Course syllabus for

Developmental Psychology, 15 credits

Utvecklingspsykologi, 15 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2008.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Developmental Psychology
15 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
G2 - First cycle 2 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Programnämnden för Psykologprogrammet
Decision date
Revised by
Programnämnden för psykologprogrammet
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2008

Specific entry requirements

According to the current programme curriculum


Part 1: Knowledge On completion of the course, the student should be able to: account for and compare theoretical perspectives in the developmental psychology in detail, describe the general development of children and adolescents concerning psychological functions, for example, perception, sensory motor functions, cognitive and socio-emotional abilities, temperament/personality, communication and language, at a general level, describe how heredity and environment affect the individual development, at a general level describe individual deviations from the normal development, at a general level describe brain development and maturity in children and adolescents and biological correlates of psychological functions' development and change over the entire life span, at a general level, account for different research designs (for example, cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies, prospective and retrospective set-up) and discuss some statistical concepts used in the developmental psychology field, at a general level, describe ethical guidelines for research on children and other underage individuals, at a general level describe some of the different methods (observation, testing, interview, checklist) used in developmental psychology Part 2: On completion of the course, the student should be able to: carry out a child observation and summarise the result of this observation in a written report, critically analyse their experiences with a particular observation technique, based on concepts such as validity and reliability


The course should give a general introduction to developmental psychology with an emphasis on children and youths, but includes also adults and the elderly generation. Part 1: Developmental Psychology, 12 credits (Developmental Psychology) The course starts with an introduction to the developmental psychology. Various theoretical perspectives concerning human general development are presented and discussed (e. g. evolutionary psychological, learning psychological, cognitive and psychodynamic perspectives). The normal development is described with respect to traditional developmental psychology areas such as sensory motor functions, cognition, personality, communication and language. The course integrates new knowledge with knowledge from previous courses and may, in some cases, highlight previous knowledge in a clearer development perspective. The part also brings up certain abnormalities from the normal development of relevance for clinical psychology. Part 2: Observational Methods, 3 credits (Observational Methods) The student will, through a group assignment, train observation technique and summarise the result in a written report. These reports are discussed in a compulsory discussion seminar. Furthermore, in this part, the student gets an in-depth insight into how the development perspective is applied in clinical practice.

Developmental Psychology, 12.0 hp

Grading scale: VU

Observational Methods, 3.0 hp

Grading scale: GU

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of teacher-supervised lectures, films and discussion seminars, and (in part 2) a group assignment and meeting with clinically active psychologists.


Part 1: The student's theoretical knowledge in the area of developmental psychology is evaluated through: 1) written minor essays that are presented orally at compulsory discussion seminars 2) a written examination at the end of the course In written minor essays (examination assignment 1), one of the grades Pass/Fail is given. In the written examination (examination assignment 2), one of the grades Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), or Fail (U) is given. Attendance at presentation of minor thesis is compulsory. To pass Part 1, a Pass grade in the discussion seminars (examination assignment 1), a Pass in the examination and attendance in compulsory sessions. To pass with distinction, in addition to this, a Pass with distinction is required in written examination. For a student who misses the presentation sessions, these are substituted by written advanced assignments according to the teachers' instructions. Part 2: The student's practical knowledge about the field of developmental psychology is evaluated through: 1) written reporting of group assignment and public discussion of the report In the group assignment (examination assignment 1) in Part 2, one of the grades Pass/Fail is given. A Pass grade in Part 2, requires a Pass grade in examination assignment 1, and compulsory attendance in, at least, one of two teaching sessions with a clinical connection that are provided during the course. The group assignment may, possibly, be replaced by individually implemented works - contact the teacher where appropriate. Absence in a compulsory lecture with a clinical connection is replaced by a written assignment according to the teacher's instructions. Course grade: A pass in the entire course requires at least a pass grade in all examination assignments under parts 1 and 2, and attendance in compulsory sessions. A Pass with distinction in the entire course, requires, in addition, a Pass with distinction in the written examination (part 1). For a student, who has not met the criteria for at least a Pass (G) make-up assignments and re-examination sessions are arranged in accordance with KI's local guidelines. The student may be offered at most six examination opportunities per part, in order to achieve approved results.

Other directives

Other requirements, prerequisites and conditions for participation in and completion of the course, design of own works, grading criteria etc are evident from information given at the course introduction. Course evaluation takes place according to KI's local guidelines. Results and possible actions are communicated to the students in the course web page.

Literature and other teaching aids

There is no literature specified for this course. Please contact the department for more information.