Module code: PSY2027

Module Overview

This module, which aims to interweave theory, methods and findings about how we develop as perceiving, thinking and feeling human beings, will be taught in two parts

Lectures will cover key topics in developmental psychology across the life-span, focusing particularly on social and cognitive development.  The module will draw on material, methods and theories in level 1, but at a more fine-grained level.  Students will be encouraged to integrate the different topics into wider theoretical frameworks.

Module provider


Module Leader

TENENBAUM Harriet (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: C820

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Pre-requisites are Biological Psychology 1 (MM), Cognitive Psychology 1 (MM) and Developmental Psychology 1 (MM)

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Socio-cultural theories

  • Attachment

  • Parent-Child Interactions

  • Gender Development

  • Emotion Understanding

  • Play

  • Children’s Experiences with Media

  • Severe Deprivation

  • Language and Literacy Development

  • Constructivism and Science Learning

  • Mathematics

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that

  1. they have core knowledge in developmental psychology

  2. they have a comprehensive understanding of a topic

  3. they can critically evaluate a specific topic

  4. their appreciation of the stages of the developmental psychological research process

Outcomes 1 –3 will be assessed in an exam. Outcome 4 will be assessed with a research proposal

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • One 90 minute unseen essay and MCQ format examination (75%) (in formal semester exam period)

  • One developmental research proposal essay in which students have to propose a study that will test whether parents use more emotion words with girls or boys (6 pages-25%)

Formative assessment and feedback

They will also receive verbal feedback in tutorials and lectures. Importantly, there is a discussion group on Surrey Learn where students can ask questions about the assignment and receive quick feedback. 

Module aims

  • Provide an in-depth coverage of selected topics in the study of children's social and cognitive development, with a focus on the changes children progress through in these areas
  • Explore the theories, methods, and applications of developmental psychology in relation to these topics
  • Foster critical thinking, particularly in the analysis of developmental controversies

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Describe change in human development KC
2 Have an insight into how and why developmental changes take place, for example in cognition and social understanding K
3 Have an understanding of why particular individuals may differ in certain aspects of development, for example in reading achievement K
4 Have an understanding of the main theoretical frameworks used to characterise change across childhood and adolescence K
5 Be able to critically evaluate the theoretical frameworks in relation to the available evidence C
6 Have knowledge of the principal empirical findings that have been obtained on the selected topics covered in social and cognitive development K
7 Have a sound knowledge of the principle research methods developmental psychologists use to study change and their application K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Give students the skills to critically evaluate theory in developmental psychology

  • Provide students with core foundational knowledge in developmental psychology and the ability to critique the conclusions of this knowledge base

  • Give students an enhanced literacy (including methodological and statistical literacy) of the current research in the field. 

  • Develop the capacity to explain and to narrate how research questions form and change in developmental psychology

The learning and teaching methods include:

·         11 x 2 hour lectures. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sociology with Psychology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.