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Psychology Ma, Developmental psychology, 7,5 Credits

General data

Code: PS041A
Subject/Main field: Psykologi
Cycle: Second cycle
Credits: 7.5
Progressive specialization: A1N - Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Answerable department: Psychology and Social Work
Answerable faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Established: 3/12/2014
Date of change: 3/18/2014
Version valid from: 8/15/2014


The aim of the course is to provide advanced knowledge on human development and maturation – from conception to adolescence. Child development focuses on behavioral difficulties including disorders. An important part of the course covers the interplay between the social context, i.e. family and school, and development. Classical and new cutting-edge research is covered. The course aims to connect and integrate various theories to understand ways in which development can be promoted or hampered.

Course objectives

After completion of the course the student will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
• Have acquired knowledge regarding human development – from conception until the teenage years as well as the main features of the central theories within developmental psychology
• Show insight into the importance of cultural, social, and social economic factors for individual development.

Competence and skills
• Integrate basic knowledge on psychological functions such as biological, cognitive, perceptual, and socio-emotional and relate this knowledge to development during childhood
• Have the ability to identify vulnerabilities and risk factors for poor development as well as protective factors for positive development
• Show ability to choose adequate research methods given the specific research problems concerning research on children.

Judgement and approach
• Be able to construct and convey a picture of current research within developmental psychology
• Show ability to critically review empirical studies within developmental psychology
• Show ability to identify special demands/difficulties concerning research with children and suggest possible solutions


The course provides advanced knowledge within the various development psychology areas. Human development is shown within a dynamic process where various internal and external factors interplay over time. Moreover, the course provides further insight into research methods that are used in developmental psychology.

Course components:
• Further advancement in basic theories and research within developmental psychology
• Early human development during prenatal period, infancy, pre-school years, school-age, and teenage years
• Advancement in one of developmental psychological area such as socio-emotional development and behavioral difficulties.
• Research methods in developmental psychology.

Entry requirements

Degree of Bachelor with 90 credits in psychology, including thesis work of at least 15 credits, or corresponding foreign education.

Selection rules and procedures

The selectionprocess is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

Teaching is done in the form of supervision of project work, theoretical and/or empirical, where the student works closely with the supervisor, to focus, apply, and evaluate the knowledge obtained during the course.

Examination form

The course is examined by way of a written report that is orally presented and discussed in seminar form.

Grading system

The grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F are given on the course. On this scale the grades A through E represent pass levels, whereas Fx and F represent fail levels.

Course reading

Required literature

Comment: Forskningsartiklar väljs i samråd med handledare The textbook is supplemented by scientific articles specified by the supervisor and by scientific articles that the student retrieves via literature searches.

Author: Berk, L.
Title: Development Through the Lifespan
Edition: Senaste upplagan
Publisher: Needham Heights, Allyn & Bacon