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PSY1002 : Developmental and Social Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Tascha Clapperton
  • Lecturer: Dr Trevor James
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce students to the broad aims and methods of developmental and social psychological research. In the process of doing this, students are introduced to the major research methods and theories in developmental and social psychology

Outline Of Syllabus

This module provides an introduction to two major areas of psychological research and theory. Developmental psychology is taught in the first half, which covers prenatal development, perceptual and motor development during infancy, and some of the most influential theories of child cognitive development; Piaget and Vygotsky. An introduction is also given to disorders of social cognition and emotion and to the transition from childhood to adolescence, adulthood and old age. We take a lifespan perspective of developmental psychology to encompass both childhood and the ageing process.

Social psychology is taught in the second half of the module, focusing primarily on adult social behaviour. Within the realm of social psychology, the student is introduced to major areas of research and theory including impression formation and stereotypes, the power of social influence and conformity, interactions in and between groups.. Examples of classic social psychological research are provided as well as a discussion of other research methods typically used by social psychologists. The aim of both sections of the course is to provide a foundation for modules in future years of the degree.

The sessions will cover:

Prenatal development
Main research methods in developmental psychology
Perceptual development
Motor development
Socio-Emotional Development
Cognitive development: Piaget and Vygotsky Lifespan Development: Considering age-related challenges

Impression formation, stereotypes and prejudice
The Self and Self-concept
Social influences (including compliance, conformity and obedience)
Intra-group behaviour
Inter-group behaviour

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00Preparation for examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00All 12 lectures are interactive
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading241:0024:00Assigned reading after every lecture – 2 hour per week
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity51:005:00Completion of small group tasks
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study371:0037:00Revise lecture notes
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide the framework for introducing core concepts in developmental and social psychology. During the session students will be encouraged to interact with each other through the use of discussion exercises and short group tasks. Video footage of studies will be used to show research in practice and to demonstrate theoretical aspects. Question and Answer sessions will be included in each lecture, and will be related to the lecture materials. Students will be given hand-outs in the lectures which are to be completed both during the session and in their own time answers will be discussed in sessions and these will also help to provide a revision aid for students, Lectures will included PowerPoint presentation and oral commentary. Private and self-study, using the recommended text will provide further depth of understanding.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination901A100MCQ/short answer questions
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The PC exam will involve students answering a series of multiple choice questions and/or short answer questions. At the introductory level of developmental and social psychology, it is essential for students to have a broad knowledge base upon which they develop deeper insight and understanding of psychological research in the subsequent stages of the degree. The exam has therefore been designed to assess students for their breadth of understanding of the course material, but also a certain level of depth.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

The form of assessment will not vary from the original.

Reading Lists