Child Development: Psychological Approaches (Module 17258)

This module will examine the processes of development in children from conception through to puberty and early adolescence. Psychological perspectives on physical, cognitive and social development will predominate. 

We will examine growth and physical development in early years, especially reflexes, motor development and vision. Theories of psychological/cognitive development will be considered and evaluated and social development in relation to play and puberty will be explored. Emotional and moral development throughout childhood will also be examined.     


By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Describe the biological changes that occur during childhood and adolescence, including brain development.  
  • Describe and critically evaluate psychological theories of cognitive development;
  • Identify the key arguments in relation to the influence of language on cognition and
  • Critically evaluate research into social, emotional and moral development that occurs during childhood and adolescence. 


20 credits 

Contact time

Lectures (14 hours), Seminars (26 hours), Guided independent study.


2 hour exam (50%); 2000 word written review paper (50%)

Core texts

Doherty, J. and Hughes, M. (2009)Child development : theory and practice 0-11 Harlow, England ; New York : Pearson Longman

Jaffe, M. (1998) Adolescence. - New York: Chichester Wiley 

Programmes associated with this module