BSc Psychology

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Lifespan & Ageing

Unit code PSYC10311
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course material will be delivered via lectures (with associated e-learning resources) and will be supported with 4 seminars, one following coverage of each major lifespan stage (adolescence and early, middle and late adulthood).  


Provide students with an overview of human development from adolescence to late adulthood.

    Introduce students to psychological approaches to development throughout the lifespan.

    Draw upon cognitive, biological, social and individual differences psychology research to provide students with an             overview of factors relating to lifespan and ageing.

    Familiarise students with the major theories of human psychological development, emphasising the fundamentally             interactive nature of psychological processes.

    Introduce students to the breadth of research methods that are used to understand development through the lifespan,       including longitudinal, cross-sectional and cross-cultural studies. 


Teaching and learning methods

This course is delivered via the following:

            15 hours of lectures – covering the 4 life stages

            4 x 1 hour seminars -there will be one seminar to review each of the major ‘life stages’ – adolescence/early, middle and late adulthood.

Students will review the relevant chapters of the textbook in preparation and will apply their knowledge to a series of case studies to discuss how psychological research can be applied to real-world lifespan issues (e.g. incidence of depression in adolescence).

E-learning provision: Lecture content, supplementary reading and resources, and a monitored discussion board will be provided via Blackboard.


Knowledge and understanding

Appreciate the importance of the study of lifespan development and change to the understanding of human behaviour.

Develop an understanding of the key approaches to lifespan development.

Demonstrate knowledge of cognitive, biological, social and health psychological approaches to human development beyond childhood.

Intellectual skills

Appreciate the contributions of different areas of psychological research to adult development. Integrate findings from different fields of research to understand lifespan development. Ability to summarise the evidence base for findings from the main approaches to development (biological, cognitive, social, health). 

Practical skills

Apply knowledge to real world cases in the field of human development.  

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students will have the opportunity to develop their skills in: Synthesising information; summarising theories and evidence; critical thinking; evaluating research; working in groups; communicating effectively both orally and in writing; presenting concise and persuasive arguments 

Assessment methods

1500 word essay worth 100% of unit 

Recommended reading

Sigelman, C.K. & Rider, E.A. (2012). Human development across the life span (7th Ed.) UK: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
There are 20 copies of this textbook in the main library- Blue floor 2: 136.5/S412
Suggestions for additional reading and resources will be placed on Blackboard for each lecture.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 15
Seminars 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 81

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nils Muhlert Unit coordinator

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