Infant Observation MED5661

  • 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 introduces students to the foundational theories and approaches to observing the infant; incorporating standardised assessment methods and psychoanalytic observational techniques. Students will be afforded the opportunity to apply this learning by engaging with video resources. 


10 hours of asynchronous online teaching


Requirements of Entry

Excluded Courses



1. 30% report and reflection on an infant observation (500 words) (ILO 5)

2. 70% Critical appraisal of the validity and acceptability of a chosen method of infant observation (1000-1200 words) (ILOs 1-4)

Course Aims

Students will:

Become familiar with the literature relating to infant observation in infant mental health practice.

Engage with multiple theoretical and methodological perspective on infant observation.

Gain the skills to complete an infant observation utilising a standardised method.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Synthesize the literature to demonstrate critical understanding of infant communication through verbal and non-verbal behaviour

2. Appraise the value and methods of routinely adopting an observational stance to: a) observe the parent/s/caregiver interaction; b) to identify areas of concern; c) provide appropriate interventions when interactions are detrimental to the baby's development; d) be able to recognise when referral to specialist services is necessary and take appropriate action

3. Critically evaluate the propriety of supplementing observation of caregiver-infant interaction and infant development (e.g. socio-emotional development; developmental targets) with formal assessment using standardised procedure.

4. Analyse the applicability of utilising standardised tools to observe the behaviour of infants with atypical developmental trajectories

5. Critically reflect on a completed observation and standardised assessment of an infant

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.