Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module PPP-4014:
Top in Child Health and Wellbe

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Mihela Erjavec

Overall aims and purpose

In this module we shall critically examine some of the key issues in child health and wellbeing, taking a multidisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on developmental context, evidence-based prevention, and behavioural interventions.

This module aims to engender understanding of the following:

• How psychological theories and basic research are applied to real-life issues that affect health and wellbeing of children and their families

• How our theoretical understanding inspires design of interventions and vice versa

• How intervention outcomes should be measured and reported to provide valid evaluations of their effectiveness

• How to critically evaluate research reports in this domain

• How to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various research methods and approaches to child health and wellbeing

• How to identify trends by examining psychological literature and other sources

Course content

The module content is updated annually to keep up with interesting research and intervention development. This year, it will include the following topics:

• Introduction to module context, content, and assessment methods

• Development of food preferences in childhood; the importance of healthy eating; childhood obesity

• Evidence-based healthy eating programmes in school and nursery settings

• Healthy eating in adolescents: determinants of disordered eating; treatment and interventions

• Parenting variables and family context: effectiveness of parenting programmes

• Growing up with peers: social interactions within a school context; problems associated with bullying; interventions

• Developmental disabilities and problems: importance of early detection; effective early intervention

• Common mental health issues and disorders in childhood and adolescence; treatment options and outcomes

• Determinants of mental health and wellbeing in children with chronic illness: an example from pediatric psychology

• Future of child health and wellbeing; emerging themes

Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question. Some development of arguments. Some inaccuracies. Shows enough evidence of understanding of the material presented in class and reading key texts. Grades given for this level would be in the C range (C-, C, C+) for Masters students.


Reasonably comprehensive coverage. Well organised and structured answers. Good understanding of the material and good evidence of reading and understanding key texts. Grades given for this level would be in the B range (B-, B, B+). This is equivalent to 'merit' classification.


Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area; clarity of argument and expression. Depth of insight into theoretical issues and evidence of wider reading. Grades given for this level would be in the A range (A-, A, A+, A*). This is equivalent to 'distinction' classification.

Learning outcomes

  1. The students should understand the origins and impact of several important childhood health and wellbeing issues and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions designed to alleviate these problems.

  2. The students shall understand and integrate work from diverse theoretical and practical approaches to the study of child health and wellbeing, including health, clinical, behavioural, cognitive, and social developmental perspectives.

  3. The students completing the module should consider and critically evaluate basic and applied research into child health and wellbeing and its relevance in wider societal and cultural context; examining some of its key concepts, ethical issues, and global trends.

  4. Working on their own, the students will identify scholarly papers that contribute to our understanding of childhood issues and critically evaluate their assumptions, methods, and findings.

  5. The students will be expected to communicate recent research succinctly, in writing and orally, posing and answering questions, and presenting a coherent argument.

  6. Finally, the students will examine the broader context in which development occur and understand the roles that carers, families, schools, and society play in determining the behavioural outcomes and choices available to children.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ORAL Oral presentation of a paper (article) critique 20
COURSEWORK Written paper (article) critique 40
EXAM Final Exam 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


• Lectures will be delivered online in 2020 (two hours per week)

• We will be alternating between (i) presenting theoretical and experimental context for each topic and (ii) examining key interventions that improve outcomes and discussing their results

• Students are strongly advised to attend and actively participate in all lectures; we shall record everything to aid revision, but this is no substitute for active learning

• Lecture slides will be made available through Blackboard ahead of each lecture and can be used to aid note-taking

• Core reading will be assigned ahead of each lecture. It is expected that students will have done this reading before taking part in lectures.

Private study

• At postgraduate level, it is expected that you already know which study strategies best suit your own learning preferences. A breakdown of this time for an individual student may look like this:

• 2 hours for the final exam

• 2 hours or more of participation in discussion forum

• 1 hour or more of individual consultation with the lecturer (during drop-ins)

• 15-20 hours to identify a relevant research paper and prepare a critique to present in class

• 10-15 hours to write up this critique for submission (taking into account any formative feedback and tips received in class)

• 5-10 hours of reading per week to prepare for the lecture and discussion / master and revise each individual topic

• 30 hours to revise / prepare for the final exam


• Workshops and seminars will be delivered online in 2020 (two hours per week)

• We will be alternating between students' presentations containing critique of relevant research papers; group discussions; class demonstrations; and assignment Q&A sessions


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.


Courses including this module

Optional in courses: