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Developmental Psychology

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What makes us the people we are? Babyhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age all present their challenges.

There will be opportunities for discussion, observation and developing and improving study skills. This self-contained course is an ideal introduction to the subject area.

The course is open to all and no prior knowledge is assumed. The course can be taken as an optional module in the Pathway to a degree in Healthcare.

Learning and teaching

  • Introduction to the Course - What is developmental psychology? / Assessment Guide
  • Cognitive Development - Piaget / Moral Development - Kohlberg
  • Socio-cultural Development - Vygotsky
  • Behaviourism - Watson and Skinner
  • Psychoanalytical Theory - Freud / Psychosocial Approaches
  • Assignment workshop / Harvard Referencing
  • Language Development
  • Evaluating a Research Study - interrogating social research methods
  • Life Stage Theory - Erikson / Life Course Theory
  • Course overview / Assignment submission

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved.

Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

For this course the assessment will be a reflective journal and essay

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

  • Gleason, J. B. (2005). (Ed.), The development of language (sixth edition). Boston: Pearson.
  • Harris, M. and Butterworth, G. (2002). Developmental psychology. A student's handbook. Hove: Psychology Press.
  • Kehily, M. J. (Ed). (2009). An introduction to childhood studies (second edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • Wood, C., Littleton, K. and Sheehy, K. (2006). Developmental Psychology in Action. Oxford: Blackwell
  • Zeedyk, M. (2008). What's life in a baby buggy like?: The impact of buggy orientation on parent-infant interaction and infant stress

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.