Course Outline

PSY307 Adult Development and Ageing

Course Coordinator:Kristen Tulloch ( School:School of Health and Behavioural Sciences

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Adult Development and Ageing is a required advanced core topic in all accredited undergraduate psychology programs. The proposed course is designed to meet that accreditation requirement and builds on the introduction to human development course that students receive in the second year of the accredited psychology sequence.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 1 hour online learning materials 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial/workshop - 2 hours 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Theories and methods in adult development and ageing 

Roles in the lifepsan: relationships, work, and in retirement and leisure

Changes in brain and body across the lifespan

The active paticipant in life and managing challenges 

Interruptions and problems in life

A life well-lived 


What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critically research and evaluate major theoretical and empirical perspectives on human ageing and wellbeing and apply to ageing in diverse populations and situations. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Apply the lifespan developmental approach to ageing in a critical research project and to develop an intervention using contemporary research to promote successful aging. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


PSY200 and PSY201


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In Week 3, your draft plan for the research proposal will be peer reviewed in your tutorial/workshop. This formative assessment will help you to prepare for the research proposal, by considering the type and scope of activity for the program, the age of participants, and how you will assess the program’s effectiveness. In Week 9, your draft presentation slide and accompanying handout will be peer-reviewed in the tutorial workshop. This formative feedback will assist you with the content and delivery of your presentation

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 40%
2000 words
Week 7 Online Submission
All 2 Oral Individual 20%
1 minute + 1-PPT slide handout
Week 9 Online Submission
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
2 hours
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Research Proposal
The goal of this assessment is to reflect on your understanding about the adult years and to demonstrate your ability to apply recent research to developing a program to enhance the functioning of older people.
Product: Written Piece
Literature review and research proposal is to be 2000 words maximum, including all headings and citations (inside and outside of the brackets) but excluding the title page, abstract and reference list. Any words over 2000 words will not be read as part of the assignment. 

Consider that you are now a psychologist working with older adults and have been asked to develop an activity program that will facilitate psychosocial and physical benefits for the participants. You have been inspired by Vaillant’s (2012) book, Triumphs of Experience, and wish to establish a program that will provide adults over 60 years with the opportunities to flourish in their later years.  

It is expected that your program would target the one or more of the factors that are antecedents or consequences of the Decathlon of Flourishing (e.g., Table 2.2, p37 and Table 2.3, p41), although you can choose which predictor/s or outcome/s will be part of your program and the type of activities involved. Fortunately, you have been given a very large budget to ensure the success of the project.  

In Week 3, your draft plan for the research proposal will be peer reviewed in your tutorial/workshop. This formative assessment will help you to prepare for the research proposal, by considering the type and scope of activity for the program, the age of participants, and how you will assess the program’s effectiveness 

The Introduction to the Research Proposal should situate your project both within Vaillant’s work and in the broader context of aging, identify an appropriate developmental theory, and provide the rationale for the program and its components, with reference to recently published research. You should also include the hypothesis/es that your research proposal will be testing by its design. 

The Methods for the research proposal should include a description of the participants, the types of activities they will undertake, and how you will assess the effectiveness of your program
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Abstract: Informative and concise summary of the purpose and content of the research proposal
Introduction to research proposal:Situation of research proposal, definition of key terms, and the specific hypothesis/es for the research proposal;
Identification and use of appropriate developmental theory;
Extent and relevance of current experimental research to provide the rationale and components to be included in the proposed intervention program.
Methods for research proposal:Description of participants, measures and methods;
Design of proposal tests the components discussed in the literature review.
Critical analysis, writing style, and use of APA style: Evidence of critical analysis of the research literature and demonstration of original thinking;
Structure and cohesion of argument established throughout;
Careful and accurate use of APA referencing and style;
Use of formal, academic language.
All - Assessment Task 2:Presentation of Journal Article
The goal of this assessment is to communicate your understanding of an article about current research in adult development and ageing through a brief oral presentation and accompanying handout reference.
Product: Oral
You will present the content of the journal article as an oral presentation of 1 (one) minute’s duration and produce an accompanying handout. The oral presentation will be along the lines of an ‘elevator pitch’, e.g., to generate interest in a project, idea, or product, or to secure a promotion.  

Consider that your workplace has weekly professional development meetings and you have been asked to talk to your colleagues about the current research in adult development and ageing.  

You will select ONE article published within the last 5 years that emphasises the positive aspects of ageing and the strengths and resilience shown in adulthood (where adulthood is taken from approximately 20 years through the oldest-old).   

In Week 9, your draft presentation slide and accompanying handout will be peer-reviewed in the tutorial workshop and assistance given in preparing the slide. This formative feedback will assist you with the content and delivery of your presentation. 

You may use 1 (one) PowerPoint slide for your oral presentation. Please submit this slide to Canvas by 4pm on the day prior to your class, so that all student PowerPoint slides can be collated to ensure the class runs quickly and smoothly. You will also use this PowerPoint slide as the basis for a resource for the class, in which you will include the key details of the article in the notes part of that slide. These slides will be combined for the future use by all students.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Articulation and critical analysis of key information in the article (and the currency of the chosen article)
Structure and flow of presentation
Time management
Quality of delivery of presentation and speaker’s use of notes
Design of PowerPoint slide and usefulness of the notes that accompany the slide
All - Assessment Task 3:Exam
To assess your knowledge of the course content. The end of semester examination will be based on the material covered in the lectures, the weekly readings, and the tutorial activities
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Exam in Exam Block
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​Critically evaluating major theoretical and empirical perspectives on human ageing and wellbeing
Accuracy of responses in relation to all questions
Evidence of critical and original thinking​

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.


Period and Topic Activities
Week 1
Theories, studies, and cultural influences in adult development and ageing
Week 2
Roles in the lifespan - relationships
Week 3
Roles in the lifespan - work
Week 4
Roles in the lifespan - outside work and family, in leisure activities and in retirement
Week 5
Our brains – age-related changes in structure and cognition and problem-solving across the adult years
Week 6
Our bodies across the lifespan
Week 7
The active participant in life and self-regulation of life goals
Week 8
Stereotypes of ageing and resilience in facing challenges
Week 9
Student presentations for Task 2
Week 10
Reading Week
Week 11
The interruptions and problems in life – illness, frailty, and disability
Week 12
The last stop – death, dying, and bereavement
Week 13
‘A life well-lived’ – the synthesis of roles, personal action, and a happy old age

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

No text book has been set for this course. 
The reading lists for each week will be provided to you prior to the start of the semester and will form the basis of the course content and the examination at the end of the semester.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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