OCC1032 - Development across the lifespan - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 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

Department of Occupational Therapy

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Nikos Thomacos


Dr Aislinn Lalor

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Development across the lifespan examines how individuals change and develop as they age - from infancy to old age. This unit explores the psychological and occupational processes inherent in development, and in doing so examines the progressive cognitive, emotional, behavioural, psychosocial and occupational changes that occur with age. A broad range of topics are covered by this unit, including: motor skill and other psycho-physiological developmental processes, problem solving, language acquisition, abstract thought, identity development and formation, and relationships.


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

  1. Articulate and contrast contemporary developmental lifespan concepts, theories and research;
  2. Identify and discuss the physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social and occupational aspects of development across the lifespan, and the influence on development of external factors;
  3. Analyse observations and critique these in relation to developmental theories about typical childhood occupations;
  4. Explain challenges common to adolescence and other lifespan transition points;
  5. Explain the changes that can occur in early, middle, and older adulthood and consider how these changes affect individuals' cognitive, emotional and occupational functioning and psychosocial wellbeing; and,
  6. Identify and describe types of research frameworks and approaches applied in contemporary developmental lifespan research.


  • Written report (1,500 words) (35%)
  • Essay (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Final examination (2 hours) (35%)

Workload requirements

6 hours of teacher directed study per week, including 2 hours of seminars, 2 hours of tutorials, and 2 hours of online interactive content.

6 hours of self-directed study per week.

Total per week = 12 hours

See also Unit timetable information

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