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The Human Being from a Developmental Perspective, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Människan i ett utvecklingsperspektiv

This syllabus is valid: 2023-01-02 and until further notice

Course code: 2PS049

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Psychology: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Psychology

Revised by: Head of Department of Psychology, 2022-10-18


The course covers contemporary perspectives, research, and debates within the field of developmental psychology. The course is intended for students seeking advanced knowledge in select areas of developmental psychology.

Module I: Contemporary perspectives, research, and debates in developmental psychology (7.5 hp).
This part of the course addresses select theoretical and methodological questions that are central to human development. The course will also provide a deeper understanding of the international research field of developmental psychology. The module will cover important domains within developmental psychology, such as the development of executive functions, different aspects of socio-emotional development, as well as brain development and early brain deviations.

Module II: In-depth paper: Review of a select area in developmental psychology (7.5 hp)
Allows the student to acquire in-depth knowledge of a well-defined area based on current research in developmental psychology. The area and research questions are chosen by the student from one of the research areas discussed in module II

Expected learning outcomes

Module I: Contemporary perspectives, research, and debates in developmental psychology (7.5 hp).

After module I the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate knowledge about executive control functions during childhood, including methodological concerns and applications (e.g. executive functions intervention and training).
  • demonstrate knowledge about current research in emotion regulation and its development
  • show knowledge about memory functions and the effects of ageing
  • demonstrate knowledge of principles of brain development, disruptions to early brain development, and plasticity in relation to deviations in brain development

Skills and ability

  • demonstrate ability to integrate knowledge of development in one domain with development in other domains
  • reflect on, thoroughly account for, and communicate current issues, methods and findings in select areas of developmental psychology

Evaluation ability and approach

  • analyze and critically reflect around current research and debates within developmental psychology
  • critically evaluate typical and atypical development from an empirical and theoretical frame of reference 

Module II: In-depth paper: Review of a select area in developmental psychology (7.5 hp)

After module II the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge about a select area of research within developmental psychology and the importance of the knowledge generated

Skills and ability

  • independently formulate one or several research questions that emerge from recent empirical and theoretical knowledge within the field of developmental psychology
  • describe, discuss and communicate outcomes from a well-defined research question in developmental psychology using a theoretical and empirical approach
  • write a written report according to APA standard 

Evaluation ability and approach

  • critically and systematically integrate knowledge in developmental psychology in order to analyze, evaluate and refine complex phenomena and questions
  • discuss and analyze assessment methods and techniques
  • reflect on ethical considerations in research in developmental psychology

Required Knowledge

90 ECTS in psychology, medicine or equivalent.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/6

Form of instruction

The course has an on-line distance format and consists of lectures, seminars and course assignments (Module I). In addition, the students are expected to engage in independent studies, under supervision, from a select topic that has been covered in the first part of the course (Module II). Module II does also contain seminar sessions and student presentations.
The right to receive teaching and supervision applies only during the time the course, for which the student is registered to, is ongoing. The course is given in English.

Examination modes

Module I:
The examination consists of  a a) individual oral and written presentations of seminar assignments and b) active participation in seminar discussions. If the student does not participate in an examination or fails, the compensatory task will be to do a written summary corresponding to the task at the seminar.

Module II:
This part is examined individually in a written report and an oral presentation. The topic of the in-depth paper is chosen by the student from one of the research areas discussed in module I. Both the outcome and the work process will be evaluated.

Supplementary re-examination is individually adjusted based on the goal or goals that the student has not reached and takes place at the earliest two weeks after the students have received their results and at the latest two months after the regular examination. Only students who have not received a passing grade are eligible to make revisions in order to pass the examination. Revisions are not allowed for those who have already received a passing grade.

Examining elements are indicated in the schedule. All existing teaching within the course can be subject for examination. Decisions on any deviations from the current form of assessment will be made by concerned Director of studies.

Grade for the course / each module of the course will be assigned when all mandatory elements are approved. The possible grades are either 'Pass with distinction',' Pass' or 'Fail'. To pass the course all examinations and all mandatory elements have to be approved. The grade is a combination of the results from module I and II. Students are entitled to re-take the same examination five times. Students who do not pass the regular examination should be provided an opportunity for further examination according to the University's "Regulations for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate levels." A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course, is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (HF 6 Chap. 22 §). Requests for new examiners are made to the head of the department of Psychology. Students have the right to be tested on the same curriculum as the regular examination at least two occasions up to two years after the first registration.

Deviations from the form of examination in the syllabus can be made for a student who has pedagogical support due to disabilities. Individual adjustments of the examination form is determined based on the student's needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes of the syllabus. After a request from the student the study counselor shall, in consultation with the course coordinator and examiner, promptly decide on the adjusted form of examination. The decision is then to be announced to the student.

Other regulations

The course is normally given in English.


Valid from: 2023 week 1


Articles will be added based on the recommendation of the teacher responsible for the course / part of the course.