PYMCTA-Typical and Atypical Development (Conversion)

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available to students on the MSc Psychology Conversion course.
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Beth Law


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module provides students with an integrated approach to the empirical study of human development. Topics in both typical and atypical development are covered. The teaching is topic-based, with groups of lectures organised into a list such as the following:

Perceptual development

Cognitive development

Language development

Memory development

Social development

Disorders of development


The aims of the module are that the student should further their understanding of typical and atypical development, and how that development is studied.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the student will be able to:

1. Show knowledge of theory and research in various aspects of typical and atypical human development.

2. Provide constructive critique of selected research studies from the literature.

3. Show evidence of postgraduate-level reasoning about psychological research.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain an appreciation of human psychological functioning at various stages in the lifespan.

Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of research methodology, and use of database and library resources, acquired in other modules, in this module.

Outline content:

Topics covered will be selected from a list such as the following:

Cognitive development

- Stages in cognitive development

- Modularity in development

- Information-processing models of development

Language development

- Speech development

- Vocabulary growth

- Grammatical development

Disorders of development

- Language disorders

- Genes and development

- Autistic spectrum conditions

- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

- Conduct disorder

Perceptual development

Memory development

- Early memory

- Remembering to do things (prospective memory) in childhood

Social development

- Faces

- Theory of mind


Global context:

Typical development informs the study of atypical development. In turn, both these large topic areas rely on, and interact with, fundamental methods and theories in the study of psychology.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be by lecture, supported by small group teaching in seminars.

Each week's lecture will require reading and private study by the student.

Blackboard facilities will include links to off-site multimedia, and a Discussion Board, for interactive off-line discussion between students and staff.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16 16 2
Seminars 6
Guided independent study 64 58 38
Total hours by term 80.00 80.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 30
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2 hr 15 mins exam 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module is assessed by a combination of coursework (50%) and summer examination (50%). 

Coursework includes 1 essay, supported by a seminar (30%) and continuous online assessment of your understanding of the material covered in lectures (20%). The 2 hr 15 mins Summer Exam will have a multiple-choice component, and a written component which will require you to answer 2 questions on topics covered in the module. 

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment of this module is by examination in August/September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 28 September 2018


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