Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Understanding Infant Mental Health and Development MED5642

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course observes the trajectory of early years mental health development, following the child's journey from pre-birth to pre-school. The course attends to key developmental stages, and relates them to the child's wider health, relational, and societal contexts.


Online content delivered as an eleven-week course.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





(1) 30% personal reflection on learning (500 words)

(2) 70% analysis and response to case study vignette recorded presentation (7-10mins)

Course Aims

Students will become familiar with the various milestones of a typically developing child's journey. Particular attention is given to the unique skill-set of the newborn and their eagerness to learn and connect. Atypical developmental trajectories and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are explored, with a focus on the life-long relational consequences of early childhood development and experiences. Students will develop a new appreciation for the competencies of the child, an understanding of the critical nature of the child's early environment, and a framework with which to observe and discuss infant mental health

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Original ILO's.

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Critically reflect on personal and professional experiences.

2. Synthesise and critically appraise scientific literature informed by the bioecological model to describe how aspects of pre- and post-birth environments influence child development.

3. Critically evaluate scientific literature to identify factors that affect relationships between infants and caregivers and discuss how early relationships impact developmental trajectories.

4. Communicate learning in a concise and engaging manner

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.