PSY4130 - Developmental psychology and clinical neuroscience - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences


Associate Professor Jeroen Van Boxtel

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This elective will examine some selected, topical issues regarding developmental psychology and psychiatry. In building on the background developed in the undergraduate curriculum, the unit will focus on the aspects of developmental psychology and psychiatry that are controversial and/or for which there are currently competing explanatory hypotheses.

The broad scope of developmental psychology and psychiatry will be reflected in the choice of topics, and these topics may change to reflect current issues in the field. The general area from which the specific topics may be chosen might include: neurodegenerative disorders, autism spectrum disorders, genetic disorders, and childhood trauma.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to;

  1. Describe and critique current research, and future research directions in developmental psychology, the biological bases of behaviour and cognition, and abnormal development;
  2. Review evidence and evaluate contentious theories in developmental psychology, and clinical neuroscience;
  3. Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of treatment approaches in developmental psychology;
  4. Evaluate important ideas in psychology, and its role in broader developmental psychology and neuroscience through group discussion;
  5. Synthesise and present ideas in developmental psychology and clinical neuroscience in both spoken and written form;
  6. Critically analyse the current cognitive neuroscientific research in developmental psychology and neuroscience


  • Research symposium (20%)
  • Mini review (1,000 words) (30%)
  • Essay (3,000 words) (50%) (Hurdle)


  • Students must pass the Essay to achieve a pass for this unit.
  • Attendance at 75% of tutorials.

Workload requirements

2 hours lectures each week and 2 hours tutorials fortnightly.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Completed Bachelors Degree and a major sequence in psychology approved by the Australian Psychological Society or qualification assessed as equivalent by the Australian Psychological Society, with a distinction average for third year psychology units.


PSY4200, PSY4260, PSY4504.