Certificate in Applied Developmental Psychology

Extensive training to understand developmental psychology. Professional training to work with children or youth. Fast tracked learning for career success.

Course CodeVPS003
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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What is Developmental Psychology?

The study of human development focuses on behavioural and psychological development from conception through later life. Emphasis is on the processes and mechanisms underlying developmental change and stability and the contexts in which development takes place. Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. For example, psychology studies the brain, sensation and perception, motivation, intelligence, emotions, memory, psychological disorders, and much more. Developmental Psychology is a subfield of psychology. It's focus is on studying the changes that take place across our life span. Development is defined as changes in our physical structure, thought, and behaviour due to genetics or the environment. Development is life long and also can be a very personal thing.

Development incorporates change over time. We all change as we mature. Some of those changes are due to experience and others to our physiology. Developmental psychology is concerned with the patterns and processes of change throughout our lifetimes. A significant question in developmental psychology is the relation between innateness and environmental influence in regard to any particular aspect of development – put in more easy terms nature vs. nurture.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Applied Developmental Psychology.
 Child Psychology BPS104
 Educational Psychology BPS105
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Developmental Psychology BPS210
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 8 modules.
 Play Leadership VRE101
 Adolescent Psychology BPS211
 Careers Counselling BPS202
 Child and Adolescent Mental Health BPS214
 Counselling Children BPS218
 Developmental, Learning and Behavioural Disorders in Children and Adolescents BPS215
 Family Counselling BPS213
 Relationships & Communication Counselling BPS208

Note that each module in the Certificate in Applied Developmental Psychology is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Course Structure

It consists of 6 modules (click on each module for detailed information)

Introduction Psychology

There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

  1. The nature and scope of Psychology
  2. Neurological basis of behaviour
  3. Environmental effects on behaviour
  4. Consciousness and perception
  5. Personality
  6. Psychological development
  7. Needs, drives and motivation

Child Psychology

There are 12 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Child Psychology
  2. The Newborn Infant
  3. States and Senses of the Infant
  4. Learning
  5. Emotions and Socialisation
  6. Cognitive Development
  7. Language Development
  8. Intelligence
  9. Socialisation – Part A
  10. Morality
  11. Sexuality
  12. Socialisation – Part B

Educational Psychology

Seven lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction –Development & Learning Theory
  2. Behavioural Learning
  3. Information Processing
  4. Memory Retention & Loss
  5. Individual Needs
  6. Constructivist Learning
  7. Motivation

Developmental Psychology

The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction - Theoretical approaches and key concepts
  2. Early childhood – cognitive & social development in the first 6 years
  3. Middle childhood – cognitive, moral & social development in the school years
  4. Challenges of middle childhood
  5. Adolescence – cognitive, moral and social development
  6. Challenges of adolescence
  7. Adulthood – cognitive and psychosocial development in early and middle adulthood
  8. Challenges of adulthood
  9. Late adulthood – cognitive and psychosocial changes in the elderly
  10. Challenges of late adulthood

Career Counselling

The course contains ten lessons, as follows:

  1. Introduction – Scope and Nature of Careers Counselling
  2. Nature of Careers – What is a career, what makes it successful
  3. Careers Advice Resources – Brochures, Publications, Web Sites
  4. Services – Where can people get help (Social Services, Work Experience, Education)
  5. Developing Counselling Skills
  6. Conducting a Counselling Session
  7. Counselling Students and School Leavers
  8. Counselling Adults (inexperienced or facing career change)
  9. Job Prospecting – How to find work…resumes, etc
  10. Nurturing and Growing a career once it has started
Relationships and Communications Counselling

The course is divided into seven lessons as follows:

1. Communication in emerging relationships
2. Communication behaviour and needs
3. Communication and the environment
4. Communication patterns in relationships
5. Maintaining relationships
6. Relationship breakdown
7. Evaluation of communication techniques within relationships

Enrol, Study, and Discover More about How People Think

Tips For Understanding Defence Mechanisms

  • Repression- This involves repressing the chaotic desires of the id into the unconscious realm. Often these repressed desires will still find expression in dreams, slips of the tongue or psychopathological symptoms.

  • Defence mechanisms all play the role of distorting reality to a greater or lesser degree, in order to get rid of anxiety producing feelings. Nevertheless, they are necessary to keep our psyches from being overloaded with the id's irrational feelings. They can however be over used by certain individuals so that reality becomes distorted to an unhealthy degree.

  • Displacement - This involves displacement of a disturbing emotion such as anger, from one person to another. Displacement reduces anxiety produced by the unacceptable wish, but at the same time it partially gratifies that wish. The basic emotion of irrational anger toward a parent (for example) cannot be removed. The individual will instead direct this anger toward another less important, less threatening person.

  • Rationalisation - This is when we pretend to have a socially acceptable reason for a form of behaviour that is actually rooted in irrational feelings. Example: A person is angry with their mother and wants to avoid her. They construct a false reason for not going to visit her (e.g. It is too far away).

  • Projection - This is a particular form of rationalisation. It involves projecting our own undesirable characteristics onto someone else. Example: You feel an irrational hatred toward someone else, and you go around telling people that the person concerned hates you.

  • Reaction-Formulation - This involves unconsciously covering up what you really feel by behaving in the opposite manner, without realising it. Example: A woman who could not obtain an abortion might harbour a lot of hatred towards her child, and unconsciously still want to get rid of it. Instead, she behaves lovingly and-over protective to the child to an excessive degree.

  • Intellectualisation - This involves detaching oneself from deep emotions about an issue by dealing with it in abstract and intellectual terms.

  • Denial - This involves simply denying that a situation or emotion is real (simple but extreme!). This is a defence most frequently employed by people who have lost loved ones: they go through a period of refusing to believe that it is true.

  • Sublimation - This involves establishing a secondary socially acceptable goal which can be satisfied instead of satisfying the primary (original) goal.  Example: An excessively aggressive person might satisfy his desire to kill by joining the army where it can be socially acceptable to kill.


How This Course Could Help You

An understanding of development from childhood through to adulthood is applicable to a range of different work roles, but especially those involving working with children and adolescents.  This course provides students with a solid foundation in the study of human development and its implications for children in education, family and peer relationships.  Learn how to make a difference to children and help them to make the most of their abilities.

This course will be of most value to people working in or likely to work in:

  • Youth work
  • Child counselling
  • Child care
  • School counselling
  • Teaching
  • Youth coaching
  • Child psychology

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Christine Todd

University lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.
Jacinda Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,
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