BESC6011 Development Throughout the Lifespan

Master Course Unit

BESC6011 Development Throughout the Lifespan

Level: Masters

Credit points: 4

Prerequisites: none

Unit description

This unit offers students overviews of a number of theories relating to development throughout the lifespan. It explores theories associated with physical, cognitive, emotional, social, moral, and sexual development. It further provides an in-depth investigation of normative, idiopathic, and interrupted development and their consequences. A range of developmental issues that may present in counselling are explored.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • explore the key controversies in developmental psychology
  • critique a range of theories related to development throughout the lifespan
  • analyse the development issues related to physical, cognitive, emotional, social, moral, and sexual areas
  • assess the impact of the family on development of the individual
  • explain reasons for interrupted development
  • identify and apply theory related to interrupted development
  • reflect on and assess your own development pattern and impacts upon it

Unit content

  • Controversies and Concepts in Developmental Psychology
  • Theoretical Explanations for Development
  • Physical Development Throughout the Lifespan
  • Cognitive Development Throughout the Lifespan
  • Emotional Development Throughout the Lifespan
  • Social Development Throughout the Lifespan
  • Moral Development Throughout the Lifespan
  • Families and Attachment
  • Gender and Sexuality Throughout the Lifespan
  • The Impact of Interrupted Development on Human Behaviour
  • Assisting Others to Manage End of Life Issues
  • Managing Developmental Issues in Counselling

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 13 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Reflective Essay




Case Study




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2012). Development through life: A psychosocial approach (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.