Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module PSYC50330: Current Issues in Research

Department: Psychology

PSYC50330: Current Issues in Research

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to C8K107


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with knowledge of historical, theoretical and philosophical issues within the study of psychology and specifically, within the study of developmental psychology.
  • To introduce students to theoretical perspectives, methods and current issues in the study of child and adolescent disorders.


  • Issues in Developmental Psychology: The values and assumption of science and psychology;
  • Theoretical and historical influences in the study of developmental psychology;
  • Cause and change: key concepts in the study of development and psychopathology;
  • Information processing models of cognitive development;
  • The 'theory of mind' theory of cognitive development;
  • Vygotsky's socio-cultural theory
  • Developmental neuroscience;
  • Current issues in the study of genetics and child disorders;
  • Evolutionary perspectives.
  • Issues in the study of child and adolescent disorders: The nature of disorder and development;
  • Social and communication disorders;
  • Emotional disorders;
  • Impairments of attention;
  • Conduct disorder;
  • Sensory impairments;
  • Language impairments
  • Schizophrenia
  • Motor Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Evaluate the different philosophical and psychological arguments that influence the field of psychology and developmental psychology.
  • Understand the historical development of different theoretical perspectives.
  • Evaluate the view that the development of knowledge is embedded in biological, social and cultural contexts.
  • Be aware of current and emerging issues in the field of developmental psychology.
  • Evaluate a range of theories and methods relevant to the study of specific childhood and adolescent disorders.
  • Understand some of the key problems in the study of disorder such as identification and diagnosis, the relationship between different risk factors, and the influence of different developmental factors.
  • Evaluate contemporary issues and debates concerning the nature of underlying psychological mechanisms.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Objectives will be met through weekly seminar meetings. Students will have the opportunity to analyse and evaluate current research articles and to engage in debate and group discussion.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Seminars 20 1 per week 2 40
    Practicals 5 1 5
    Preparation & Reading 255
    Total 300

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Unseen examination - 3 one hour questions to be answered 3 hours 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    Essay - 2,500 words maximum.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University