Course Overview

Gain a greater understanding of how people grow and develop.

Child and Developmental Psychology is the study of the factors involved with change and development throughout life. The Diploma in Child and Developmental Psychology aims to introduce students to key theories and research, in this area. Students will explore key theories and research in Cognitive, social, emotional, and personality development, as well as their relationship to cultural and physical factors. Research and theory in this branch of psychology reflects questions concerning the extent to which growth and change can be attributed to physical and genetic factors (nature) or environmental factors such as family, culture, society,(nurture). Related to nature and nurture are questions in relation to the extent to which personality remains stable over time or changes over the lifespan. In addition, growth areas in research and debate concern the extent to which theory and research are able to generalize across different cultures.

This course is offered from our Dublin City Centre location (South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2), from our campus in Dundrum, Dublin 16, and online.


Course Modules

Definitions and overview, What is expected, Information on assignments/assessment. Topics to be covered, aims & purposes.

Putting Psychology in its place: Brief overview of the history/movements in psychology as it relates to developmental issues (birth of psychology and introspection, shift to what is observable and behaviourism, advent of inner processes in the form of cognition and the unconscious, shift to the social). Includes: Grand and Emergent theories: definition of a theory and its relationship to a hypothesis and research, pre-paradigmatic and paradigmatic stages.

Discussion: individual-social, stability versus change, epistemological implications.

Cognitive Development: definition and overview of lecture: :

(a) Jean Piaget’s work

(b) Lev Vygotsky; Information processing accounts of cognitive development; Implications, strengths and limitations

Social and emotional development: attachment, play and social interaction, emotional development, temperament and personality. Critiques.

Life Span and Moral development (Kohlberg, Gilligan, Erikson, Havighurst, Bronfenbrenner etc.,)

Biological aspects: Childhood to adolescence. Neurological and physical development;

Implications for cognitive/social-emotional development; New developments (mirror cells, attunement, etc.,); Environmental mediators which can inhibit or impact individual development

Social, cultural and Critical aspects: What the turn to the social means; Why it is important

Theories and development in the shift to the social. Examples of differences in expectations between allocentric and idiographic societies. Research into immigrant well-being in multi-cultural societies. Implications.

Linking up: How to evaluate and round-up.


Course Award

City Colleges Diploma

Who Should apply?

The course is open to anyone with an interest in the psychology of growth, development and change. We also strongly encourage this course for those working in a variety of roles who come in contact with individuals and families, and where a greater understanding of how people grow and develop would be a useful addition to their knowledge base, such as teachers, counsellors and psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, social workers, nursery school and Montessori teachers, and those involved in Pastoral care.

Upon graduation, students will have a greater understanding of their chosen area and may wish to progress to further studies in this area, or simply enjoy a greater insight into the questions regarding how people grow and change. The course is therefore suitable for both those who have a professional interest in psychology as well as members of the general population with an interest in this exciting and rapidly developing field of study.


A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding the Diploma.

The assignment/project must be handed in on the due date unless a sound reason for lateness is provided. In such instances, an extension may be awarded at the discretion of the lecturer.


Contact Us

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live online
Live online training with real-time instructor-student interaction.
  • Live & fully online
  • Archived for review
28th September 2022
10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm GMT
Study in a classroom environment one evening a week.
  • City centre location
  • Fully interactive
  • Limited class sizes
28th September 2022
10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm GMT

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