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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HECS5184M Theories of Human Intersubjective Development

15 creditsClass Size: 24

If you are applying for a stand-alone Masters level module please note you must meet either the general University entry criteria or the specific module pre-requisite for this level of study.

Module manager: Dr Jane Cahill

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Entry on to a health, psychology or humanities related postgraduate programme

This module is mutually exclusive with

HECS2101Theory and Concepts of Counselling

Module replaces

Theories of psychotherapy and models of change

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module will introduce students to theories of human intersubjective development in order to deepen their understanding of psychotherapeutic theory and inform practice.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- Demonstrate in-depth at least one theoretical concept relevant to this module.
- Critically consider the theoretical concept from the vantage point of at least one other theoretical framework.
- Critically discuss contextualisation of the concept within an overall theoretical framework.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of theory in relation to socio-cultural and historical perspectives.
- Make use of personal authority to critique theory and develop a reflexive understanding of the development of self.

Skills outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:
- Reflexively critique theory relating to this module.
- Present these ideas to the student cohort.
- Begin to relate these concepts to the context of counselling practice.


This module will introduce students to a range of perspectives on human psychological development, with a particular focus on intersubjectivity. This will include developmental theories relating to the baby and young child in relationship, with reference to implications for ongoing development across the life cycle. Specific reference will be made to Winnicott, Bowlby and contemporary developments in Attachment Theory including neuroscientific evidence. The nature of identity as a social construction and of multiple identities will also be explored, and all theory will be critiqued in terms of the socio-cultural and historical context in which it was developed so that students understand that no knowledge is value free. Students will critique these concepts through guided reading and experiential exercises.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment52.0010.00
Group learning102.0020.00
Private study hours97.00
Total Contact hours53.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study time will be used for guided reading, literature searches, preparation for seminars and preparation for assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through class discussion and via the tutorial system. A formative presentation will offer the opportunity for peer and self alongside tutor assessment.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation3,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:22:17


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