SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC824236
Module Leader Monika McNeill
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally successful completion of Introduction to Biological, Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at level two, or equivalent.

Summary of Content

This module adopts an integrated approach to the scientific knowledge of human development. Contents provide an overview of how behaviour, cognition, brain and experience are shaped by development. 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. The module content also includes a reflective, evidence-based account on how the basic knowledge of human development can be applied in specific real-world contexts.


The syllabus adopts an integrated approach on development that takes into account cognitive, socio-cultural and neuroscience perspectives in order to understand different aspects of human development. Content includes the evaluation of key concepts and methodologies in developmental psychology, the developmental trajectories of different aspects of cognitive development, language acquisition, socio-emotional development, the understanding of the self and others, autism and atypical development and moral development. Throughout the contents, a special stress will be placed in the application of evidence-based knowledge to the real-world problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module the student should be able to:(1) Gain a critical understanding of the key historical and psychological antecedents of Developmental Psychology (assessed in the summative exam)(2) Understand and critically evaluate multiple psychological perspectives in human development(3) Understand the research methods used in Developmental Psychology to the extent of being able to critically appraise their use in the context of human development and the relevant research(4) Be able to plan, carry out a developmentally driven research, analyse the data and critically evaluate the findings in context of previous literature and the applied context(5) Produce a research outcome in a format of an academic poster (assessed as a summative coursework)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The course will be taught by a series of lectures and seminar sessions. The seminars will be structured to present students with applied problems related to carrying out a piece of research and challenge them to explore the research questions. This will allow students the opportunity to implement real world problem solving. The coursework for the module will consist of a Research Poster. Formative assessment will include a session where students receive guidelines and feedback on responses of 'exam type questions'.

Indicative Reading

Textbook Leman, P.; Bremner, A. Parke, R. & Gauvain, M. (2012). Developmental Psychology. London: McGraw-Hill Other Recommended Blakemore, S.J. & Frith, U. (2006). The Learning Brain. Oxford: Blackwell. Borstein, M.H. (Ed) (2010). Handbook of Cultural Developmental Science. New York: psychology Press Coch, D.: Fischer, K.W. & Dawson, G. (eds) (2007). Human Behavior, Learning and the Developing Brain: Atypical Development. New York: Guilford Press. Goswami, U. (2008). Cognitive Development: The learning Brain. Hove: Psychology Press. Johnson, M. (2006). Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. (Second edition). Oxford: Blackwell. McGregor, E., Nfaf1ez, M., Cebula, K. & Gf3mez, J.C. (Eds.) (2008). Autism: An integrated view from Neurocognitive, Clinical and Intervention research. Oxford: Blackwell Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of Language Acquisition. Harvard University Press

Transferrable Skills

The research poster and the students' work in the seminars require information search, application of theoretical concepts to the applied settings, individual responsibility for workload and team based activities.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Two Hour Formal Examination
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Research Poster