Singapore University of Social Sciences

Human Growth and Life-Span Development (Adulthood to Old Age)

Human Growth and Life-Span Development (Adulthood to Old Age) (SWK105)

Applications Open: 01 May 2023

Applications Close: 15 June 2023

Next Available Intake: July 2023

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1378

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


This course covers the developmental changes, issues, and challenges in human development from young adulthood to old age, with special reference to the physical, cognitive, and socioemotional aspects of human growth and development. The life span perspective explored here is viewed as lifelong, multidimensional, plastic, multidisciplinary, and contextual. This perspective actively involves growth, maintenance, and regulation. The course will also examine contemporary concerns from young adulthood through old age. Presented in depth and breadth, and supplemented with interactive, hands-on tutorial activities, and online discussions, this course will provide the students with a solid foundation in the knowledge of human growth and life span development as they prepare for a career in the helping profession. The course also discusses developmental issues and social concerns related to the various stages of the life-span such as career change, love and relationship, midlife crisis, sandwich generation, retirement, and aging; all of which have implications for a career in the helping profession.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • What is life-span development?
  • Theories of Development
  • A glimpse into life-span development up to adolescence
  • Physical Development in Early Adulthood
  • Cognitive Development in Early Adulthood
  • Socioemotional Development in Early Adulthood
  • Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood
  • Socioemotional Development of Middle Adulthood
  • Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood
  • Socioemotional Development in Late Adulthood
  • Death, Dying and Grieving

Learning Outcome

  • Define the concept of life-span development and the main characteristics of life-span perspective.
  • Discuss the overview of the main theories and research challenges in life-span development.
  • Explain contemporary issues in various developmental stages from early adulthood through late adulthood.
  • Identify the major milestones in the human life span and the key changes within them.
  • Illustrate the role of life-span perspectives in conducting case work of various stages of life development.
  • Apply the knowledge base in life-span development to enhance the understanding of clients from the various age groups.
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