module specification

SW4002 - Human Growth and Development: A Life Course Perspective (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Human Growth and Development: A Life Course Perspective
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
200 hours Guided independent study
55 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay 1 A Child Observation
Coursework 50%   Essay 2 An Adult Case Study
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

By the end of this module you will be able to
• Identify and critically reflect on sociological and psychological theories of child development and evaluate their application through observational skills and research evidence.
• Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of ‘normal’ child developmental milestones within the parameters of diverse cultures and contexts. 
• Explain and analyse theories of adult development through the life course, to understand the specific, day to day difficulties and disadvantages faced by different adult service user groups including people who need the help and support of social care services because of ill-health, impairment/disability.  
• Assess theories of loss and grief and apply differing models of support within the context of anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory theory and practice.


The life-course perspective: including life events and diverse contexts, transitions and coping; psychological and sociological theories and perspectives on life-course development; anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive; Service user and carer perspectives, development of empathy
Child development 
The relevant developmental milestones and factors that promote sound physical, social, emotional, sexual and intellectual development in children. 
Study of relationships between children and their families and friends in a range of social contexts through observation and a consideration of their inner and external worlds. 
Attachment, loss and change: the short and long term effects of trauma, ill-treatment, separation and substitute care.
Developing observational skills, evaluating sound development and need, reflecting on evidence, integrating theory and practice.
Adult service user groups  
Models of understanding disability and impairment, including 
Mental illness/diagnosis, understanding key features associated with particular diagnoses (e.g. depression and schizophrenia); prevalence and distribution, treatment, support needs; effects on lifestyle and opportunity. 
Learning disability and common types and causes; prevalence and distribution; effects on lifestyle and opportunity 
Long-term and terminal illness: issues for the individual and their families; coping with loss and bereavement.
Physical impairment and disability: prevalence and range of associated difficulties; support needs; 
Myths and reality of ‘normal’ ageing; prevalence and types of ill health associated with old age; caring roles and experiences.

Learning Outcomes 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

There will be a mixed programme of independent study and scheduled teaching to include Lectures and smaller group seminar learning; case-study analysis and interactive workshops with service users and external speakers: collaborative problem-based learning; personal reflection and reflective writing, observation and video materials, use of Weblearn and other online educational content
The lecture and workshop/seminar programme is designed to enable students to examine key issues about health and social care to make links between theory, health and social care policy and practice and appreciate service user perspectives.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to: 
1. Engage critically with psychological and/or sociological theories across the life course which are relevant to your chosen perspective
2. Demonstrate the ability to identify characteristics of ‘normal’ or average development in childhood, together with a critical analysis of the potential impacts of loss, change and disruption
3. Identify key learning from working with a service user, which explains both the service user perspective and your own reflections and responses to this
4. Produce a clear, well- written assignment which explores and accounts for the relationship between childhood experiences and adult development.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to integrate theory and practice.  The strategy will be reviewed on a yearly basis. All elements of assessment must be submitted. Pass on aggregate.


Core Text:

Walker, J. (2017) Social Work & Human Development. London: Learning Matters.

Other Texts
Brandon, M et al., (2011) Child and family practitioners understanding of child development: lessons learnt from a small sample of serious case reviews London:
Human Growth and Development- Science Direct