awarded 10 Academic Credits towards a relevant Master’s degree at the University of Glasgow.


Meet The Team

This course is designed and delivered by Dr Fiona Sim, with the help of a team of clinicians and academics including Professor Helen Minnis, Dr Lucy Thompson, Dr Christine Puckering, Dr Nashwa Matta, Dr Fiona Turner and Dr Jason Lang 

Fiona S is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests focus on infancy and early childhood, with a focus on early identification of neurodevelopmental difficulties in the preschool years.

Helen is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow and has affiliations with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, the Universities of Aalborg and Aarhus, Denmark and with the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden. She has had a longstanding clinical and research focus on the psychiatric problems of abused and neglected children. 

Christine is a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist with more than forty years of experience working with parents and children. She is particularly interested in early relationships and how these can be supported particularly when families are under stress. Christine is the Programme Founder for Mellow Parenting, a charity which has developed interventions from pregnancy to pre-school based primarily on attachment theory. 

Lucy is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. She is affiliated with the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre at Gothenburg University, Sweden. Her research interests include infant and maternal mental health, parenting support, and early years screening and support for neurodevelopmental problems. 

Nashwa is a neonatologist within the NHSGG&C and an honorary clinical senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow. She is particularly interested in child development and neurodisability and is committed to improving outcomes for infants. Nashwa is a member of the NICE guideline committee member and the Scottish Governments Perinatal Infant Mental Health implementation and advisory group.  

Fiona T is a Research Associate and Health Psychologist in academic CAMHS at the University of Glasgow. She leads on qualitative research and process evaluation in the areas of infant mental health, child maltreatment, foster care and neurodiversity. 

Jason is a Child Consultant and Adolescent Psychiatrist with an interest in neurodevelopmental conditions. His research interests include co-occurrence in neurodevelopmental conditions and environmental adaptations for children with such conditions.


Course alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all courses as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a course. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

This course is designed to equip learners with skills to progress within the following roles and industries: 

  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Medical professional
  • Social worker
  • Midwife
  • Health visitor
  • Paediatrician 

Completion of this course grants potential for:

  • Further academic study
  • Promotion
  • Increased earning potential
  • New career path

Entry requirements

It is suggested that learners on this course are educated to at least Undergraduate level and have an IELTS equivalent of 6.5. Learners will not be asked to prove their academic or professional history.