Exploring Infant Mental Health and Development MED5659

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course focusses in on the fine details of the journey from pre-birth to pre-school. The course explores neurodevelopment, biological and genetic influences on infant mental health and development. Students will engage with key developmental and socio-emotional theories and explore the multi-layered influences on infant mental health and development.


This course will be made up of asynchronous online teaching.

Requirements of Entry

Excluded Courses





1. 30% personal reflection on learning (600 words) (ILOs 1 & 5)

2. 70% analysis and response to case study vignette recorded presentation (7-10mins) (ILOs 2-5)

Course Aims

Students will.

Learn about direct influences on infant mental health; including biochemical, genetic and familial factors.

Learn about indirect influences on infant mental health; including environmental, cultural and societal factors.

Be introduced to the principles of brain development in utero and infancy.

Explore the key socio-emotional and learning theories relating to infant mental health and development.

Engage with the concept of adverse childhood experiences and explore their impact on mental health and development.

Explore the role of public health in monitoring infant mental health at a population level.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Critically reflect on personal understanding of infant mental health and identify the influences which shaped this

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. Explain and appraise key theoretical frameworks of infant learning and development

4. Critique the contribution of attachment and psychoanalytic theories in understanding infant mental health and synthesise these theories 

5. 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.