Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To study development and learning in early childhood.


  • The module introduces students to key areas of child development which include cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.
  • It also highlights implications for early childhood education and introduces students to current early childhood policy in England.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • knowledge and understanding of the main theories of child development and learning that are specifically related to development in the early years (0-5).
  • an understanding of key developmental accomplishments in early childhood.
  • an understanding of the range of factors that might influence child development, specifically biological and environmental factors, including cultural factors.
  • an ability to understand the significance and limitations of psychological theory and research in context.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • analyse complex situations concerning human learning and development in particular contexts, including their own learning;
  • provide well argued conclusions relating to significant educational issues;
  • question concepts and theories encountered in their studies of education;
  • interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research.
Key Skills:
  • think critically and independently;
  • acquire complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way;
  • construct and sustain a reasoned argument;
  • communicate effectively with appropriate use of specialist vocabulary;
  • use ICT and a variety of library and IT resources;
  • improve their own learning and performance, including the development of study and research skills, information retrieval, and a capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on their own learning;
  • work to deadlines.

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

  • Students will be introduced to a range of psychological theories relating to child development and particular skills and abilities through a lecture and tutorial group work programme. Students will not only listen to formal lectures but be expected to engage in reflection and debate through individual and group work exercises.
  • Students will further develop their knowledge and understanding, apply and reflect on ideas and further demonstrate key skills through a summative piece of assessment that requires them to evaluate aspects of psychological theorising, child development and early childhood education.
  • The students will also be examined formally at the end of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 Weekly 1 hour 22
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1500 Assignment 1500 words 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Two-hour examination 2 Hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

Oral presentations to be given during student led tutorials.

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