USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

PSY2030 Developmental Psychology

Semester 2, 2011 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology

Contents on this page


Examiner: Charlotte Brownlow
Moderator: Kate Lemerle


Pre-requisite: PSY1010


A life-span developmental perspective is an important component of the discipline of psychology and provides a background understanding of human functioning which must be considered by researchers and practitioners working in all areas of the discipline.


The three goals of developmental psychology are to describe, explain, and optimise human development. This course aims to provide students with the knowledge necessary to achieve these goals. This course takes a life-span approach, introducing students to essential theories and methodologies employed in developmental study, as well as the characteristics and major developmental tasks of individuals at each phase of the life span: prenatal, birth, infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and the final phase of dying and death.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. an understanding of the importance of studying development over the life span;
  2. an understanding of the meaning and importance of age, and important concepts and themes in the study of development;
  3. an understanding of the goals of life-span developmental psychology;
  4. knowledge of the major research methods and research designs used in the study of life-span development;
  5. knowledge of the theories of life-span development, and the major theorists;
  6. knowledge of the basic principles and processes of heredity and prenatal development;
  7. knowledge of important aspects of the biological, neurological, physical, cognitive, personality and social and emotional development that takes place within the age strata of infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood and in older age;
  8. an understanding of the developmental issues relevant to various life contexts (e.g. schooling, work, interpersonal relationships, death and dying) across the life span.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to life-span developmental psychology & theories of development. 7.70
2. Biological foundations and beginning of life. 7.70
3. Infancy: Physical, cognitive, & psychosocial development. 7.70
4. Early childhood I: Physical & cognitive development. 7.70
5. Early childhood II: Psychosocial development. 7.70
6. Middle childhood: Physical, cognitive, & psychosocial development. 7.70
7. Adolescence I: Physical & cognitive development. 7.70
8. Adolescence II: Psychosocial development. 7.70
9. Early adulthood I: Physical & cognitive development. 7.70
10. Early adulthood II: Psychosocial development. 7.70
11. Middle adulthood: Physical, cognitive, & psychosocial development. 7.70
12. Late adulthood: Physical, cognitive, & psychosocial development. 7.70
13. Death, dying, & bereavement. 7.70

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Burton, L.J 2010, An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology, 3rd edn, Wiley, Milton, Qld.
  • Hoffnung, M., Hoffnung, R.J., Seifert, K.L., Burton Smith, R., Hine, A., Ward, L., Quinn, A 2010, Lifespan development, 1st edn, Wiley, Milton, Qld.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • There are a number of useful references on child and life-span development in the USQ library.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 70.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 28.00
Private Study 50.00
Tutorials 14.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
TEST 1 5 5 05 Aug 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 U2,U3,U8 2,2,2
PRACTICAL ASSIGNMENT PART 1 25 25 19 Aug 2011 1,2,3,4,5,8 U1,U2,U3,U4,U8 2,2,2,2,2
TEST 2 5 5 19 Aug 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 U2,U3,U8 2,2,2
TEST 3 5 5 02 Sep 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 U2,U3,U8 2,2,2
TEST 4 5 5 30 Sep 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 U2,U3,U8 2,2,2
TEST 5 5 5 14 Oct 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 U2,U3,U8 2,2,2
PRACTICAL ASSIGNMENT PART 2 50 50 24 Oct 2011 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 U1,U2,U3,U4,U8 2,2,2,2,2

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks available for the assignment will apply for each working day late. Assignments submitted 11+ days late will receive a zero (0) mark.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred examinations for this course will be held during the exam period at the end of the following semester.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. Students may be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  3. In accordance with University Policy the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

  5. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  6. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements.

  7. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  8. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  9. Students, who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete - Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //