Applied Child Psychology

This structured coursework assessment requires you to 1) make links between your placement and relevant developmental psychology research, using examples from your Placement Log, and 2) critically review a developmental psychology journal article on your choice of topic from term 2.   

Part 1) Making links between the placement and developmental psychology research

Please begin this part of your answer with one sentence stating what the placement was (ie your role and the children you were working with). In this part of your answer, you need to report three examples of children’s thinking/ behaviour that you observed in your placement. Try to include examples from different aspects of development: social, cognitive, communication, emotional. For each example, make a link to a specific issue in developmental psychology research and give an example of a study that has looked at this issue. Make sure you include the reference for each study.

Note: in this section it is acceptable to write in the first person when reporting your examples. Please ensure that if you do report behaviour you have observed directly, the examples are anonymous (ie consider the ethical principles that apply in this context).

Recommended words: 1000

Part 2) Critical review of a journal article on your choice of topic from:

  • psychological effects of premature birth
  • infancy and mental rotation
  • nutrition, hydration and development
  • concentration in context
  • adolescent cognition and risk-taking behaviours

In order to make a good choice from the term 2 topics, we recommend that you:

  • attend all taught sessions
  • read the journal articles indicated for each topic
  • think about your own observations/ experience that could be linked to these topics and what interests you

When you have chosen your term 2 topic and the journal article you wish to review, carefully read again and make notes on the journal article so that you understand the aims, method, key results and conclusions and can identify possible limitations and further questions for research (for example issues raised in the discussion). We encourage you to read more widely on the topic to further develop your understanding and so that you have more ideas to draw on when you review the target papers.

Part 2 should include the following:

i) briefly explain the reason for your choice of topic by relating the topic to an example of “real world” behaviour and saying why the topic interests you, for example:

  • behaviour / thinking that you have observed directly, such as in your placement or family or friends or other work situation
  • reporting of a related issue in the media 
  • a theoretical issue that particularly interests you

Note: in this section it is acceptable to write in the first person. Please ensure that if you do report behaviour you have observed directly, the examples are anonymous.

Recommended words: 150 

ii) critically review the journal article by briefly describing the main aims, method, key results and conclusions and identifying possible limitations. It is important that in your answer you show your ability to critically evaluate the research as well as describe it. You may get ideas to help you evaluate the study in the discussion section of the target article and/or your wider reading.  

Recommended words: 700  

iii) Identify ideas for further research. In this section you need to give some examples of “gaps” that remain following the study and suggestions of further research questions. You are not expected to propose specific studies, but to say what questions could be addressed to expand and build on the papers you have reviewed. You may get ideas for this in the discussion section of the target article and/or your wider reading.  

Recommended: 150 words

Finally, please also note:

  • The material should be presented as part 1 and 2, with part 2 having three separate sections, all with sub-headings.
  • References should be provided in APA format at the end of the work.
  • The total word count is 2,000 for parts 1 and 2 combined
  • The standard UEL policy on over-length work applies ie if the work significantly exceeds the word limit the work will be evaluated according to how well the criteria were met in the first 2000 words only.
  • 30% of overall module mark

We recommend that you make use of the support sessions available to you – there will be drop-in times towards the end of the term and leading up to the deadline when you can discuss your ideas.