Child, Adolescent and Adult Development: Loss, Conflict and Growth

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
17 March 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

FDA LX51 Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations,
BA C847CO Psychodynamic Practice,
BA C848CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Foundation Year),
BA C849CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Year Abroad),
BA C850CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Placement Year),
BA C890 Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies,
BA C89A Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA C89B Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L333 Criminology with Counselling Skills,
BA L334 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Year Abroad),
BA L335 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Placement Year),
BA L332 Sociology with Counselling Skills

Module description

This module gives students an outline of personality development from a psychodynamic and attachment perspective. There is an emphasis on the development of emotional relatedness to oneself and others and the importance of early experience in relation to later capacities for good relationships, effective learning and human functioning. The module demonstrates that as well as excitement and curiosity, adversity, conflict and loss are fundamental in normal development.

The development trajectory will begin before birth, and will move through phases such as infancy, attachment, weaning and separation, the oedipal phase, latency, adolescence, adulthood, ageing, dying and death. The whole lifecycle is addressed not only in its biological reality but also in its relationship to the mind and developing identity of the individual. Constitutional, family and social factors are all seen as influencing development throughout the lifecycle.

The module develops the use of psychoanalytic concepts by showing how these are applied to human development and the search for satisfaction, growth and maturity. As the module progresses, it will become clear that a ''linear model'' of development - that we pass through each phase of development once and successively, or that the trajectory of development is the same for everyone - can be questioned. It will be seen that at each phase unprocessed elements and influences remain to be worked through, sometimes more than once, in the light of new experiences that often involve adversity, conflict and loss.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To understand the foundations of emotional development laid down in early life

  • To understand the effect of these early experiences on later social and learning capacities

  • To understand the importance of attachment and early experiences to emotional development

  • To recognise the implications for later work with clients of an understanding of the early roots of their difficulties

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to have:

  1. Familiarity with key stages of child, adolescent and adult development

  2. Basic familiarity with attachment theory

  3. Familiarity with  psychodynamic understanding of emotional development

  4. Awareness of the implications of pre-birth factors and early environment for later work with children, adolescents and adults

  5. The capacity to be able to apply a developmental perspective to emotional,  relational and professional difficulties

  6. A recognition that adversity, conflict and loss are fundamental factors in normal development

  7. A greater awareness of one’s own development and the factors involved in this

Key Skills

Analysing and processing academic knowledge, note taking, critical thinking, academic writing.

Employability Skills

Analysing and processing information, critical thinking, writing skills, plan and manage time, work toward deadline.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly one-hour lectures by staff, followed by one-hour seminars led by GTA’s


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay    100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Chris Nicholson, email:
Student Administration 5A.202: telephone 01206 874969; UG Southend Campus: 01702 328379 Room GB.3.66



External examiner

Dr Anthony John Faramelli
Lecturer in Visual Cultures
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 40 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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