module specification

PC5006 - Developmental Psychology and Cognition (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Developmental Psychology and Cognition
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
200 hours Guided independent study
100 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Review Essay, 1000 words
Coursework 25%   Experiment report, 1000 words, Superlab experiment and output file, PDF of model experiment
In-Course Test 25%   Multiple Choice Questions 1, covering all lectures until the Christmas vacation
In-Course Test 25%   Multiple Choice Questions 2, covering all lectures from January onwards
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

The first aim of this module is to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of theories in cognitive psychology, and theories of cognitive and social change throughout the lifespan. The second aim is to facilitate students’ ability to think critically about these theories, especially in the context of empirical evidence. Thirdly, related to the previous aim this module also aims to develop students’ skills in locating primary sources, and to read, understand and accurately communicate the information within. The ability to source information, evaluate it and provide a summation is a useful transferable skill necessary in a wide variety of employment. The deployment of theoretical research into a practical based application is also a key transferable skill.

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

Prior learning requirements

PC4007 Cognitive and Developmental Psychology


Topics will be drawn from: Life-span development (Speed, Memory, Personality, etc.), Developmental Theories including new theories such as Dynamic Systems Theory and Neural Network Learning as well as Cultural Constraints and Shaping, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Decision Making, as well as Topics within Language such as Speech Perception and Production, Bilingualism and Language Disorders. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The development of student learning in the subject matter of this module will be promoted through lecturer-led lectures (46 hours) to provide overview and seminars (6 seminars and lab classes) where specific quantitative empirical studies and case studies will be discussed. Computer aided learning of lecturer-uploaded material on Weblearn (40 hours) that provides students with additional material related to the lectures. Self-managed study/reading (200 hours). Exam and coursework preparation (80 hours).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

1. possess in-depth knowledge of theories, discussions and debates in a range of core research areas such as childhood, life-span development, language, memory and decision making

2. understand the research objectives of developmental and cognitive psychology and have an overview over empirical results in these areas

3. be aware of the use of a range of different research methods and create a small experiment in experiment generating software, e.g. Superlab

Assessment strategy


The assessments test students’ knowledge in various and diverse ways enabling students to show their depth and breadth of knowledge and academic ability. They will be given according to the sequence of the blocks of lectures.

Formative assessment:

Press Release (formative for the Student Review). Students are given a choice to write a press release for a published research study with a developmental or cognitive topic. The word limit of the review is 250 words. Students submit the essay on Weblearn. The review assesses students’ ability to critically evaluate research in depth which is a useful transferable skill for the final exam and their own project in the third year.

Summative Assessments:

Student Review (25%). Students are given TWO journal articles as a choice which investigate research questions of the lectures up to the deadline. The word limit the review is 1,000 words. The review assesses students’ ability to critically evaluate research which is a useful transferable skill and assess their knowledge in depth.

Experiment report (25%). Student create their own experiment and submit this on Weblearn. The coursework comprises of the publication pdf on which the experiment is based, the experimental file, the stimuli, the result file, and 1,000 words report (Introduction incl. hypothesis 500 words and Methods 500 words (guideline)). Students describe the material and the timing of the experiment as well as the resulting variables, but they do not collect data.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) (25%) first half. The MCQs assess students’ knowledge and overview of the lectures until the Christmas/Winter vacation. They assess breadth of knowledge.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) (25%) second half. The MCQs assess students’ knowledge and overview of the lectures since the Christmas/Winter vacation. They assess breadth of knowledge.


Bjorklund, D. F. (2017). Children’s Thinking. 6th edition
Erber, J. T. (2013). Aging and Older Adulthood. 3rd edition
Goldstein, E. B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology (with CogLab 2.0). 3rd edition.


Blasi, H. & Bjorklund, D. F. (2010). Child and Adolescent Development. Wadsworth
Carroll, D. W. (2008). Psychology of Language. 5th edition.
Croker, S. (2012). The Development of Cognition. 1st edition.
Franken, R. E. (2007). Human Motivation. 6th edition.
Goldstein, E. B. (2013). Sensation and Perception. Wadsworth 9th edition.
Hoff, E. (2009). Language Development. 4th edition.
Hornik-Parritz, R. H. & Troy, M. F. (2011). Disorders of Childhood. 1st edition.
Neath, I. & Suprenant, A.M. (2011). Human Memory. 2nd edition.
Shaffer, D. & Kipp, K. (2013). Developmental Psychology. 9th edition. 

Tutorial internet link for info (60 Superlab licences available for all students)