module specification

AE4005 - The Developing Child (Birth to Three Years) (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title The Developing Child (Birth to Three Years)
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
150 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Placement / study abroad
18 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Patchwork Essay
Coursework 50%   Children's activity and development plan
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

This core module aims to enable students to:
- Understand the integrated nature of young children’s development and learning from birth to three years
- Consider how cultural and social contexts impact babies’ and young children’s development and learning
- Study a variety of developmental perspectives including developmental psychology, neuroscience and psychoanalytical theory and play
- Further develop their knowledge of key theorists and how their concepts inform our understanding of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic and cognitive development
- Understand the value of different types of play in learning.


In this module, students will study significant theories underpinning child development and the importance of play from birth to three in the context of human development.  It will introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives from developmental psychology, psycho-analytic and neuro-scientific theory and research, and play.  It will underline the inter-relatedness of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and cognitive development.  Students will provide and implement an activity which will support young children’s learning.  Some of the issues associated with child development theory and play, such as cultural bias and gender differences will be explored. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars and collaborative learning. Students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as quizzes, and reflective tasks. By using Padlet, students and tutors will collaborate to reflect, and participate in the learning and teaching process.  

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for all students.  This will take in the context of tutor-led sessions and after sessions by posting reflection on Weblearn using padlet.  For all students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Discuss significant aspects of babies’ and young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and linguistic development and develop arguments on the interrelatedness of development and learning
2. Articulate the impact of social, cultural, and environmental contexts on the development of babies and young children 
3. Show understanding of the importance of play in early learning, drawing on theoretical perspectives to support such understanding.
4. Demonstrate the importance of providing appropriate resources reflecting diversity of cultures and languages for the children with whom they will be working.

Assessment strategy

Students will demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the submission of:

1. A Patchwork essay:  Students will be required to submit three pieces of writing for formative assessment.  These will focus on different theoretical aspects of development and how play underpins these. These will then be stitched together for the final essay.  Students should be able to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through incorporating relevant research and theoretical perspectives. 

2. Students will be required to develop an appropriate activity for infants/young children aged between birth and three years of age, together with a written plan of implementation and an account of the reasons why they have developed the activity, and how the activity supports children’s learning and development.  Students should be able to demonstrate they have met the learning outcomes through incorporating relevant research and theoretical perspectives.


Bee, H., Boyd, D. (2009) (12th edition) The Developing Child, New York: Allyn and Bacon.

Donaldson, M. (1978) Children’s Minds, London: Fontana.

Fawcett, M. (2009) Learning through Child Observation,  London: Jessica Kingsley E book

Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A.,Kuhl, P. (1999) How Babies Think, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Keenan, T., Evans, S., (2009) (2nd edition) An Introduction To Child Development,  London: Sage

Lindon, J. (2010) (2nd edition), Understanding Child Development: Linking Theory and Practice, London: Hodder Education

Robinson, M. (2008) Child Development 0-8: A Journey Through the Early Years, Maidenhead: OUP E book

Shaffer, H.R. (2004) Introducing Child Development, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Smith, P., Cowie, H., Blades, M., (2011) (5th edition) Understanding Children’s Development, Oxford: Blackwell

Trawick-Smith, J., (2010) (5th Edition) Early Childhood Development, A Multicultural Perspective, London: Pearson

Carpendale J., Muller U., Lewis C., (2017) The Development of Children’s Thinking: Social and Communication Foundations, London: Sage

Saxton M., (2017) Child Language- Acquisition and development (2nd eds) London: Sage

Packer M., J., (2017) Child Development- Understanding A Cultural Perspective (2nd eds), London: Sage-