PSYCH 323 : Changes across the Lifespan


2024 Academic Year Term (1241) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Development is a lifelong process. Classic and modern theories of development provide a foundation for understanding changes and continuities across the lifespan. Students will learn how we develop key social, emotional, and cognitive abilities across infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Developmental psychology will then be applied to understand developmental challenges, atypical development, and the role of social context.

Course Overview

A range of topics from theoretical and applied psychology are introduced. This will include consideration of theoretical perspectives and research methods used to investigate the developing mind across the lifespan. Different facets of human development and difference are explored from infancy to old age, including communication, cognition, social and moral thinking and behaviour.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: PSYCH 211

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate classic and modern theories of human development across the lifespan. (Capability 3 and 4)
  2. Review and critically assess the current state of key research findings in relation to key themes in the field of developmental psychology. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  3. Develop a more comprehensive, inclusive, and integrated view of the human mind to examine how factors ranging from biological maturation to culture shape our thoughts and behaviours. (Capability 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8)
  4. Compare, contrast, and critically evaluate research methodologies relevant to the study of changes across the lifespan. (Capability 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Discuss the implications for future research, professional practice, and other applied settings. (Capability 1, 5, 6 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Presentation 25% Individual Coursework
Essay 25% Individual Coursework
Literature Review 25% Individual Coursework
Quiz 25% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Literature Review


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and well-being of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle: an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Key Topics

Social, emotional, communication, moral and prosocial development; cognition and learning; social contexts; developmental trajectories; Autism Spectrum Disorder, progressive neurological conditions; acquired brain injury.

Workload Expectations

PSYCH 323 is a 30-point course. It is divided into 12 modules. Each module aligns itself to a week, and students are expected to spend 25 hours per week on module material and learning activities. There is also a study break and quiz preparation period. It is expected that students will continue their studies during these periods.

Delivery Mode


This course is 100% online. Attendance on campus is not required. You will be provided with active learning opportunities and activities that will scaffold into your assessments. You can study on a day and time that works with your schedule, however, it is highly recommended that modules are completed by the end of the corresponding study week.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All course materials, readings and resources are made available via a digital learning tool called Canvas. Zoom, Panopto Video and Microsoft (MS) Teams are utilised for live sessions, recordings and communication.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

In consideration of student feedback, the following changes will be investigated for future courses:

  • Refine Assignment Three
  • Increase the visibility of programme dates
  • Additional resources to help students transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 courses
  • Provide Post-Graduate study information for students looking for more flexible options to fit with current careers/life demands
  • Increase support for diverse student needs (neurodiverse and ESL students)

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2023 10:53 a.m.