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Developmental Psychology (PSYC20008)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codePSYC20008
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject examines cognitive, biological, and social developmental psychology in infancy, childhood and adolescence.

Contemporary theories as well as recent and historical accounts of development will be reviewed. Subject topics will highlight major themes that have shaped thinking in developmental psychology. These themes are:

  • How do nature and nurture together shape development?
  • How do children shape their own development?
  • In what ways is development continuous, and in what ways is it discontinuous?
  • How does change occur?
  • How does the socio-cultural context influence development?
  • How do children become so different from each other?
  • How can research promote children’s well-being?

This subject will also provide students with experience in the collection, analysis and interpretation of developmental data in either an applied or laboratory setting.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:


  • Explain some of the factors that influence cognitive, biological, and social development
  • Identify historical as well as contemporary accounts of development
  • Identify ethical considerations of developmental research with children and young people


  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of adopting different perspectives for studying developmental processes
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct a constructive peer review of an academic piece
  • Analyse and interpret data relevant to developmental inquiry
  • Write essays under exam conditions critically evaluating a proposition and/or proposing an answer using scientific evidence

Application of knowledge and skills

  • Provide constructive feedback of an academic piece
  • Use developmental theory and analytic techniques to understand how children and young people change


Generic skills

Students should further develop generic skills in:

  • analysing research literature
  • interpreting research data
  • evaluating research methodology
  • writing reports

Last updated: 11 October 2019