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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LLLC2289 Adolescent and Middle Years Development

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Gary Walker

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module aims to explore children's cognitive and emotional development in two distinct periods in the life course. These distinct periods are 'the middle years' (approximate ages 7-11), and 'adolescence' (approximate ages 11-18). There are different reasons for exploring these two age groups. Child and family studies modules that study children's development generally focus on early years development (ages 0-5). The middle-years period is often neglected in terms of research and academic focus, indeed, Freud referred to this period as 'latency'. In recent years, research has began to focus upon this middle-years age group of children, also recognising that opportunities can be missed for professionals to intervene successfully into these children's lives. The module is intended to develop the confidence of those students/practitioners working with, or interested in working with this age group of children.Outside of early child development, it is generally accepted that adolescence is a period of profound social, emotional and cognitive human development. This area of the module aims to explore key theories that have emerged to explain adolescence and it's transitions, and also explore sociological explanations of 'care' and 'control' and the problematization of young people in society. This area of the module is likely to appeal those students working directly with young people, or interested in the challenges that young people face in society.


This module aims to build upon general psychosocial theories of childhood development with a focus upon the often academically neglected area of middle years (7-11) and adolescent (11-18) development. Students will study key theories that explain children's development in the middle-years and within adolescence.
Alongside these theoretical explanations, students will explore the antecedents and environmental factors that precede individual and social problems that emerge in these stages. Students will explore such atypical development from a systemic and ecological framework which includes circular causalities and interdependences between children and young people's behaviour and society's responses to their behaviour at micro and macro levels.
Students will analyse up-to-date research and policy aimed at what works best when supporting the needs and upholding the rights of these specific age groups of children, in different contexts and within their communities.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Identify theories of middle-years to explain the key characteristics of this stage in the life course.
2. Identify theories of adolescent development to explain the key characteristics of this stage in the life course.
3. Analyse the children and young people's thinking and behaviour with reference to typical and atypical development.
4 Evaluate how society and society's institutions respond to middle years and adolescent children.


This module will outline key theories that have emerged to explain the features of middle-years and adolescent development. The module will draw upon psychological and sociological literature and research. These periods of child development will be explained from the perspectives of ecological and systems theory. This means that, although psychological explanations will be used to define the universal and typical developmental milestones expected of middle-years and adolescent children, these explanations will be contextualised within the different ecological systems in which different children live. This will enable discussions to take place regarding variable realisations of rights, welfare, value and resources to which different children have access. In analysing how these inequalities affect children in different ways, it is envisaged that students will develop an understanding of how to better communicate with and support children in the middle and adolescent years.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours83.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

This will be a 'flipped' class in line with the Child and Family Studies Programme suite of modules. Students are expected to learn from interactive online materials prior to attending each weekly seminar wherein this prior learning will be applied and formatively assessed. Alongside maintaining expected progress and learning within the structured online interactive resources, it is expected that students deepen, extend and enhance their learning by consulting with recommended and self-sourced academic texts on the subject.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive instantaneous formative feedback on their understanding via electronic, online materials. The concepts encountered each week online will be revisited in the face-to-face flipped session in class, within 'real world' applications such as, but not exhaustively, family case studies and published reports of projects and interventions aimed at middle-years and adolescent children.
Furthermore, the summative assessment of the 3000 word essay will build upon student's emerging skills at addressing how society and institutions respond both positively and negatively to middle-years and adolescent children. It is envisaged that the weekly formative case studies (and similar) will develop in complexity until approximately matching what is expected of student's application of skills and theory in the final summative case study assessment.
The final summative MCQ assignment on theories of middle-years and adolescent development will be scaffolded with regular formative online quizzes. By providing students with regular formative attempts to test their developing theoretical knowledge, students will gain confidence in their incremental understanding of theory, and also know what type of questions and likely format the final summative MCQ will take.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words70.00
In-course MCQonline quiz30.00
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: 09/05/2022 16:33:44


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