PB202      Half Unit
Developmental Psychology

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Miriam Tresh CON.3.14


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

This course will cover core approaches and phenomena in developmental psychology. It will begin by framing developmental psychology by reference to core explanatory approaches to development and outlining key theories, perspectives and frameworks. It also covers a range of central empirical areas of development, illustrating the ways in which the major theories explain, or fail to explain, the phenomena in those areas. The course is also concerned with locating psychological development in a wider cultural and societal context, including the relations between typical and atypical development and considers developmental psychology as a paradigm for understanding and interpreting real-world issues.

By the end of the course you should:

  • Be able to critically appraise the philosophy, history and development of Developmental Psychology.
  • Have a broad understanding of major classical theoretical approaches.
  • Have a broad understanding of core explanatory approaches to development.
  • Be able to locate psychological development in wider context.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and classes totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Lent Term. There is a reading week in Week 6 of Lent.

Formative coursework

Students will complete a number of pieces of formative work to cement learning and prepare for summative assessments.

  • Complete three weekly learning logs
  • Practice visual design
  • Develop a short case study

Indicative reading

  • Banaji, M. & Gelman, S.A. (Eds.), (2013) Navigating the social world: What infants, children, and other species can teach us. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Coleman, J. & Hagell, A.  (Eds.) (2008) Adolescence, Risk and Resilience: Against the Odds. Hoboken NJ: Wiley
  • Greenfield, P. (2009) Linking Social Change and Developmental Change: Shifting Pathways of Human Development. Developmental Psychology, 45, 401–418.
  • Lamb, M.E. (Ed.) (2015) Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (7th ed.) Volume 3: Socioemotional Processes (Editor in Chief: Learner, R.M.) Hoboken NJ: Wiley.
  • Lamb, M. E., & Freund, A. M. (Eds.) (2010) Handbook of life span development, Volume 2: Social and emotional development (Editor in Chief: Lerner, R.M.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Leman, P. Bremner, A. Parke, R. & Gauvain, M. (2019) Developmental Psychology. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
  • Liben, L.S. & Muller, U. (Eds.) (2019) Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (7th ed.) Volume 2: Cognitive Processes (Editor in Chief: Learner, R.M.) Hoboken NJ: Wiley.
  • McLean, K.C & Syed, M (Eds.), (2015) The Oxford handbook of identity development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Music, G. (2017). Nurturing natures: Attachment and children’s emotional, sociocultural and brain development. London: Routledge
  • Overton, W.F. & Molenaar, P.C.M. (Eds.) (2015) Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (7th ed.) Volume 1: Theory and Method (Editor in Chief: Learner, R.M.) Hoboken NJ: Wiley.
  • Slater, A. & Bremner, J. G (Eds) (2011) An Introduction to Developmental Psychology. 2nd Edition, Chichester: Wiley-Breakwell.


Essay (10%) in the ST.
Research proposal (70%) and visual media (20%) in the LT.

Research Proposal (70%) in LT – you will produce a 3000 word research proposal which identifies a real-world problem and proposes how it can be examined from the perspective of theories, frameworks and methods dicussed in the course. 

Visual Media (20%) in LT – You will produce a visual representation of your research proposal on an A5 postcard.

Essay (10%) in ST - Students following the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science will be expected to submit one 3000 word ‘Integration Essay’ in their second year. The integration essay will count towards 10% of the final mark in PB200, PB201, PB202, PB204 and PB205.  The integration essay will discuss a topic investigated in one course and use its approach to integrate and debate approaches from two other courses taken in Year 2. For example, if you choose to base your integration essay in Developmental Psychology (this course) you will use a topic from this course as the basis for debating the treatment of that topic by theories from two of Biological Psychology (PB200), Cognitive Psychology (PB201), Social Psychology: Individuals, Groups and Culture (PB204) or Individual Differences and Why They Matter (PB205).

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2021/22: 33

Average class size 2021/22: 11

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills