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Study information

Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

Module titleCognitive and Developmental Psychology
Module codeERPM006Z
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Jason Hill (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module provides an introduction to two core areas of psychology: cognitive and developmental psychology. Cognitive psychology concerns the study of mental processes and developmental psychology deals with the changes that happen as we grow.

Through research-led teaching you will be introduced to a variety of different perspectives in order to develop your knowledge and understanding of cognition and development across the lifespan.

The module will introduce you to classical and contemporary theoretical viewpoints and it will offer you an opportunity to engage with recent research in the fields of cognitive and developmental psychology. You will also be encouraged to apply this knowledge and understanding to key societal issues and consider implications for education and wider society.

This module is a compulsory module for Online MSc Psychology Conversion programme students, and it has no pre-requisites.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module will be to introduce you to cognitive and developmental psychology.


You will be introduced to some of the ways in which psychologists study cognition and development (including, for example, observational and experimental procedures, longitudinal and cross-sectional methods). You will also be introduced to a range of theoretical viewpoints which relate to these two areas of study. You will be encouraged to apply these viewpoints to some of the major questions which have been raised in relation to cognition and development. This might include, for example, how children and adolescents develop, the roles of nature and nurture in understanding cognition and development, memory and attention or the development of language. You will also be asked to examine the empirical research evidence relating to these key topics, including data which may derive from adult participants.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe basic concepts and findings concerning developmental psychology
  • 2. Describe basic concepts and findings concerning cognitive psychology
  • 3. Indicate familiarity with a range of key theoretical viewpoints relating to cognition and development
  • 4. Identify research designs and methods suitable for studying cognition and development
  • 5. Give examples of key empirical studies which have addressed some of the major societal questions relating to cognition and development

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Demonstrate good basic knowledge and understanding of the conceptual issues which are central to the subject
  • 7. Review and evaluate empirical research evidence and published literature in the field of study, identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • 8. Address problems critically, creatively and systematically
  • 9. Apply theory and consider empirical research evidence in relation to education and ‘real world’ problems in order to identify potential solutions or new areas of investigation

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Develop logical and coherent arguments in your written work
  • 11. Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses, making use of peer and tutor feedback
  • 12. Manage your time effectively and undertake essential study tasks, making use of the guidance available

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary over time, the syllabus will consider a range of issues that relate to both cognitive and developmental psychology. The syllabus will consider theory, research and methodology in these two areas of study. Content is likely to maintain a focus on:


  • Classic and contemporary theoretical perspectives in cognitive and developmental psychology
  • Research approaches for the investigation of cognition and development across the lifespan
  • Major issues addressed by cognitive psychologists such as attention, memory, thinking and learning, decision-making, metacognition and self-regulation, problem-solving and language
  • Major issues addressed by developmental psychologists such as attachment, development of attitudes and behaviour, morality, cognitive development, social relationships across the lifespan and neurodevelopmental differences
  • ‘Real world’ problems of concern to cognitive and developmental psychologists

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching27Engagement online with taught content
Guided Independent Study27Reading (textbooks, journal articles, web resources and lecture slides) in preparation for taught sessions and for assessment
Guided Independent Study60Work on assessments
Guided Independent Study9Collation and review of taught materials
Guided Independent Study27Undertaking additional tasks and activities (e.g. on ELE) and preparing for online taught content

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly set activities (which will accumulate to up to 1000 words)Approximately 100-150 written words per weekAllWritten tutor and peer feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written Assignment 1 (Written Essay)501500 words1-10, 12Written feedback and grade
Written Assignment 2 (Written Essay)501500 words1, 3-10, 12Written feedback and grade

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written Assignment 1 (1500 words)Written Assignment (1500 words)1-10, 12Ref/def period
Written Assignment 2 (1500 words)Written Assignment 2 (1500 words)1, 3-10, 12Ref/def period

Re-assessment notes

Where you have been referred/deferred in your written assignment you will be required to resubmit it in the referral and deferral period. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%; deferred marks are not capped.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative basic reading list:

  • Slater, A. &Bremner, G. (2017, 3rd Edition). An introduction to developmental psychology. Wiley & Sons.
  • Goldstein, E.B. (2015, 4th Edition). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting mind, research and everyday experience. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning (International edition paperback).
  • Eysenck,M.W. & Keane, M.T. (2020, 8th Edition). Cognitive Psychology: A student handbook. Psychology Press.
  • Pinker, S. (1997). How the mind works. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-024491-3 (paperback)
  • Slater, A. &Lewis, M. (2007). Introduction to infant development, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.

Key words search

Psychology, cognition, cognitive, development, developmental, memory, thinking, mind, intelligence

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


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Last revision date