module specification

PY7017 - Developmental Psychology (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Developmental Psychology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
176 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Research report (3500 words)
Coursework 50%   Essay on developmental psychology (2500 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

The first aim of this module is to develop students’ systematic understanding of theories of cognitive and social development throughout the lifespan. The second aim is to facilitate students’ ability to think critically about these theories, especially in the context of empirical evidence. A third aim is to develop students’ skills in locating primary sources, and to read, understand, critically evaluate and accurately communicate the relevant information.


Topics will be drawn from: development of language, development of theory of mind, development of memory, understanding the fantasy-reality distinction, education and development, risk and resilience, attachment and parenting, identity, self and gender development. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of the topics through lectures, but deeper understanding, evaluation and skill development will be promoted through directed study of recommended reading material, seminars, and online resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:
1) possess systematic in-depth knowledge and critical awareness of a range of core topic areas and related research in developmental psychology;
2) have comprehensive knowledge and critical awareness of a range of different research methods used in developmental psychology;
3) be able to summarise and evaluate critically theoretical developments in developmental psychology in the light of empirical evidence.
4) be able to investigate psychological development using appropriate methodologies and present research findings in line with discipline-specific expectations and requirements.

Assessment strategy

Summative assessments will take the form of an extended essay (50%) and a research report (50%). Both will address all learning outcomes. Formative assessment consists of a series of in class tests and a presentation.


Bjorklund, F. & Blasi, C. (2012). Child and Adolescent Development. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. [This book is available online via the library’s electronic catalogue]
Croker, S. (2012). The Development of Cognition. Hampshire: Cengage Learning.
Gillibrand, R., Lam, V., & O’Donnell, V. (2016). Developmental Psychology. 2nd edition. Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Smith, P.K., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (2015) Understanding Children’s Development (6th Edition).  Blackwell.

Quinlan, P. & Dyson, B. (2008). Cognitive Psychology. Harlow, Essex, UK: Pearson.
Hoff, E. (2014). Language Development. 5th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning