Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Developmental Psychology
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Morgan (Principal Lecturer - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Jelena Havelka (Lecturer - University of Leeds)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critical literature review  (3,000 words)  60%
Semester Assessment Seminar Assessment  (2,000 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Homework Exercises  (2,000 words) Students may resit this module, as decided by the examination board.  40%
Supplementary Assessment Critical literature review  (3,000 words)  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Develop advanced understanding of developmental milestones from infancy through to late childhood.

2. Demonstrate an understanding and ability to critically evaluate developmental theories in adolescence and adulthood.

3. Critically evaluate theories and research designs in developmental psychology, along with ethical implications.

4. Identify methods of research suitable to answer empirical questions at different stages of development.

5. Develop advanced understanding of the application of psychometric testing of intelligence (and personality traits) in the context of developmental research, and relevant ethical issues.

6. Demonstrate the ability to apply transferrable skills acquired from previous modules taken in Part Two, such as Literature Searches and Research Methods, applied to the study developmental psychology.


The psychology of individual differences and how we develop as individuals across the lifespan are key elements in an understanding of human psychology The delivery of both subjects at honours level is a core requirement of both the British Psychological Society and the QAA Benchmark for Psychology.

Brief description

The purpose of this module is equip students with advanced and cutting edge knowledge in Developmental Psychology, from birth to Adulthood, as well as provide advanced skills in (a) how to write Critical Literature Reviews in this domain, (b) how we use psychometric testing in research contexts with typically developing children and those with developmental disorders (within this context we touch on personality traits picked up by psychometric tests of intelligence), and (c) learn about ethical and historical issues in the field.


Key topics covered by the module are:

• Historical and contemporary theory and research in developmental psychology.
• Developmental milestones and relevant research from birth to 2 years of age, and from 2 to 5 years of age, based on contemporary theories and research.
• Ethical issues when working with vulnerable populations – advanced knowledge about research methods in this domain.
• Language development, Theory of Mind, Social Cognition and Moral development.
• Adolescence and the transition from adolescence into adulthood and Old Age – based on contemporary theories and methods.
• Intelligence testing and personality traits in young children, as measured within research contexts – application to real world.
• This module consists of both weekly 2-hour lectures and of 5 (five) 2-hour seminars. The latter complement lectures, including hands-on exercises and peer reviews aimed at (a) further understanding theory and research in developmental psychology, and (b) prepare students for the assignments.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not directly applicable although students will be expected to comment on aspects of statistical analysis through the examination of research designs.
Communication Students will be required to communicate professionally in the write up of both assignments. They will practice this during seminars, with guidance from the facilitator.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self management but within a context of assistance from both the facilitator and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own literature searches and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their Critical Literature Review. The need to work with others in seminar contexts in peer-review exercises also promotes own learning by looking at their own work via the eyes of their peers. Students will be required to reflect on their learning process through the inclusion of formal, assessed reflection to be included in the Critical Lit Review assignment.
Information Technology Good use of word processing, database, search engine (Web of Science; PsychArticles) will be required and reference management programmes recommended. Students will be expected to use digital sources and enhance their learning experiences by undertaking their own work and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, and deciding the direction of their Critical Literature Review assignment.
Personal Development and Career planning All the material covered on this module has real-world application because it is fundamental in understanding how humans develop, how they interact with the world and its objects, both animate (other humans) and inanimate (artefacts), as well as developing their understanding of ethical issues in research and in education.
Problem solving Students will be required identify methods of research suitable for individuals at different stages of development, from birth to adulthood, as well as among typically developing children and those with developmental disorders such as Autism.
Research skills Students are required to develop analytical skills in evaluating the methods used to study human cognitive development, which are sometimes flawed, and have changed significantly over time.
Subject Specific Skills Understanding human development and how this enables us to develop into independent individuals capable of interacting with the world in a morally and ethically viable manner.
Team work Students will work in groups or pairs, as preferred, during most seminars. If however they have a preference to work independently due to specific learning differences, they have the option to do so.


This module is at CQFW Level 6