The Child Psychology - Level 3 Course is designed for people who wish to gain an understanding of Child Psychology and the development of children.

On successful completion of the course students will receive an accredited Level 3 Certificate of Achievement.


At the end of the home study course students will develop:

  • An awareness of psychological approaches to the understanding of child development.
  • A recognition of the application of developmental psychology to certain aspects of child care and education.
  • An awareness of different methodological approaches to psychological investigation.
  • A range of skills in using psychological methods.

The Home Study Course Includes the Following 20 Modules:-

  • Lesson One -The First Year of Life

The following topics are covered: Infant reflexes; Social development during the first year of life including the social smile and onset of fear of strangers.

  • Lesson Two -The Formation of Attachments

The following topics are covered: Imprinting; Attachment (Bowlby) including cross-cultural studies; Harlow and surrogate mothers; Relevance of animal studies in child development.

  • Lesson Three -Consequences of Breakdowns in Attachments

The following topics are covered: Maternal deprivation; Implications of theories of attachment and maternal deprivation when placing children with surrogates.

  • Lesson Four -The Home, Family and School

The following topics are covered: Group vs. family care and studies of effects of maternal employment and father absent families; Importance of peers and siblings.

  • Lesson Five -Basic Principles of Research Methods

The following topics are covered: Nature and purpose of research, what is an experiment, supporting and refuting hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, control of variables, standardised instructions and procedures, methods of sampling, design of investigations.

  • Lesson Six -The Development of Visual Perception

The following topics are covered: Introduction to the nature/nurture debate on visual perception; Fantz – form perception; Gibson and Walk – depth perception; how the physiology of the human visual system helps us judge depth and distance; Bower – size constancy; animal experiments on early sensory deprivation. Tutor-marked Assignment A

  • Lesson Seven -The Development of Language and Communication

The following topics are covered: Development of non-verbal communication in humans, gestures etc; comparisons with non-human primates; outline of language development in humans; including naturalistic observational in humans; including naturalistic observational studies and criticisms of these; Innate and reinforcement theories.

  • Lesson Eight -Intelligence and Intelligence Testing

The following topics are covered: Definitions of intelligence; mental age and IQ; Tests of intelligence; Advantages and disadvantages of IQ testing.

  • Lesson Nine -The Nature/Nurture Debate in the Study of Intelligence

The following topics are covered: Twins studies; stability of IQ; Are early experiences decisive for later development?

  • Lesson Ten -Data Collection and Interpretation

The following topics are covered: Tables and histograms, correlation and scattergrams; Mean; Range; Drawing conclusions from data.

  • Lesson Eleven -How Children Think

The following topics are covered: Piaget’s theory of cognitive development; including studies of egocentrism and criticisms of his work. Tutor-marked Assignment B

  • Lesson Twelve - Learning Theory – How Behaviour is Acquired

The following topics are covered: Learning and conditioning – classical conditioning and operant conditioning; including explanations of extinction, discrimination and generalisation; positive and negative reinforcement; Social Learning Theory and criticisms.

  • Lesson Thirteen - Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory – An Alternative Approach

The following topics are covered: Personality structure, 5 stage theory, criticisms.

  • Lesson Fourteen - Moral Development

The following topics are covered: Definition in psychological terms; investigation of moral behaviour, moral feelings and moral judgement.

  • Lesson Fifteen - The Development of Gender Roles

The following topics are covered: Sex-typing; Gender identity; Biological, social and cultural theories.

  • Lesson Sixteen - Aggression in Children

The following topics are covered: Biological basis of aggression; Psychological theory and aggression; Aggression as a learned response; Imitation of aggression; viewing violence; Punishment for aggression; sex differences in aggression.

  • Lesson Seventeen - Methods Used in Child Development Research

The following topics are covered: Observational, Survey, Correlational, Experimental – advantages and disadvantages. Tutor-marked Assignment C

  • Lesson Eighteen - Play

The following topics are covered: The importance of play to learning; Piaget’s theory of play; forms of play; Relevance of psychological theories to pre-school education; Play and learning in nursery schools; Play therapy.

  • Lesson Nineteen - Learning in School

The following topics are covered: Programmed learning and its relationship to learning theory – advantages and disadvantages; Discovery learning and its effectiveness.

  • Lesson Twenty - Behaviour Modification

The following topics are covered: Explanation and examples; Relationship to learning theory; Points systems, Advantages and disadvantages. Tutor-marked Assignment D: Extended Essay.


There are no particular entry requirements.

Course Duration & Support:

Students may register at any time and have a full year to complete their studies. You also have access to a personal tutor by mail or email for a 12 month period. As the Child Psychology Course is self study you can complete in as little or as long a time as you prefer.


You will be assessed on coursework which is detailed in the course pack. There are 4 tutor marked assignments which consist of short paragraph answers to set questions with a final larger essay assignment. Your work can be sent back to your course tutor by email or by post.


At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and Certa Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Kendal Publishing has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained.

The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

Information on level descriptors can be found on the Ofqual's level descriptors page.

The course itself has been designed by Kendal Publishing to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards & Certa Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards and Certa Awards have long-established reputations for providing high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. ABC Awards and Certa Awards combine over 180 years of expertise combined with a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers.

Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards and Certa Awards also offer regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

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