Module Narrative

Module Title: An Introduction to Human Development
Module Code: YOU501
Level: 5
Credit Points: 20 Credits
Compulsory or Optional: Optional (Youthwork Pathway)
Pre-requisites/co-requisites: YOU400
Excluded combinations or modules: Youthwork Pathway only
Mode of attendance: Mixed

This module explores the human life cycle from conception to death and looks at the factors which affect our development and our personality. It will look at how psychopathology can develop when various factors interfere with the developmental process and how these can be addressed in a pastoral context.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

1. Describe the stages in human development
2. Compare various theories of development
3. Discuss how problems within development can give rise to mental health issues and behavioural problems

This module will call for the successful student to demonstrate:
4. An application of their knowledge of child development to practical youth ministry


The course will cover the following topics: Development in the Womb, The Birth Process, An Introduction to Object Relations Theory, Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, Eriksson’s Theories of Human Development, Cognitive Development, Moral Development, The Development of Faith, Cross Cultural Aspects of Human Development.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Staff-led lectures introduce students to the basic principles of human development, the human life cycle and the development of psychopathology.

Interactive discussions in which students explore their own development and critically assess how the various theories of development are applicable to their own experience.

A project to observe children and youth of different ages and to describe the features that they can observe at the different stages of development and to compare these with the various theories of development.

Tutorial time enables Tutors to give formative feedback on draft essays, guidance to students on developing their project and constructive feedback on summative work.

Independent study to supplement these activities is an essential element of the programme, including reading and producing the module assignments.

Assessment Scheme

• Discussion groups concerning the students own development (formative assessment)
• Essay plan 500 words (formative assessment)

• An essay of 2500 words on theories of human development.(summative assessment)
• A project with a presentation and report of 1000 words on practical observations of development within children and young people. (summative assessment)

Assessment Weighting

Essay 50%
Project 50%

Learning Materials

Core Reading
Beckett, C. & Taylor, H. (2010) Human Growth and Development. (2nd ed.) Sage.
White, K.J. (2009) Growth of Love, The: Understanding Five Essential Elements of Child Development. Barnabas.

Recommended Reading
Balswick, J.O., King, P.E., Reimer, K.S. (2005) The Reciprocating Self: Human Development in Theological Perspective. IVP Academic.
Beck, L.E. (2012) Child Development. Pearson.
Flanagan, K.S. & Hall, S.E. (2014) Christianity and Developmental Psychopathology: Foundations and Approaches. IVP Academic.
Hunt, S.J. (2005) The Life Course: A Sociological Introduction. Palgrave McMillan. Sidebotham, P. (2014) Growing Up to Be a Child: A paediatrician explores Jesus’ invitation to ‘become like a little child.’ WestBow.

Online Application
Download Application – PDF
Download Application – DOCX