module specification

SE5F03 - Personal, Social and Emotional Development Matters (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24, but may be subject to modification
Module title Personal, Social and Emotional Development Matters
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 210
105 hours Placement / study abroad
45 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Oral Presentation (10 min)
Coursework 60%   Written paper (3,500 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module explores theoretical perspectives on babies’ and young children’s personal, social and emotional development, 0-6 but with a specific focus on the first three years of life. The impact of cultural and social factors will also be considered and the implications of these theories and factors for provision and practice with children aged birth to three will be explored.

Prior learning requirements

It is expected that students will be in a work placement providing for children in the birth to six age range for a minimum of 16 hours each week in a group setting.Students who are not based in settings covering the 0-3 age range, will be expected to undertake the minimum of a one day observational visit to a relevant provision.

Module aims

This core module aims to enable students to:

  • Increase their knowledge and understanding of the personal, social, cultural and emotional development of babies and young children and its influence on all other aspects of development and learning.
  • Identify and evaluate effective practice and provision for 0-3 year olds through considering the learning and care needs of children from birth to three in out of home care
  • Develop skills as a reflective practitioner that enable them to understand the impact of their role on the lives of babies and young children
  • Explore the social policy contexts of young children’s well-being and provision for 0-6 year olds


This module will promote reflection on the importance of personal, social and emotional development as an area of learning that is of fundamental importance for all other aspects of learning and development. It will include a focus on the socio-cultural and familial influences that impact on a children’s sense of cultural identity, self-esteem and emotional well-being. Relevant developmental psychology, psycho-analytic and neuro-scientific theory and research will be used to explore the growth and development of personal, social and emotional understanding in infancy and early childhood but with a specific focus on the first three years of life.
There will be a consideration of the importance of the adult’s role in developing key person relationships; the implications of this for practitioner's skills and attributes will be explored through reflective exercises.  Through their observations of practice in a setting, students will explore and analyse concepts of good quality practice and provision for children from birth to three in relation to developing and resourcing a broad and holistic curriculum that meets the needs of children from diverse cultural and family backgrounds. The module will also review current and historical social policy perspectives on children’s well-being and provision for 0-3 year olds and offer a comparative overview of differing international and cultural perspectives.

Learning and teaching

Observations will form the focus of teaching and learning; students will use these as a basis for reflection, analysis and for developing insight into theoretical perspectives.  Learning will also be through visits and discussion. 

Students theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars and students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of VLE for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for students; this will be in the context of tutor-led sessions .students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Teaching and learning strategies and methods also focus on workplace skills and professionalism. Students undertake and reflect on observations in the workplace and weekly tasks and reflective exercises support increased knowledge and understanding. Observations, action research, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitioners’ professional competence. 

The development of transferable skills in presenting evidence, arguments and points of view to a range of audiences, through a range of media, including the use of ICT also supports individual learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Describe, analyse and constructively critique theories of the personal, social, cultural and emotional development of babies and young children, drawn from the research of developmental psychologists and others
  2. Justify the crucial importance of this area of development and  its impact on long term learning
  3. Critically evaluate provision and practice and how it impacts on the development and well-being of 0-6 year olds
  4. Discuss and evaluate the impact of their role on the learning experiences of babies and young children and how their approach relates to their own experiences and values.
  5. Discuss historical and current social policies that relate to young children’s well-being and the care and education of 0-6 year olds

Assessment strategy

Students  are required to make a range of observations in their workplace. Students will have formative assessment opportunities throughout the module through in class / on line discussions of observations and tutor feedback or peer review on written observations. All students will have the opportunity for self assessment and ongoing reflection on their learning through on-line quizzes and short answer questions.

Students will be able to demonstrate they have met the learning outcomes through two summative assessments. At the mid-point of the module taught course students will give an oral presentation based on a study of a child’s personal, social and emotional development, supported by a summary report.  At the end of the module  students will submit a written paper which demonstrates their ability to identify and evaluate high quality out of home provision for 0-3 year olds in the context of research and theory. In this way the assessment will address both the professional and academic aspects of the module.
Students will be invited to attend a face to face tutorial to discuss their summative assessment in advance of submission deadlines and to receive detailed formative feedback.  Students will receive detailed formative written feedback following these tutorials.
Students will receive written feedback against all learning outcomes following the publication of marks. This will be the most comprehensive in cases of failure, where this will support learning for reassessment.

A. An oral presentation (10 mins) based on a study of a child’s personal, social and emotional  development, (40%).development

B. A written paper which demonstrates students' ability to identify and evaluate two different provisions for high quality the quality of standards in the provision, ie, private day nursery, children centre, creche, or nursery state school,  for 0-6 year olds in the context of research and theory.  (60%) 3,500 words



Indicative  core reading recommended for this module:

1. Brown, B. (2008) Equality in Action: A Way forward with Persona Dolls. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books  Elfer, P., Goldschmied, E., Selleck, D. (2002) Key Persons in Nursery: Building Relationships for Quality Provision, London: David Fulton
2. Dowling, M. (2010) Young Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development, London: Paul Chapman .
3. Gerhardt, S. (2004) Why Love Matters. How affection shapes a baby’s brain: Hove / New York: Brunner-Routledge
4. Manning-Morton, J (2010) ‘Not Just The Tip of The Iceberg: Psychoanalytic Ideas and Early Years Practice’, in Miller, L., Pound, L. (Eds) Theories and Approaches to Learning in the Early Years (Critical Issues in the Early Years), London: Sage
5. Manning-Morton, J (2006) The Personal is Professional: Professionalism and the birth to threes practitioner. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Volume 7, Number 1, 2006.

Other reading
Abbott, L., Langston, A. (Eds) (2005) Birth To Three Matters: Supporting the Framework of Effective Practice, Maidenhead: OUP McGraw Hill Education.
Goldschmied, E., Jackson, S. (2004) People Under Three, Young Children in Day Care. London: Routledge E book
Manning-Morton, J., Thorp, M. (2006) Key Times: Developing High Quality Provision for Children from Birth to Three Years, Maidenhead: OUP
Roberts, R (2011) Well-being from Birth, London: Sage
Siraj-Blatchford, I. Clarke, P. (2000) Supporting Identity, Diversity and Language in the Early Years, Maidenhead:Open University Press E book

Lally, J.R. Torres, Y.L and Phelps, P.C. (1997) Caring For Infants And Toddlers In Groups: Necessary Considerations For Emotional, Social And Cognitive Development. Zero to three, vol.14, no 5. pp.1-8.

Web sites:
Scottish Executive (2005) Birth to three, supporting our youngest children. Learning and Teaching Scotland.