PSY2071 - Developmental psychology - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Megan Spencer-Smith


Jake Hoskin (Australia)
Dr Vanlal Thanzami (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Off-campus)
  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


PSY1011, PSY1022.




PSY2031, PSY2051


This unit explores cognitive and behavioural development across the lifespan, including both typical and atypical development. Students will be introduced to the basic principles of development across infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, such as critical periods for skill development and the link between early and later development. Factors influencing development will be examined within the framework of major theories of development to understand the contribution of genetic, biological, neurological, cognitive and environmental factors. The integration of a quantitative methods module into this unit will provide students with an understanding of, and practical experience with, the application of statistical analysis techniques used to address research questions in Developmental Psychology.


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

  1. Describe the contribution of certain factors to development across the lifespan, such as genetic, biological, neurological, cognitive and environmental factors.
  2. Evaluate theories of development.
  3. Describe the different methodologies for studying development and discuss strengths and limitations of these methods for addressing questions about development.
  4. Apply knowledge of development across the lifespan through in-depth study of specific topic areas such as neurodevelopmental disorders.
  5. Apply quantitative methods to evaluate research hypotheses in Developmental Psychology.


  • Examination (2 hours) (40%)
  • Developmental report (20%)
  • Laboratory report (25%)
  • 3 x Data analysis exercises (Secure online delivery) (5% each) (15%)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour lecture each week, three 2-hour seminars, and six 2-hour laboratory classes during semester. Attendance at labs and seminars is recommended in order to successfully complete data analysis exercises and lab related assessment tasks.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

One 2 hour lecture each week (available via MULO), and participation in (live) online lab classes: six 2-hour classes during semester.

Online lab classes are live (i.e., real-time), web-based classes run by teaching staff that replace traditional lab classes and tutorials.

These interactive classes provide students with an opportunity to apply and explore concepts in an active, engaging manner, whilst at the same time developing practical skills in effective communication, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Participation in online lab classes is required in order to complete associated assessments. It is common practice, where possible, to schedule at least two participation options for off-campus students in each core unit of psychology.

For each week during the semester, students will be expected to complete the equivalent of 2 hours preparation for each lecture, 2 hours preparation for each lab, 3 hours of lecture/lab attendance, and 58 hours of research work/independent study (total = 12 hours study).

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