Personality Development

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
13 June 2024


Requisites for this module
(PA210 or PA208) and PA211



Key module for

DIPLC89A09 Psychodynamic Approaches,
DIPLC89A24 Psychodynamic Approaches,
MA C89D36 Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (3 year),
MA C89D48 Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (4 year),
MA C89DFD Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (3 year)

Module description

This module gives you an outline of child, adolescent and adult development through the lifecycle. There is an emphasis on how individuals acquire the emotional capacities for good relationships, effective learning and emotional well-being, and what can interfere with these. Each phase of life will be studied to bring out the psychological challenges faced, the emotional and developmental tasks which present themselves and typical defensive manoeuvres, using psychodynamic understanding to explore the developmental issues and possibilities as we move through our lives. The theoretical texts are drawn from psychodynamic and attachment literature.

Module aims

The aims of the the module are:

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

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

  • To understand the importance of attachment to emotional development

  • To understand the implications for later clinical work with clients of an understanding of their developmental stage

  • To understand the implications for clinical work of an understanding of the early roots of their difficulties

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  1. Be familiar with the key stages of personality development

  2. Have a familiarity with attachment theory

  3. Have familiarity with the psychodynamic understanding of emotional and relational development

  4. Show awareness of the implications of pre-birth factors and early environment for later work with clients

  5. Have the capacity to apply a developmental perspective to clients' difficulties.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via: 

  • 10 week of seminars of 2hrs' duration
  • Students will read texts on the psychodynamics of human development before the seminar and come ready to discuss them with the tutor and each other. Experience from personal and workplace interactions will enrich the learning In some seminars students will take turns to present key elements from the week's texts and/or the tutor will take the lead in introducing and organising the learning
  • Seminars may include workshops and other exercises


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

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
Ms Joanne Emmens, email:
Student Administrator 5A.202; Telephone: 01206 873745; email



External examiner

Mr Mike Keating
Wessex Counselling and Psychotherapy
Head of Training
Dr Nini Kerr
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (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), module, or event type.


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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