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PSY5060 Practice Across the Lifespan

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Sonja March
Moderator: Tony Machin


Pre-requisite: PSY8010 and PSY8040 and Students must be enrolled in Program: PDPP


Psychologists work with a diversity of clients that differ in their age, gender, cultural and ethnic background, and life issues. In order to cope with this diversity psychologists must be aware of the different issues, concerns, and methods that apply in the treatment and assessment of people across the lifespan. This course aims to focus on the different knowledge base, techniques, and issues that apply to clients across the lifespan from infancy, through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. The course is taught from a developmental focus with an emphasis on the provision of psychological services in the context of the major issues with which each group must cope.


Students will be introduced to the practice of psychology across the lifespan from a biopsychosocial perspective. Each phase of development from infancy through to old age must cope with different challenges through which professional psychology seeks to provide support. This requires an extensive knowledge of the physical and emotional development associated with each phase along with psychological and social pressures encountered by people in different stages of their life. A developmental approach will be taken in this course that focuses on the distinct types of issues confronted by psychologists in working with clients of differing ages, gender, and cultural background that examines the differing influences of physical and emotional development, social roles, cultural influences, and life crises.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge base regarding the developmental and clinical issues associated with infants and pre-natal development (assessed in assignment 1)
  2. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge base regarding the developmental and clinical issues associated with early, middle, and late childhood (assessed in assignment 1)
  3. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge base regarding the developmental and clinical issues associated with adolescents (assessed in assignment 2)
  4. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge base regarding the developmental and clinical issues associated with adults and the aged (assessed in assignment 3)
  5. Demonstrate appreciation for and sensitivity to the influences of culture on human behaviour and apply this knowledge to the assessment and treatment of clients (assessed in assignment 4)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Workshop 1
1. Pre-natal and infancy – clinical and developmental issues 10%
2. Early Childhood – developmental and developmental issues 15%
2. Workshop 2
3. Late Childhood – clinical and developmental issues 10%
4. Adolescence – clinical and developmental issues 15%
3. Workshop 3
5. Old Age – developmental and clinical issues
4. Workshop 4
6. Positive psychology – it’s not all about pathology! 10%
7. The influence of gender and sex 5%
8. The influence of culture and ethnicity 10%

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. (

  • All materials required for the completion of this course will be posted to the course StudyDesk or will be distributed in class.

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.
  • Students will be notified of recommended readings as appropriate throughout the semester.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Private Study 138.00
Workshops 32.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
1. Infancy and Childhood 25 25 16 Jul 2012
2. Adolescence 25 25 16 Jul 2012
Adulthood and Aging 25 25 16 Jul 2012
Cultural Persectives 25 25 16 Jul 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories 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 individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late, up to ten working days, at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after the model answers have been posted

  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.

  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:
    There is no examination in this course

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  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