Singapore University of Social Sciences

Human Lifespan and Social Ecology

Human Lifespan and Social Ecology (SWK501)


Human Lifespan and Social Ecology provides the understanding of human growth and development through the lifecycle approach. Theories and knowledge of individuals, groups, organisations and other collectives across diverse client systems and fields of practice will be taught. Human development includes the various stages of life from infancy to late adulthood highlighting the issues and challenges in each stage. The lifespan perspective is multi-dimensional, multidisciplinary and contextual. The social political context and the role of the environment in relation to human development will be highlighted. The experiences of people from diverse cultures will expand our understanding of sustainable human development in a global context.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER


  • Introduction to life span development
  • Theories of human development
  • Human development in the social ecology
  • Prenatal development
  • Infancy development
  • Early childhood development
  • Middle and late childhood development
  • Adolescence development
  • Early adulthood development
  • Middle adulthood development
  • Late adulthood development
  • The end of life

Learning Outcome

  • Examine human growth and development within a historical, cultural, and global context.
  • Analyse the various phases, stages and tasks associated with the lifecycle of individuals and families.
  • Evaluate biological, cultural, ethnic, psychological, spiritual, and sociological factors that influence the behaviors of individuals, families, communities, and cultures at various phases of life.
  • Discuss theory and practice that demonstrates how to maintain a dual focus on both the individuals and their environmental conditions as well as understand the effect of systems and relationships on individual lives.
  • Formulate an understanding of special populations and the systemic effects of prejudice and discrimination in a global context.
  • Appraise what has been learned from the course to provide effective services for clients through the process of understanding, analysis, intervention and evaluation.
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