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Introduction to Psychology: Developmental Psychology

Monash University via FutureLearn


Learn about the psychological changes that all humans go through

There are three types of human development that are ongoing throughout our lives: cognitive, social, and physical.

On this course, you’ll discover the key transitions within these different development types. You’ll look at how they are tied to psychological changes and investigate how and why they occur.

You’ll explore what effect genes and the environment have on development and consider whether development is continuous or discontinuous.

You’ll also look into the skills needed in order to conduct research within the area of psychology.

Understand the fundamentals of human development, lifespan theory, stages of development and end-of-life

Modern psychology leans on various theories to help us understand social and cognitive development. This course will help you explore and distinguish between them to gain a language for discussing developmental psychology. You’ll identify key transitions within human development and consider different research models within them.

A strong understanding of developmental psychology is essential to anybody who would like to work or study in the field, and can be incredibly useful to educators, parents, and people who would like to understand their own way of seeing the world a little better.

This course requires no prior experience – a keen interest in psychology will suffice.

It will prove particularly valuable if you’ve achieved a bachelor’s degree in another subject and would like to improve your science and research abilities.

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.


  • Human development across the lifespan
    • Getting started
    • Human development
    • Lifespan theories
    • End of week review, and preview
  • Stages of human development
    • Welcome to the week
    • Stages of development - Childhood
    • Stages of development - Adulthood
    • End of course

Taught by

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy


4.7 rating, based on 68 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 207 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Psychology: Developmental Psychology

  • Anonymous
    It is a good framework, with some essential learning and research and interesting additional reading. It uses some YouTube links, links to podcasts and journals and other articles. As part of the course you are encouraged to intereact with other lea…
  • Anonymous
    I very much enjoyed the videos. I felt that I needed to move on at different times, so perhaps did not see all of them, but there is a great body of work that has been provided. It was tough moving on and not being quite sure if I was moving on at the right point.

    The videos and animation were cleverly put together and engaging. I liked the frequent links to other aspects of life such as politics and climate change and that fact that it gave a practical application to terminology.

    I enjoyed being introduced to new terms and philosophers and feel that I can take this away with me and delve further in to it, at my leisure. I am thankful for being given the opportunity to develop my awareness. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    The course itself was interesting, but the functionality was appalling. I have been right through the whole course three times now, and I have finished and passed, but I can’t get a certificate because another page is telling me that the course is incomplete. If you take this course, be prepared to be very frustrated.
  • Anonymous
    I found the course to be very good, very complete with summarized attached documents, support links and videos, etc. Thanks.
  • Anonymous
    I believe the course was insightful and open my mind to the different theories of developmental psychology. I have gained knowledge on children, adolescence and adulthood cognitive, physical and social development.
  • Anonymous
    excelente curso. de verdad muy completo en lo que tiene que ver con el desarrollo humano y hasta la muerte. muchas gracias.
  • Anonymous
    Enjoyed the course very much. Some of it was common sense as I have and hopefully carry on doing, lived a long and varied life. Of course some of it is a very interesting learning curve.
  • Anonymous
    It's a really wonderful course, it has all the most important learning about development psychology, I really love it, I recommend it a lot. Thanks.
  • Anonymous
    I found the course really helpful to learn, review and consolidate different approaches to development. For instance, I was quite familiar with Vyhotsky's theory but not as much with Piaget's, so for me it was useful to see them presented separatel…
  • Anonymous
    This course has been an amazing journey like the previous one. A lot of learning into the developmental life cycle of humans.

    Every unit, right from the various Lifespan theories to the stages of development and their impact on individuals has been a joy to learn. The resources in terms of articles from and the various example videos have not just proven to be a huge help but also to be incredible.

    Like always, I have enjoyed sharing with my co-learners and reading and commenting on their thoughts. Have learnt a lot from their experiences and examples as well.

    Thank you very much to the tutors and my fellow participants.

    Cheers to learning more about psychology!
  • Anonymous
    Personally and professionally I have enjoyed the course. I found the format easy to navigate and the depth of learning perfect, the access to articles and relevant videos and a broad range of comments from participants both current and past have assisted my learning. I was aware of some of the theories however I had no undertaken study of whole of life span.

    I would recommend to those who are keen to gain further knowledge, build their skills and language in this area of development to apply to both worK and home life.

    Thanks and look forward to enrolling in another course.
  • Profile image for Luis Ribeiro
    Luis Ribeiro
    As with other Introduction to Psychology courses offered by Monash, Introduction to Psychology: Developmental Psychology is well put together and has plenty of objective, albeit limited, information on the topic. Its main weakness is having no video lessons; it has only one/two videos at the beginning and end of the MOOC, which means that there are tons of reading activities. Fine by me, but it gets boring after some time. There are many quizzes, which contribute to student learning, and links to journal articles. Overall, it's a good MOOC if you like its reading-based format.
  • Anonymous
    I am Win Mi Mi Khin from Myanmar. This is the first time I have learnt Psychological subject. The developmental psychology course is so interesting. Even though it is totally new to me, I can understand well and a lot of information, psychologists theories and sharing feedback and experiences of the other learners make me get insight more. This course is beneficial to all of us , individually and to say specifically , it is worth to learn for parents to be and teachers , so it can support them well how they interact with their children.
  • Anonymous
    I thought the course well prepared and presented. I appreciated the additional material and the contributions of my fellow students and it was great to have feedback on my contributions. I was very impressed by the ongoing involvement and responses of the mentors. I felt more of a part of a learning community than I have felt on other courses. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, Well done! I look forward to the next module of this introductory course.
  • Anonymous
    I have learnt a lot of things from this course. I liked the fact that there was a lot of information and many additional sources, so if one wanted to read and learn more, they could do that.

    I also liked the fact that the study materials were varied, from book excerpts, to pdf. documents, videos and the educational team's and the learners' comments.

    For all that, I am very grateful to the educational team at Monash University.
  • Anonymous
    the course was very interesting, the two weeks started very short, I think the design used for this education is very well programmed, each of the contents establishes a relationship with the previous one.
    I want to point out that I liked the test design a lot, all with examples applied to the contents, especially the questions that had more than one correct answer.
    My expectations were met very happily.
  • Anonymous
    I really found the course to be very informative.It made me think critically on how best I would act in the face of an adversity.Moreover,the course helped to be open minded and wary of other people's plight before making a concrete decision.
    Similarly,it challenged me to continue playing pivotal roles in my community and act as a catalyst to bring desired changes in my personal capacity.
  • Anonymous
    The content of the course was really interesting, and in great detail; I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the layout of different sections doesn't always make sense, and there were quite a few grammatical errors that make it hard to understand the true meaning of sentences. Also, in the final test quite a few of the answers to the questions, were not even mentioned in any of the articles.
  • Anonymous
    This was my first psychology course. I had a good time studying and understanding psychological elements and I feel like I have matured a bit more. I would give out my heartily gratitude to the educators and others associated with the course for allowing me to be a part of it. I would look forward to more such courses like behavioural psychology, therapeutic psychology.
  • Anonymous
    The course was very enjoyable and never found it a burden or a struggle. It is presented at an easy going pace and I found it interesting.
    I just want to call attention to the section on fetal development as the page could do with being proof-read. Fetal is spelt in different ways and I think there may be other typos here and there on that section.
    Otherwise, great.

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