SHE Level 6
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MDC825609
Module Leader Tasim Martin
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Critical Enquiry in Applied Psychology 2

Summary of Content

This module draws together many of the themes of the programme in the form of an exploration of life-span development, focusing on the range of factors impacting upon the individual at different points of the life-course and considering these in terms of their implications for psychological theory and practice. The module commences with an exploration of theories of life-span development (e.g. Levinson, 1996), critically evaluating these in terms of the possibilities they offer as an organising framework for Psychological working, as applied to specific domains (Health, Sports & Exercise and Counselling Psychology). It will progress onto an exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by different stages and trajectories in life including and awareness of the disadvantage and social exclusion. The following topics will be explored: childhood and adolescence, the development and evolution of relationships, families and family life; life transitions, aging and finally the move into old age and towards death. Specific areas of psychological working (for example addictions, psycho-oncology, trauma survivors) will be explored in terms of lifespan models and used to provide 'working examples' of the multiplicity of themes relevant to applied psychology theory and practice. These offer an important link to the social context of the programme through attending specifically to the demands and challenges of the local Scottish context. The module also undertakes a consideration of other presenting problems in the relevant applied psychology domains. This element is student-led in form and content, providing a vehicle for students to draw on their own interests through leading the delivery of knowledge that adds to the learning of peers and colleagues. A final theme of the module builds on Critical Enquiry 2 in elaborating knowledge and competence in the selection, use and interpretation of psychometric tests and related assessment procedures. This is augmented by exploration of neuropsychology principles, with a lifespan perspective, including screening and assessment, cognitive impairment, rehabilitation and adaptation of practice for those with acquired brain injury.


The syllabus will include the following topics; "Psychological theories of life-span development; Narrative and social consructionist approaches to the life-course; The role of the life-span in Counselling Psychology; Life-span issues and transitions relevant to Applied Psychology practice including: childhood and adolescence; relationships and family systems; aging and the end of life; disadvantage and social exclusion; Common presenting problems in applied psychology; The Scottish Context in relation to mental health; Working examples of psychology services; Psychometric testing and neuropsychology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, within a specific domain of practice (Counselling, Health or Sports & Exercise Psychology), students should be able to:1. Critically analyse and evaluate theories of human development and transition across the lifespan and their relevance to psychology theory and practice in a specific applied domain;2. Critically appraise key issues arising from different stages and transitions across the lifespan and their relevance to theory and practice (for example, childhood and adolescence, relationships and family systems, aging and old-age, disadvantage and social exclusion);3. Demonstrates critical, detailed and leading edge knowledge of psychological problems and presentations, including their relationship to theory, research and practice;4. Demonstrate an advanced and leading capacity to effectively communicate psychological and professional knowledge;5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to analyse and present complex information gathered from different sources during psychological assessment and make professional recommendations;6. Develop and review collaborative formulations, sensitive to client context and life stage, which enable empathic understanding, decision-making and therapeutic planning;7. Manage complex issues and make informed professional and ethical decisions in the absence of complete or consistent data or information;8. Demonstrate the capacity to communicate at the standard of published academic and/or professional work (including appropriate referencing);

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered via a programme of day and part-day workshops which include a student-led element designed to support students in determining and meeting their own development needs as practitioners. Workshops will incorporate a range of learning experiences whereby lecture content is supplemented by video/audio materials, groupwork, role play and discussion, and extensive reading. Learning will be supported by additional module materials accessed through GCU's VLE.

Indicative Reading

Broderick, P. & Blewitt, P. (2010). The life span: Human development for helping professionals . New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. DeSpelder, L. &. Strickland, A. (2005). The last dance: Encountering death & dying (7th Ed). New York: McGraw-Hill. DiClemente, C. (2018). Addiction and change: How addictions develop and addicted people recover (2 nd Ed) . Guildford Press: New York. Duffy, M. (1999). Handbook of counselling and psychotherapy with older adults. Wiley: London. Fairfax H. (2016). Neuropsychology and counselling psychology. In Douglas, B., Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Kasket, E. & Galbraith, V. (2016). The handbook of counselling psychology (4th Ed.) (pp.349-362). SAGE: London. Fawcett, B., Weber, Z. & Wilson, S. (2011). International Perspective on Mental Health: Critical Issues Across the Lifespan. Palgrave Macmillon: UK. Gerhardt, S. (2004). Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain . Routledge: London. Gilligan, C (1982). In a different voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Goudie, F. (2010) Psychological Therapy with Older Adults, in Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden, W. (2010). Handbook of Counselling Psychology (3 rd Ed.)(pp.373-394). SAGE: London. Harris, P. (2007). Empathy for the Devil: How to help people overcome drugs and alcohol problems. Russell House Publishing Ltd: London. Lachman, M. (2001). Handbook of mid-life development . Wiley: New York. Levinson, D.J. (1986). The seasons of a man's life . Ballantine: New York. Levinson, D. J. (1997). The seasons of a woman's Life . Random House, New York. Lezak, M.D., Howieson, D.B., Loring, D.W., Hannay, H.J. & Fischer, J.S. (2004). Neuropsychological assessment . Open University Press: USA. Mooeney, C. G. (2000). Theories of Childhood: An introduction to Dewey, Montessey, Erickson, Piaget, and Vygotsky. Readleaf: New York. Nicholas, D.R. (2012). On being a psycho-oncologist: A counselling psychology perspective. The Counselling Psychologist , 41 (2), pp.186-215. Siegal, D. (2010). Mindsight: transform your brain with the new science of kindness . Oneworld Publications. Sugarman, L. (2004). Counselling and the life course . London: Sage. Sugarman, L. (2016). Designing your life map. In Douglas, B., Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Kasket, E. & Galbraith, V. (2016). The handbook of counselling psychology (4th Ed.) (pp.41- 54). SAGE: London. Vaillant, G E (2002). Aging well . Boston: Little, Brown. Wilson, B.A., Gracey, F., Evans, J.J. & Bateman, A. (2009). Neuropsychological rehabilitation: Theory, models, therapy and outcome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Worden, J. (2010). Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy (4th Edition). London: Routledge.

Transferrable Skills

Conceptualising professional dilemmas & problem-solving; advanced communication and writing skills; creativity and innovation; critical thinking; time management; critical dialogue; influencing & leadership; i nclusion, acceptance, personal awareness and ability to reflect.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 50.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Independent Learning (FT) 220.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% oral presentation and submission
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 45% 5000 word assignment