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Introduction to Developmental Psychology


Course Outline and Topics

Course Overview

The study of human development is integral to the fields of nursing, education and psychology. But it’s also useful for understanding your own lifetime development and that of your children.

The Certificate of Developmental Psychology is an online professional development course that will explore the physical, mental, emotional and social development of the individual throughout infancy, childhood and adulthood.

In this online developmental psychology course you will discover major theories and research methods of study in developmental psychology, with an emphasis on understanding how biological, cognitive, emotional, and social processes develop and interact throughout the lifespan.

Specific topics include prenatal care and growth, attention and memory, language development, cognitive development, development of attachments, moral development, and gender-role development.

On completion of this course, you will have a solid foundation of the principles and theories of developmental psychology and will be able to apply them to your profession or personal life.

Course Structure

Unit: Developmental Psychology

  • Issues in development psychology
  • Biopsychosocial perspective
  • Research concepts
  • Research design and methods
  • Research ethics
  • Evaluating developmental research
  • Conception, pregnancy and birth
  • Stages of pregnancy
  • Prenatal care
  • Physical and cognitive development
  • Physical development
  • Reflexes and motor skills
  • Sensation and perception
  • Learning
  • Health
  • Cognitive development
  • Piaget’s theory
  • Memory
  • Language
  • Family relationships
  • Attachment
  • Parenting
  • Sexuality
  • Co-sleeping
  • Gender development
  • Gender identity
  • Gender roles
  • Physical development
  • Physical changes
  • Brain development
  • Motor skills
  • Health
  • Personality development
  • Social class
  • Friends and playmates
  • Fear and aggression
  • Brain and nervous system development
  • Childhood intelligence
  • Self-concept
  • Social cognition
  • Peer pressure
  • Stressors
  • Divorce
  • Child abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Intellectual development
  • Moral development and judgement
  • Search for identity
  • Sexual identify
  • Biological theories
  • Psychological and social theories
  • Interactional theories
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Disabilities
  • Death and young adulthood
  • Independence
  • Singlehood
  • Cohabitation and marriage
  • Extramarital relationships
  • Divorce
  • Friends
  • Establishing a career
  • Starting a family
  • Adult learning
  • Crisis in middle adulthood
  • Healthy ageing
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Intelligence and memory
  • Theories of ageing
  • Late adulthood and sexuality
  • Relationships with adult children
  • Elderly abuse
  • Relationships with grandchildren
  • Work and retirement
  • Study of death and dying
  • Stages of death and dying
  • Dealing with dying and death
  • Widowhood
  • Suicide and euthanasia


Written assignments and exercises, including short-answer questions, reports/essays and projects. There are no examinations or due dates for assessment.


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Payment Information

Certificate Course



  • Professional development that is widely recognised and respected;
  • Improve your employment opportunities;
  • Study online, anywhere via our elearning system;
  • High-quality professional development programs written by industry experts;
  • No entry requirements;
  • All course materials provided online – no textbooks to buy;
  • Unlimited tutor support;
  • Easy to understand course content;
  • Unlimited enrolment with no expiry;
  • Certificate of Attainment/Completion issued for your CV (hard copy provided); and
  • Course may be tax deductible; see your tax advisor.

Career Pathways

Future growth




Professional Development For:

  • Teachers
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Teacher Aids
  • Includes unlimited access
  • Full up-front payment only