Elective Course - Brain and Cognitive Development

Course content

Infancy is the period of most dramatic brain and cognitive development, and where we see the biggest changes in cognition. Understanding this period of cognitive development and what drives cognitive development is crucial for understanding human cognition more broadly. This course is focused on the topic of infant and early childhood cognition, and will draw on our knowledge of the developing brain, and findings from neuroimaging.  We will begin with an introduction to the field of infant cognitive development, an overview of brain development, and current methodology for studying infants and their brains. In subsequent weeks, we will cover a new topic each week, including both domains of knowledge (including objects, number, faces, social reasoning, morality) and mechanisms of early learning (information expectation, information seeking, statistical learning). The course is aimed at providing a state-of-the-art on cognitive development and will be focused on the most recent research that has transformed our understanding of what and how infants learn. 

Full participation in class is required. The course requires reading papers weekly prior to participation in class, as set by the teacher. These may differ each week and may include reading a short scientific paper or a popularized account of a scientific paper, or watching a short popularized documentary before attending class. During class, students will then discuss in small groups questions related to these papers/popularized content. Answers will be uploaded to a forum so that each student can benefit from others’ views.


Kandidatuddannelsen i Psykologi 2015 – studieordningen

Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

  • Master Programme in Social Data Science
  • Master Programmes in Sociology
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Psychology
  • Master programme in Global Development
  • Master Programe in Political Science
Learning outcome

The purpose of these modules is to expand knowledge or put the psychological subject area into perspective through theoretical or empirical specialisation within subject areas within or related to psychology.

Upon completion of the elective subject module within the Department of Psychology, students are able to:

  • describe and account for relevant concepts and themes within the elective subject
  • describe and account for relevant methodological approaches in relation to the subject matter for the elective subject
  • explain contexts, analyse and/or conduct procedures relevant to the elective subject under supervision.

Syllabus cf. curriculum: The syllabus can be compulsory or combined compulsory/self-selected.
Elective (BA) (7.5 ECTS): approx. 600 standard pages
Elective (MA) (7.5 ECTS credits): approx. 800 standard pages

An up-to-date syllabus list will be available in the course room on Absalon just before the start of the semester.

If the course has previously been offered, syllabus lists can be found here: Absalon

Not relevant
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Set assignment with a choice of 4 essay topics. Students must choose 1 question to answer. Max 2000 words. Students must submit essays individually.
Exam registration requirements

For all elective subjects, minimum 75% attendance is a prerequisites for submitting assignments. However, the teaching is based on full participation.

This will involve presenting an assigned paper to the class either individually or as part of a group.


All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period


se eksamensplan.


See the exam schedule at KUnet for dates

see exam plan.

Criteria for exam assessment

See Leaning Outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 30
  • English
  • 30


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

10 weeks, starts week 6
30 stud.
Department of Psychology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
  • Department of Sociology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Victoria Helen Southgate   (18-786b657671746b6330757177766a696376674272757b306d7730666d)
Saved on the 30-04-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students