PE7027 - Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will have the opportunity to learn about two key fields within the discipline of psychology and gain an understanding of how cognitive and developmental processes contribute to human behaviour.
Developmental: This component will cover the historical foundations of child development and fundamental aspects of social and cognitive development in young children and adolescents. Topics may include research methods and ethics, cognitive development, theoretical perspectives including Piaget and Vygotsky, emotional development, attachment theory and developmental disorders. Learners will have the opportunity to develop their research critique skills within the context of an oral presentation.
Cognitive; This component will familiarise students with the core areas of cognitive psychology and will demonstrate the importance and relevance of cognitive processes when trying to understand human behaviour within both theoretical and applied contexts. Topics will be drawn from; perception; attention; memory; problem solving; decision making and language. As in the Developmental component there will be an initial emphasis, where relevant, of the historical development of the constructs discussed.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is delivered entirely online via our electronic learning platform (elp). You will interact with a range of materials on the module site. The module home page provides you with quick access to detailed information about the module in an interactive, easily accessible format. This is designed to broach new, and challenging information, and to provide breadth and depth of conceptual knowledge across topics in developmental and cognitive psychology. The teaching materials support your learning. Each session delivers flexible, interactive learning materials, accessible in a variety of formats such as audio and video presentations. Tasks to extend and test your learning are interspersed within the learning materials. A range of different tasks, with formative feedback, are aimed at supporting your learning. In addition to this you will be encouraged to utilise peer to peer support opportunities through the use of elp supported platforms for interaction. Each session is supported by directed reading from the core texts accessed through the electronic reading list.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be an autonomous, self-motivated learner within a supportive distance learning environment. You will be introduced to the module by the module tutor in an introductory video. The online module sessions and interactive tasks form the cornerstone for supporting you during your study. Academic support is available from the teaching team and each session includes a link to enable you to email a question directly to the tutor from within the session. Responses will be fed back either directly or via the module discussion board. In advance of each assessment a video presentation is uploaded to support you in your preparation for this session. This is followed by an online live question and answer session prior to submission of your assessed work. Focused academic support coupled with timely formative and summative feedback should enable you to meet your full academic potential within this module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MKU1: By the end of the module you will be expected to discuss, and critically evaluate current knowledge derived from theoretical and empirical evidence drawn from Developmental and Cognitive Psychology.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MIPSA1: By the end of the module you will be expected to demonstrate independent and original thinking in terms of research planning.
MIPSA2: By the end of the module you will be expected to identify relevant competences underpinning your development in the evaluation of research literature.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MPVA1: By the end of the module you will be expected to demonstrate, with the use of oral presentation, an ability to critically evaluate research literature within the fields of Developmental and Cognitive Psychology.

How will I be assessed?

The summative Developmental Psychology assessment, with a module weighting of 50%, will be a 10 minute oral presentation where you will critically evaluate a developmental research article. (KU1, IPSA2, PVA1)
Specific Feedback will be in a written form.
In the summative Cognitive Psychology a 3000- word-assignment, also with a 50% weighting, you will carry out a written research critique on a cognitive research article. (KU1, IPSA1, IPSA2)
Specific Feedback will be provided on scripts.
Prior to this you will have the opportunity to carry out two formative assessments by way of a presentation and a critique of cognitive research article..





Module abstract

The aim of this module is to provide you with an opportunity to understand and interrogate the contemporary theory and research findings in two fields of Psychology; Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Psychology. The weekly sessions are constructed so that you will have access to a diverse range of theoretical and empirical literature, through tutor-led discussion, student group led discussion and access to the primary sources. Throughout each of the components of the module you will be able to develop your research critique skills which are aimed to enhance your ability to critically examine psychological literature and become more competent in planning and carrying out your own research. This is a competence not only important within the MSc Psychology programme but a key skill across the various professional career pathways in Psychology.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Part-Time Distance Learning
3 other options available

Department Psychology

Location Northumberland Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start Upcoming Intakes: July 2024, October 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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