PP0420 - Child Development

What will I learn on this module?

The module aims to provide a broad foundation for the study of child development theories and perspectives, and how these relate to the child’s wider context of family, community and society. You will be introduced to the breadth of the discipline as well as the language / key terms used in the literature. Theoretical perspectives on children’s learning and development – physical, cognitive, social, emotional, communication and language, taking into account the holistic nature of child development will be central to your learning on this module.
You will examine a range of issues in relation to the developing child, with emphasis placed on the importance of observation. Through a range of teaching and learning strategies, you will be encouraged to explain and distinguish between the various theoretical perspectives involved in the study of child development and to identify the role of the adult in providing a safe and inclusive environment. Key themes around children’s development will be presented including; parental roles, the environment, the role of the professional, observation and assessment.

How will I learn on this module?

You will experience a variety of learning and teaching strategies designed to facilitate your participation in the learning process. This includes lectures, seminars, peer presentations, observation of DVD material, case studies, independent study, collaborative group work and formative and summative assessment. Such a range of teaching and learning strategies will inevitably lead into some personal reflections, which will provide an important source of learning.
Self-directed reading and learning activity will form an important foundation of your learning, as will the structured programme of lectures and follow-up seminars. Seminars will provide you with an opportunity to discuss and develop your thinking in small groups. A range of electronic and interactive resources will be available via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP), including the tutor’s video explanations and summaries which will complement lectures material, discussion boards and appropriate use of social media tools. Your development of knowledge and understanding in this module will be shaped by your ability to relate theories, concepts and observations to the field of child development.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors will support your learning through a variety of ways on this module. They will provide a programme of lectures which relate to the learning outcomes for the module; these lectures will make connections between theory and practice. You will have the opportunity to work in a smaller seminar group where you can discuss lecture content and share your insights gained from directed tasks. Contact details for all tutors for this module are available in the module handbook and via the eLP.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of all aspects of child development (i.e. physical, emotional, social and cognitive) and their inter-related nature.
2. Outline and consider the significance of environmental influences upon the child’s development (family, community and society).
3. Demonstrate awareness of the principles behind the practice of promoting children’s holistic development.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

4. Show appreciation of the concept and practice of observing young children and to carry out and evaluate observations of young children

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Understand the concept of diversity within child development and reflect upon this within your own learning. apply this to children’s development in a range of contexts

How will I be assessed?

The summative assessment for this module is in two parts. Part 1 accounts for 50% of the overall assessment for this module. Part 2 accounts for 50% of the overall assessment for this module.

Part 1 - Focusing on one aspect of child development , you will carry out an observation using a selected video clip, and evaluate the observation in relation to child development theory (1000 words) (MLOs 1 & 4)

Part 2 - A written essay chosen from a selection of titles, addressing the nature of children’s development. (1000 words) (MLOs 2, 3, 5).

Additional formative assessment - detail of process and rationale:

A range of formative tasks will be woven into the content of the module including presentations, small group discussions and carrying out independent library based research.
The main formative assessment will involve carrying out a series of observations of children using selected video clips to evaluate these in relation to theories and presenting key findings to peers. (MLOs 1-5)

Feedback will be given to individual students on their summative assessments, and where appropriate group feedback will also be provided.
Formative feedback will be provided on lecture and seminar tasks throughout the course of the module.





Module abstract

This module will introduce you to this mode of enquiry in a range of ways, and as such, can best be described as ‘research orientated’ and research led. You will be introduced to appropriate methodological approaches including observation and analysis. You will be supported to apply these skills to the analysis of child development.

Course info

UCAS Code W3P9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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