Infant Development module (PY40008)

Learn about the development of infants’ cognitive abilities and the research methods which can reveal them

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Module code


Young infants may appear to have little knowledge and understanding of the world around them, but research has revealed many surprising and sophisticated mental abilities.

In this module we will explores some of these abilities, and the variety of research methods which can reveal them.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • explore the links between infant attention and cognitive development
  • study the development of recall memory
  • investigate how infants explore and learn about the physical world and acquire what is known as an ‘object concept’
  • examine the mechanisms infants use to process information about quantities and number
  • learn about the important research method known as the ‘Violation-of-Expectation’ paradigm
  • explore the development of reasoning about events
  • understand the impact of maternal and infant nutrition on cognitive development

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate relevant research and contrast competing theories
  • demonstrate theoretical and methodological understanding of infant cognitive development
  • find, read, and critically evaluate relevant research within this area
  • demonstrate critical thinking skills through written assignments

Assignments / assessment

  • essay - 2,500 words (40%)
  • unseen exam (60%)

Teaching methods / timetable

  • lectures
  • question and answer sessions
  • feedback on essay plans


This module is available on following courses: