Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Developmental Psychology

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2019/20

Module Code:


Module Name:

Developmental Psychology

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convener

Hester Duffy & Kate Messenger

Module Teachers

Module Aims

The module builds on the first year developmental module of Psychology in Context by exploring current research in infancy, childhood and adolescence. The key findings in Developmental Psychology will be linked to examples from atypical development and education. The module is necessarily selective and focuses primarily on cognitive and social development in childhood. Students should be aware of links with the adult cognitive and social psychological literature, particularly in the areas of reasoning, language and social relationships.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand classical and contemporary theoretical views of child development.
  • Describe and evaluate the main findings in cognitive developmental psychological research.
  • Describe and evaluate the main findings in social developmental psychological research.
  • Show an understanding of how different influences interact in development.

Assessed by:

1 Critical Review essay (assessed work)

1 essay-style exam (2 parts)

Module Work Load

Module Length

12 weeks


1 two-hour lecture per week


1 seminar per fortnight


Attendance at both lectures and seminars is compulsory

Module Assessment

Assessed work:


Exam: One two-hour unseen examination


Module Reading List

Specific readings will be given for each lecture. Students will be expected to read a textbook chapter and one or two journal articles per week.

You should buy one of the following textbooks as a good general overview:

Gillibrand, R., Lam, V., & O’Donnell, V. (2011). Developmental Psychology. Harlow: Prentice-Hall

Slater, A. & Bremner, J.G. (2011). An Introduction to Developmental Psychology (2nd ed). Oxford: Blackwell

Thornton, S. (2008). Understanding Human Development. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Other useful texts include:

Docter, P., Del, C. R., LeFauve, M., Cooley, J., Rivera, J., Poehler, A., Smith, P., ... Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures,. (2015). Inside Out.

Dunn, J. (1993). Young children's close relationships. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Durkin, K. (1995). Developmental social psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.

Goswami, U. (2008). Cognitive Development: The Learning Brain. Hove: Psychology Press.

Goswami, U. (Ed.) (2002). Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development. Oxford: Blackwell.

Harris, M. (2008). Exploring Developmental Psychology: Understanding Theory and Methods. London: Sage.

Mitchell, P., & Ziegler, F. (2007). Fundamentals of development: The Psychology of Childhood. Hove: Psychology Press.

Schaffer, H. R. (1996). Social development. Oxford: Blackwell.

Slater, A., & Lewis, M. (2002). Introduction to Infant Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Slater, A., & Quinn, P. (2012) Developmental Psychology: Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage

Smith, P. K., Cowie, H., & Blades, M. (2011) Understanding Children’s Development, Chichester: Wiley