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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Psychology

PSYC41430: Current Issues in Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to C8K009 Developmental Psychopathology
Tied to C8K107 Research Methods (Developmental Psychology)


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module aims to provide students with in-depth knowledge of current theoretical stances and methodological issues within the fields of typical and atypical developmental psychology. The aim for the module is for students to experience a range of topics that provide a broad understanding of typical development, before embarking upon topics that illustrate the impact of following an ‘atypical’ developmental pathway.


  • This module uses seminars (including both formal lecture content and interactive materials) as well as workshop opportunities to allow students to examine and think critically about current issues in the fields of developmental psychology and psychopathology. For example, in the first half of the course, these issues may include aspects of cognitive development, prenatal development, socio-emotional development, and the development of visual perceptual skills. In the second half of the course, issues may include disorders of development such as Williams syndrome, Autism, Downs syndrome, ADHD and other neurodevelopmental conditions. There will also be opportunities for students to gain experience of developmental psychology assessments.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand key theories of cognition and behaviour within the fields of typical and atypical developmental psychology
  • Understand research / methodological issues and challenges in the fields of typical and atypical developmental psychology
  • Understand the relevance of 'classic' studies and their impact upon modern research issues within the fields of typical and atypical developmental psychology
  • Within the field of atypical developmental psychology, evaluate the applied / intervention implications of atypicalities of cognition and behaviour
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Develop an understanding of the links between developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology (typical and atypical development)
  • Develop critical thinking abilities concerning research methodologies used in the fields of typical and atypical developmental psychology
Key Skills:
  • Good written communication skills
  • Good oral communication skills
  • Develop the ability to learn independently within broad guidelines

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is taught through weekly seminars for two terms plus an interactive workshop. The workshop compliments the seminar sessions and provides more interactive and practical experience with tasks and methods used within the field.
  • The module is assessed formatively through a written assignment.
  • Summative assessment of the module is through an examination and a written assignment. Both summative assessments require students to link information across Terms 1 and 2. Combining the assessments, students are evaluated on their knowledge of the fields of developmental psychology and developmental psychopathology, especially the synthesis between these areas.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 19 Weekly in Terms 1 & 2 2 hours 38
Workshops 1 2 hours 2
Preparation and Reading 260
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 50%
Assignment 2500 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

2000 word essay.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University