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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Unit aim

This unit explores the development of human physiological function from the embryo to extreme old age with a particular focus on exercise capacity and the influence of physical activity and exercise at all life-stages through teacher directed activities and problem-based learning. Developmental pathways of people with congenital and acquired disabilities, and life-stage related mental and physical challenges are emphasised.

Unit content

Topic 1. Definitions and Theories of Human Development. Consideration of data sources and the quality of evidence in this area.

Topic 2. Pregnancy, pre and post-natal and infant development: with particular reference to the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, GIT and neurological systems including the special senses.  Maternal changes during pregnancy and the effects of physical activity, exercise, nutrition and environmental exposures will be considered.

Topic 3. Early and middle childhood and adolescence:  major systems revisited with a focus on the endocrine system. Influences on individual development including gender, social and nutritional opportunity, physical activity and training level will be considered. Exercise related public health policy and promotions for this age group.

Topic 4.  Life-stage challenges of adolescence and young adulthood: neurological and cognitive development, mental health, addictions, diets and dawning independence. Consideration of the evidence that life-style and dietary choices made in the teens/twenties predict functional competence in older age.

Topic 5. Use it or lose it: changes in the major physiological systems during early and middle adulthood with a focus on the endocrine systems in women and the relationship of mental and physical health with physical activity and training. Exercise related public health policy and promotions for adults.

Topic 6. The role of physical activity and exercise in the promotion of mental and physical health in people with congenital and acquired disabilities.

Topic 7. Late adulthood: classifications, theories of ageing, ageism and healthy ageing

Topic 8. Late adulthood: changes in major physiological systems. Exploration of the evidence on individual differences and the role of physical activity, training and nutrition on both the cognitive and physical changes related to age and pathology. 

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 apply definitions of the stages in human development and explain major theories and evaluate the quality of the evidence
2 synthesize pre, post-natal and infant development for the major physiological systems, reviewing key nutrients, appropriate exercise and developmental risks for maternal and foetal health
3 review changes in major systems from early childhood through adolescence and appraise the relevance of various physical activity levels and training regimes to support growth, development and physical fitness
4 evaluate the neurological development in adolescents and young adults in relation to challenges common to this life-stage and make evidence-based predictions about long-term developmental impacts of self-harming behaviours
5 review changes in the major physiological systems during early, middle and late adulthood and critique the evidence of a relationship between mental (including cognitive function) and physical health with physical activity, dietary requirements and training
6 outline developmental issues associated with congenital and acquired disabilities and analyse evidence associated with physical activity and exercise in aiding development and mitigating functional decline
7 interpret research studies investigating the effect of exercise, training, physical activity and lifestyle choices on short and long term developmental outcomes

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. apply definitions of the stages in human development and explain major theories and evaluate the quality of the evidence
    • GA1:
    • GA3:
    • GA7:
  2. synthesize pre, post-natal and infant development for the major physiological systems, reviewing key nutrients, appropriate exercise and developmental risks for maternal and foetal health
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  3. review changes in major systems from early childhood through adolescence and appraise the relevance of various physical activity levels and training regimes to support growth, development and physical fitness
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  4. evaluate the neurological development in adolescents and young adults in relation to challenges common to this life-stage and make evidence-based predictions about long-term developmental impacts of self-harming behaviours
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  5. review changes in the major physiological systems during early, middle and late adulthood and critique the evidence of a relationship between mental (including cognitive function) and physical health with physical activity, dietary requirements and training
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  6. outline developmental issues associated with congenital and acquired disabilities and analyse evidence associated with physical activity and exercise in aiding development and mitigating functional decline
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  7. interpret research studies investigating the effect of exercise, training, physical activity and lifestyle choices on short and long term developmental outcomes
    • GA1:
    • GA4:
    • GA7: