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Unit information: Developmental Psychology and Language (Conversion) in 2018/19

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Unit name Developmental Psychology and Language (Conversion)
Unit code PSYCM0061
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1A (weeks 1 - 6)
Unit director Professor. Davis
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This unit aims to introduce the student to the experimental approach to studying human behaviour during early childhood and to interpreting the research from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. It also focuses on the development of linguistic abilities from early infancy to adulthood, with particular attention to the biological foundations of language, its evolutionary origins and underlying brain mechanisms.
- Develop students' interest, scientific knowledge and understanding of the study of developmental psychology and psychology of language.
- Introduce students to the methodological approaches to the study of developmental psychology and psychology of language, and the application of these to particular areas such as critical period, cognitive development, early memory, speech recognition, and reading.
- Develop a thorough understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the formation of theory and how theory guides the collection and interpretation of empirical data.
- Help students to understand the conceptual and historical issues in the subject matter and their relation to other areas of psychological science.
- Help students to acquire a wide range of transferable skills.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain contemporary theories and findings in Developmental Psychology and Language.
  2. Review methodological approaches to the study of Developmental Psychology and Language.
  3. Apply knowledge of Developmental Psychology and Language to understand human behaviour.
  4. Evaluate the conceptual and historical roots of Developmental Psychology and Language and relate this discipline to other areas of psychological science.

Teaching details

This unit comprises weekly lectures, Q&A, revision tutorials, and seminars (presenting at one of the seminars). In addition, support sessions will be available to aid student’s acquisition of more foundational material.

Assessment Details

- 2000-word written essay (20%);
- Oral presentation in seminar (20%);
- One 2-hour written exam (60%).

Reading and References

Readings are posted on blackboard and in lecture slides.