module specification

PC4007 - Cognitive and Developmental Psychology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Cognitive and Developmental Psychology
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Essay 1 (max 1500 words)
Coursework 30%   Essay 2 (max 1500 words)
In-Course Test 40%   1 hour in-class exam (multiple choice)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses on various aspects of thought (“cognition”) and behaviour, and how these develop through the lifespan. Lecture topics will include the historical development of ideas in cognitive and developmental psychology. They will also look at topics in Cognitive Psychology including perception, attention and memory and in Developmental Psychology, topics including research methods, development of the self (including gender development and attachment), and social & cultural influences on development.

Module aims

The aims of the module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher education Qualifications. Specifically, this module aims to introduce students to some of the foundational theories within cognitive psychology and developmental psychology, including a prehistory of cognition that examines some of the earlier approaches to human thought and behaviour. Students will also be introduced to some classic research studies that will help them to evaluate theories of cognition and development. In the cognition tutorials there will be the opportunity to replicate, and participate in, classic experiments and in the developmental seminars, the opportunity to watch and discuss existing developmental research. This module also aims to provide students with the qualities and transferrable skills necessary for employment requiring: written communication skills, discussion contribution, independent study and time keeping, summation and evaluation skills, and understanding of the scientific method and ethical research considerations.


The syllabus will be drawn from the broad areas of cognition and developmental psychology, e.g. perception, attention and memory [cognition] & development of the self (including gender development and attachment), and social & cultural influences on development [developmental psychology].

Learning and teaching

Lectures will provide students with the basic framework and knowledge for the topic, but deeper knowledge and understanding will be promoted through directed study of recommended reading material, seminars/workshops, and online formative testing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

1. Have an understanding of key theoretical explanations of developmental psychology and cognition.
2. Have developed an understanding of how cognition and developmental psychology can be investigated and theorised and applied to real world situations.
3. Be able to present a cogent account of psychological ideas and arguments based on empirical evidence.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is to (1) adopt a mix of assessment types (online/offline, formative/summative, timed/untimed, discursive/non-discursive) without overburdening students with too many assessments; (2) provide opportunities for formative assessment throughout the module.

Component Percentage of Marks Learning outcomes
001: Essay 1 30 1, 2, 3
002: Essay 2 30 1, 2, 3
003: MCQ 40 1, 2



Bjorklund, F. & Blasi, C. (2012). Child and Adolescent Development. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Davey, G. (2008). Complete psychology (2nd Edition). London, UK: Hodder & Stoughton. [core]

Goldstein, E.B. (2011). Cognitive psychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (3rd international edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Goldstein, E.B. (2010). Sensation and perception. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Siegler, R., Deloache, J., & Eisenberg, N. (2006). How children develop. New York: Worth.

Smith, P., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (2003). Understanding children’s development. Oxford: Blackwell.