SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC821103
Module Leader Monika McNeill
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally Psychology : An Introduction (M1C820802), Brain Behaviour and Experience (M2C812738) ;Learning and Cognition (M2C821088) or The Person in a Social Context (M2C811549):

Summary of Content

This module presents an integrated approach to the scientific knowledge of human development. Contents provide an overview of how behavior, cognition, brain and experience are shaped by development and of how they are interrelated from the beginning in the developmental course. Theoretical approaches in the study of development and the methods used to investigate this relationship are presented. Changes in cognition, communication & language and socio-emotional development are followed from the initial stages to their adult forms. Contents also include a comparison between typical and atypical developmental paths and how this informs us on the interrelationship between biological, social and cognitive aspects of development


The syllabus adopts an integrated approach on development that takes into account cognitive, socio-cultural, neuroscience and evolutionary perspectives in order to understand different aspects of human development. It includes the evaluation of key concepts and methodologies in developmental psychology, developmental trajectories in aspects of cognitive development, language acquisition, socio-emotional development, the understanding of the self and others, autism and atypical development and moral development.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module the student should be able to:(1) Have a scientific understanding of the how the mind, brain, behaviour and experience are shaped throughout development.(2) Understand multiple perspectives in human development and hold a critical evaluation of them.(3) Understand the methods used in developmental psychology to the extent to be able to pose, operationalise and critique research questions in relation to human development(4) Critically evaluate the role of empirical evidence in the creation and constraint of developmental knowledge.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A pattern of lectures, weekly readings and seminar discussions provides the opportunity for students to develop theoretical and methodological knowledge, argumentative skills and critical thinking. The guided reading & discussion sessions will help the students to develop their understanding of the key concepts, practice their argumentative skills and improve their critical thinking. The consolidation of these skills is achieved in an essay of aprox. 2000 words which also aims to further develop and demonstrate the students independent learning skills.

Indicative Reading

Bjorklund, D.F. & Hernadez Blasi, C. (2011). Child and Adolescent Development: An integrated approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth -282 GoGoswami, U. (2008). Cognitive Development: The Learning Brain . Hove: Psychology Press. Other Texts : Borstein, M.H. (Ed) (2010). Handbook of Cultural Developmental Science. New York: psychology Press. Coch, D.: Fischer, K.W. & Dawson, G. (eds) (2010). Human Behavior, Learning and the Developing Brain: Typical Development . New York: Guilford Press. Coch, D.: Fischer, K.W. & Dawson, G. (eds) (2007). Human Behavior, Learning and the Developing Brain: Atypical Development . New York: Guilford Press. Blakemore, S.J. & Frith, U. (2006). The Learning Brain . Oxford: Blackwell. Bremmer, G. (1994). Infancy . Oxford: Blackwell. Bremmer, G. & Slater, A. (Eds.) (2004). Theories of infant development. Oxford: Blackwell -282 FritFrith, U. (2003). Autism: Explaining the enigma . Oxford: Blackwell. Goswami, U. (2002). Handbook of Cognitive Developmental Psychology . Oxford:Blackwell. Harris, P.L. (2000). The Work of the Imagination . Oxford: Blackwell. Mareschal, D. et al. (2007). Neuroconstructivism: How the brain constructs cognition (vols I & II). Oxford: OUP. -282 McMcGregor, E., Nfaf1ez, M., Cebula, K. & Gf3mez, J.C. (Eds.) (2008). Autism: An integrated view from Neurocognitive, Clinical and Intervention research. Oxford: Blackwell. Smith, L.; Dockrell, J.; Tomlison, P. (eds) (1997). Piaget, Vygotsky and beyond: Future issues for Developmental Psychology and Education . London: Routledge Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of Language Acquisition . Harvard University Press. References papers on each topic will be given with the lectures and seminar materials. Examples of relevant journals in the field are: Child Development Developmental Science Developmental Psychology

Transferrable Skills

The essay on a specified topic and the students' work in the seminars require information search, application of theoretical concepts to the applied setting individual responsibility for workload and team based activities.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 150.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% 2000 word essay
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 35% Two hour formal examination