SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L526322
Module Leader Sharon Jackson
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of Level 1 BA (Hons) Social Work/equivalent

Summary of Content

Students will be introduced to theories of human growth and development offering a range of explanations for the physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, sexual and social development of children and adults. The module will explore key developmental concepts of relevance to social work practice such as critical periods, attachment, transition; change and continuity; strengths, resources and resilience; adversity, loss and bereavement, vulnerability and risk. The module will include factors that affect optimum human development such as developmental delay, diminished parenting capacity, for example substance misuse, mental health needs and domestic violence, and adverse structural and social circumstances, for example poverty and discrimination. The application to social work practice of human growth and development knowledge will be explored, specifically in relation to children and families, adolescents, adults and older adults.


-426 1. Different theoretical approaches to human development. 2. The stages of life course from birth to old age. 3. Factors that impact on normative development. 4. Diversity, discrimination and oppression. 5. Key developmental concepts in human growth and development. 6. Life course knowledge in social work practice with children, young people, adults and older adults.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate a discerning understanding and awareness of how human development is a lifelong process from infancy to old age.2. Critically analyse, compare, contrast and evaluate different theoretical approaches to human development .3. Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and awareness around how children mature and develop4. Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and awareness of a range of factors that impact on normative models of development in childhood, adolescence and adulthood such as developmental delay, diminished parenting capacity, disability, impairment and adverse social circumstances.5. Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and awareness of the implications of discrimination arising from ethnic origin, class, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, the impact of poverty and immigration status upon human development across the lifespan6. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the application of developmental concepts and theories to social work practice. 7. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the self through the application of developmental concepts and theories

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be taught using a range of methods. Lectures will be used to convey the key concepts and core themes of the module. These will be supported by the involvement of service users and carers, as well as videos and other learning resources. The seminar programme will be delivered in tutor-led groups. Students will be supported to work through the taught material of the module. This will be achieved by students applying their theoretical understanding to the 'testimonies of experience' provided by service user and carers, critical reflection of their own life experiences and case studies. In addition students will work in small groups giving a presentation of their theoretical understanding of a case study to the seminar group. They will then lead a discussion on the ethical, theoretical and practice issues for social workers as raised by the case study.

Indicative Reading

Bales, P., Reuter-Lorenz, P. and Rosler, F., 2006. Lifespan Development and the Brain: The Perspective of Biocultural Co-Constructivism. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Beckett, C. and Taylor, H., 2019. Human Growth and Development. London, Sage. Berne, E., 2011. Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis. Tantor eBooks. Burkitt, I., 2008. Social Selves: Theories of Self and Society. London, Sage. Chisnell, C., 2016. Safeguarding in Social Work Practice: A Lifespan Approach. London, Sage. Cox, K. and Steiner, S., 2013. Self-care in Social Work. A Guide for Practitioners, Supervisors, and Administrators. NASW Press. Currer, C., 2007. Loss and Social Work. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Daniel, B., Campbell, I. and Wassell, S., 2002. Adolescence. London, Jessica Kingsley. Daniel, B., Wassell, S. and Gilligan, R., 2011. Child Development for Child Care and Protection Workers. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Frost, E. and McClean, S., 2013. Thinking About the Lifecourse: A psychosocial Introduction. Basingstoke, Macmillan International Higher Education. Deacon, L. and MacDonald, S, 2017. Social Work Theory and Practice. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Healy, K., 2014. Social Work Theories in Context: Creating Frameworks for Practice. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Howe, D., 2017. An Introduction to Social Work Theory. London, Routledge. Howe, D., 2011. Attachment Across the Lifecourse: A Brief Introduction. Basingstoke, Macmillan International Higher Education. Ingleby, E., 2010. Applied Psychology for Social Work. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Keenan, T., Evans, S. and Crowley, K., 2016. An Introduction to Child Development. London, Sage. Knott, C. and Scragg, T. eds., 2016. Reflective Practice in Social work. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Malim, T., 2017. Introductory psychology: An Approach for Social Workers. Basingstoke, Macmillan International Higher Education. Mooney, C.G., 2013. Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. Redleaf Press. Misca, G. and Unwin, P., 2017. Psychology and Social Work: Applied Perspectives. Cambridge, Policy Press. O'Brien, E., 2016. Psychology for Social Work: A Comprehensive Guide to Human Growth and Development. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Sudbery, J. and Whittaker, A., 2018. Human Growth and Development: An Introduction for Social Workers. London, Routledge. Thompson, N., 2002. Loss and Grief: A Guide for Human Service Practitioners. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Triesman, K., 2017. Working with Relational and Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents. London, Routledge. Van der Kolk, B., 2015. The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma .London, Penguin. Walker, J., 2017. Social Work and Human Development. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Wastell, D. and White, S., 2017. Blinded by Science: The Social Implications of Epigenetics and Neuroscience. Cambridge, Policy Press. Williams, C. and Graham, M.J. eds., 2016. Social Work in a Diverse Society: Transformative practice with black and minority ethnic individuals and communities. Cambridge, Policy Press.

Transferrable Skills

-284 1. Applying theoretical perspectives. 2. Integrating diverse explanations. 3. Communication and observational skills. 4. Assessing, analysing and presenting case material. 5. Facilitation skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 18.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Lectures (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Biology/Psychology/Social Assessment2500 words