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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/04/2022 11:22:16

Title of Module: Developmental Psychology

Code: PSYC11010 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:A  Robertson

Summary of Module

This core Masters module aims to develop students’ understanding of child development. The development of the individual from conception through infancy, early and late childhood to adolescence is examined. Research methods and key principles of development, such as nature/nurture and development as stage-like or continuous are addressed throughout. Different theoretical perspectives on development including learning theory, Piaget’s theory, Vygotsky’s theory and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory are also examined, and students are required to critically analyse these. Perceptual, motor, cognitive, emotional, linguistic and social development are covered with a focus on aspects of development which are most relevant to particular stages. Furthermore, the impact of culture on development is considered. The module will also provide an introduction to applied developmental studies and the ethical considerations in developmental research.

While this course aims to develop  academic understanding of developmental psychology, students are also made aware of the specific transferrable skills that they have the opportunity to develop in the module.

 These include summarising & interpreting research material,  data analysis (inferential & descriptive),  report writing,  discussion skills

  • Historical and contemporary developmental theories

  • Developmental research methods

  • Neonatal, perceptual, social and cognitive development

  • The influence of peers, play and parenting styles

  • Adolescence and individual differences

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of historical and contemporary psychological theories, concepts and methods within a developmental context.

L2. Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise and synthesise findings from developmental research studies.

L3. Analyse and systematically apply and integrate multiple perspectives to developmental issues including cross-cultural issues.

L4. Demonstrate understanding of applied developmental issues in a presentation

L5. Demonstrate competence in the development and application of observational research skills (including ethical considerations) to developmental issues in a written report.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

The students should be able to demonstrate an extensive and critical understanding of developmental psychology and be able to relate their knowledge and understanding to a wider development context.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

The students should be able to demonstrate their ability to critically apply theoretical knowledge of the module to developmental problems. They should be able to make the link between the conceptual knowledge gained throughout the module and real life issues across a range of subjects.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Students should be able to demonstrate good problem solving skills, critical appraisal and self-evaluation skills. They will also be able to demonstrate analytical skills, and the ability to synthesise information. They should be able to apply theoretical knowledge to everyday problems. Students will be able to critically self-reflect on these skills.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Students should be able to demonstrate numerical skills based on the required coursework. They will be required to use different computer programs for the analysis of text and video interactions required for the coursework. They will also have gained crucial communication skills during the assessments and seminars, and they will be able to disseminate their findings in oral and written form.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Students should be able to demonstrate that they have gained group work skills during the seminar and workshops. Student will be able to demonstrate greater autonomy and self-motivation due to the required self-directed study sessions within appropriate time frames.
Students will be able to demonstrate that they can independently develop observational research tools and design relevant intervention strategies for developmental disorders. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of ethical considerations in developmental research.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered via a hybrid approach with a combination of lecture material, seminars and project based workshops and formative assessments on Aula. Lectures will introduce historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives and empirical research in development, while seminars will follow up relevant aspects of these issues examining practical applications or examples of this research. The formative assessments will test students’ knowledge of lecture and seminar material, and will provide relevant feedback prior to formal assessment. For instance, students are required to read articles related to ethical procedures in psychological research, and have to complete a quiz on Aula related to this material.
The project-based workshops provide support for students in carrying out the assessments. For instance, students will receive a workshop for effective presentation skills and students will be given weekly tasks for the development of their independent learning skills and as a support for the assessments in the module. Extra drop-in and support sessions will be arranged based on the needs of the individual members of the level 11 cohort. As a core module within the programme teaching and learning is also aligned with personal development planning. Students are able to develop transferrable skills and knowledge in line with wider UWS graduate attributes and are given the opportunity to reflect on the development of these skills within the final weeks of the module.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Asynchronous Class Activity5
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Independent Study157
Personal Development Plan2
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bukatko, D. & Daehler, M.W. (2012)*. Child Development - a Topical Approach (6th edition), Houghton Miffin Co.

Doherty, M. J. (2009). Theory of Mind: How Children Understand Others’ Thoughts and Feelings. Psychology Press.

Gillibrand, R., Lam, V., & O’Donnell, V. L. (2016)*. Developmental Psychology (2nd edition). Prentice Hall.

Goswami, U. (2008). Cognitive Development: The Learning Brain.Psychology Press

Lightfoot, C., Cole, M., & Cole, S.R. (2018)*. The Development of Children (8th edition). Worth Publishers.

Slater, A., Bremner, G.J.,(eds) (2017). An introduction to Developmental Psychology (3rd Edition). Blackwell.

Child Development; Developmental Psychology; British Journal of Developmental Psychology; Journal of
Cross-Cultural Psychology; Journal of Adolescence

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUg/Pg Psychology
ModeratorN McGuigan
External ExaminerJ Bohan
Accreditation DetailsBPS
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Coursework 1 – Psychological project 60%
Coursework 2 – Individual presentation worth 40%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck markcheck mark check mark600

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark 400.5
Combined Total For All Components100% 0.5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.