Certificate in Child Developmental Psychology

NFQ Level





12 weeks







The Certificate in Child Developmental Psychology offers the chance to study the psychological needs of infants, toddlers and young children and how the family and other social contexts that influence the development of these individuals. It is targeted towards learners who need flexible options for upskilling and CPD such as teachers, counsellors, medical professionals, social workers, educators and childcare workers.

Credits: 10 ECTS

Delivery: One evening per week (3-hours online) for 12 weeks. See January 2024 Programme Schedule for further details.

Over the course of the module, the following topics will be covered:

Introduction to Developmental Psychology

  • The History of child developmental psychology
  • The Impact of Darwin
  • The Child Study Movement and G. Stanley Hall
  • Pioneer Developmentalists (Baldwin, Dewey, Binet & Montessori)
  • Normative Developmental Approaches and The Testing Movement.
  • The Diagnostic Statistical Manual and Childhood Disorders across time


Developmental Processes and Periods

  • Nature and Nurture
  • Continuity versus discontinuity
  • Early and Late Experiences
  • Evaluating Developmental Issues


Foetal Development

  • Physical Development across the pregnancy
  • Cognitive Development
  • Learning Language
  • Teratogens


Theories of Development

  • Psychoanalytical theories
  • Cognitive theories
  • Behavioural and Social Cognitive Theories
  • Ethological and Ecological Theories
  • An Eclectic Orientation


The Developing Individual: The nature of Moral Development

  • Making Moral Judgements: Kohlberg
  • Criticism of Kohlberg
  • Moral Behaviour and Moral Feelings
  • What would Freud say?


Developing in Context: The Child in the Family

  • Early versus Late Experiences
  • Bonding Versus Attachment
  • Reassessing Bowlby’s Theory


Development in Context: The Child in the Peer Group

  • Peer relationships
  • Play and Screen Time
  • Prosocial Behaviour
  • Aggressive Behaviour, Bullying and Pro-Social Modelling
  • Using a PACE Approach (Dan Hughes and Bruce Perry)


Development in Context: The Child in Society

  • Vygotsky and psycho-social approaches
  • Ecological Theory and Urie Bronfenbrenner
  • Culture and Development
  • Review

Entry Requirements

Applications are assessed on a case by case basis in accordance with Carlow College Admission Guidelines and Procedures for Part-Time Learners


Course fees are €350 and payable at registration.


Applications for Certificates commencing in January open in late October. Full application details are available here

The Certificate in Child Developmental Psychology
is validated by the South East Technological University.

Course Contacts

Dr Eoghan Smith

Course Enquiries

T: 059 9153257

E: esmith@carlowcollege.ie

Admissions Office

Admissions Enquiries

T: 059 9153268

E: directentry@carlowcollege.ie