Module code: PSYM131

Module Overview

This module provides students with advanced knowledge and understanding of key theories and methods used to understand early development. The module will cover a range of issues in developmental psychology, including understanding both typical and atypical development, neurodevelopmental disorders, evaluation of a range of research methods and interventions, and critical analysis of a number of ‘hot topics’ in the area.

Module provider


Module Leader

FARRAN Emily (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

• theories of typical and atypical development

• research designs and methods for working with infants and children

• typical and atypical cognitive development

• typical and atypical social and emotional development

• ‘hot topics’ in developmental psychology

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework: 2000-word essay and 500-word lay summary 50
Examination 90-minute Exam 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a reflective understanding of theoretical debates, key concepts, and methodological issues in infant and child development. It will also provide the opportunity to demonstrate critical evaluation, and the ability to communicate to different audiences.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

• A 2000-word essay and 500-word lay summary about a ‘hot topic’ in developmental psychology (assessing learning outcomes 1,2,3,5)

• A 90-minute essay-based exam (assessing learning outcomes 1,2,3,4)

Formative assessment

Students will receive formative feedback based on group exercises during class.


Students will receive verbal feedback during the group exercises and written feedback on their essay and lay summary.

Module aims

  • Provide students with an advanced understanding of different theoretical approaches to studying typical and atypical development and current topics in developmental psychology
  • Introduce and evaluate different methodologies and research designs for use with infants and children
  • Equip students to discuss and communicate about research through different media to a range of audiences

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a reflective understanding of theoretical perspectives and debates in infant and child development and their relevance to a range of areas CK
002 Summarise and apply key concepts in infant and child development to a range of settings CK
003 Critically evaluate research into infant and child development CK
004 Demonstrate an ability to distinguish between and critically evaluate different methodological approaches to research and practice CKT
005 Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and visual means to different audiences. CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

• encourage students to think critically about development, including the methods used to study infants and children

• develop communication skills, especially in terms of communicating research to different audiences

• introduce students to cutting-edge psychology research in typical and atypical development The learning and teaching methods include:

• lectures (11 x 2hrs each week)

• group discussions

• in-class exercises

• independent reading

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSYM131

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Developmental Psychology in Research and Practice MSc 2 Compulsory Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Research Methods in Psychology MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2019/0 academic year.