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Human Development

Interested in the study of the human lifespan from conception and birth onwards? Human Development investigates how people develop throughout their lives and how cultural and social settings help to shape what is possible.

The Human Development programme explores the development of individuals, families, groups and communities throughout the human lifespan. It is important for those wishing to go into professions such as youth work, eldercare, social work, counselling and teaching. An understanding of human development is relevant to many other careers that involve working with or for people.

Papers  develop skills relevant to career objectives such as human relations, human services, programme planning, community liaison, counselling, policy and evaluation, administration of programs concerned with the family or other groups and research.

Graduates gain a solid foundation in theory and research to understand and explain the development of people from the early years through to old age, have the ability to examine how different contexts influence people's lives, learning and behaviour, and are able to apply this knowledge to specific life situation

Human Development is available as a major for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Sciences within the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. It may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject with other undergraduate degrees (subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies). Human Development papers also count towards Education and Teaching degrees.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Faculty:

Career opportunities

  • Community or Iwi Development Coordinator
  • Community Educator
  • Policy Analyst/ Advisor
  • Community Advocate
  • Social Services Advocate
  • International Aid Worker
  • Learning Application Developer
  • Trainer

Study in Tauranga

Students in Tauranga can complete a major in Human Development without leaving the Bay.


Prescriptions for the GradCert(HumDev) and GradDip(HumDev)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Human Development at an advanced level in their first degree. The Graduate Diploma consists of 120 points, including at least 80 points at 300 level or above. Each programme must include one of HMDEV200, HMDEV201 or HMDEV202, and one of HMDEV300, HMDEV301, HMDEV302, HMDEV321 or HMDEV340.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Education.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(HumDev), PGDip(HumDev), BSocSc(Hons) and MSocSc

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Human Development papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in the best three of their 300 level Human Development papers or all their undergraduate Human Development papers.

To complete a BSocSc(Hons) in Human Development, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally HDCO591) and at least 60 points from papers listed for Human Development. Students who are intending to go on to an MSocSc must include an approved research methods paper in their BSocSc(Hons) degree.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MSocSc in Human Development, a student must have completed either:

a) a BSocSc with a major in Human Development (or equivalent) with at least a B grade average across the 300 level papers, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

b) a BSocSc(Hons) in Human Development (or equivalent) with at least second class honours (second division) or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent.

Completion requirements for the MSocSc in Human Development vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including 30 points from a research methods paper or papers, and either a 120 point thesis, or a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
CMYHE101Understanding Hauora, Health and Wellbeing19A (Hamilton), 19A (Online) & 19A (Tauranga)
This paper examines a social determinants approach to Health. It includes exploration of a range of interactions that influence the health of populations and determinants of health in New Zealand and global contexts.
HMDEV100Lifespan Development19A (Hamilton), 19B (Online) & 19B (Tauranga)
HMDEV100 focuses on understanding and enhancing human development through an exploration of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors that influence patterns of development and learning over the lifespan.
PSYCH101Social Psychology, Health and Well-being19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper will introduce major issues in psychology particularly as they relate to health, wellbeing, mental illness, forensic psychology, lifespan development, and social factors in a range of contexts.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV200Child Development19T (Tauranga)
This paper critically explores a diverse range of theories and perspectives that relate to both historical and current discourses to understanding child development.
HMDEV201Adolescent Development19B (Hamilton)
The paper promotes a critical study of the construction of theories specific to the developmental stage of adolescence. It introduces theories of adolescence that have been promoted by a range of theorists over time, and considers how these may be socially and culturally constructed. Current discourses about adolescence - and how t...
HMDEV202Adult Development and Ageing19A (Online)
This paper draws on theories from developmental psychology, sociology, demography, philosophy and biology to examine learning and change processes through adulthood, and discusses implications for personal and social development.
HMDEV240Group Work for Life Transitions19B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces and applies the use of group work skills in various (un)expected life transitions. This paper uses theory from human development, life transitions and group work.
POPST201Population Studies19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Online)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Population Studies. Students will develop a sound understanding of the demographic drivers of population change and composition, while exploring some of the rich theories and methodological approaches which comprise Population Studies.
SOCPY201Social Policy, Families and Children19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper further develops students' theoretical understanding of social policy, while focusing specifically on policy related to families and children, providing insight into the relationships between policy and lived experience.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
HMDEV300Children's Development in Families19A (Online)
This paper examines the development of children within family and community contexts. Contemporary issues will be investigated with an emphasis on theory and research and their impact on policy and practice.
HMDEV301Critical Issues for Youth in the 21st Century19B (Online)
This paper explores new possibilities for human development in a rapidly changing global environment. Analysis and critique of culturally constructed norms sensitive to gender, ability, culture, sexuality and age will be used.
HMDEV302Ageing in a Changing World19B (Hamilton)
This paper considers the issues arising for adults as they age. It will critically reflect on issues around positive ageing in a global context.
HMDEV320Implementing Inclusive Practices: Building Community Capacity19B (Online)
This paper investigates the question - What skills are required so to fully include disabled children, young people and adults in the educational and social life of their local community?
HMDEV321Motivation and Talent Development in Young People19B (Tauranga)
Motivation and Talent Development in Young People explores the development of talent in children and youth with a focus on motivation, intelligence, creativity and giftedness, and how special abilities may be recognised and developed in a range of contexts.
HMDEV322Learning and Behaviour Difficulties: Strategies for Professionals19S (Hamilton)
This paper provides practical skills for responding to challenging behaviour and learning difficulties in school classrooms and other learning environments (including workplaces); and considers broader developmental and environmental factors that influence what transpires in settings.
HMDEV340Perspectives on Counselling19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the philosophical, psychological and sociological principles that underpin the aims and methods of the helping professions in general, and counselling in particular.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
COUNS540Working with Groups19B (Block)
This paper explores dialogic group processes with selected kinds of groups. Students will be given the opportunity to develop group membership and leadership roles through observation, participation and evaluation during an experiential workshop format and through on-line discussion and assignments.
COUNS544Discourse and Counselling Psychologies19C (Block)
This paper offers a constructionist perspective on counselling and includes consideration of psychological theories which have influenced counselling practice. Students will be introduced to concepts which enable analysis of therapeutic conversations.
COUNS549Counselling and Contexts19S (Block)
This paper provides an overview of counselling practice and its contexts, including an optional module on school counselling. It teaches the skills and ethical perspectives of collaborative approaches to counselling, offering a particular introduction to narrative therapy.
DINST521Contemporary Issues in Disability and Inclusion Studies19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Online)
This paper examines the historical and contemporary context that drives the bio-medical and social justice models of inclusive social and educational practice. It will also consider how a disability advocacy focus affects the practice of academic research.
EDUCA500Culturally Responsive Methodologies incorporating kaupapa Maori and critical theories19B (Block - Tauranga)
Cullturally Responsive Methodologies utilise kaupapa Maori and critical theoretical frameworks to develop contexts within which the researched community can define the terms for engaging, relating and co-creating new knowledge.
EDUCA557Research Methods19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Online) & 19S (Block)
This paper introduces students to the major educational research paradigms, methodologies appropriate to collecting data in schools (including interviews, observations, surveys, case studies), action research, literature reviews, critiquing research, and report writing. It includes consideration of ethical issues in research.
HMDEV501Development of Children and Young People: International Perspectives19S (Hamilton)
This paper provides a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of children and young people's development from birth to 18 years. It discusses research perspectives on optimal development for children and young people within familial, educational and broader social contexts in contemporary societies. Students will be invited to con...
HMDEV502Ageing and Society19B (Hamilton)
This paper examines how ageing is constituted in both social and political discourses, and how the resulting messages influence the everyday experiences of older people.
HMDEV503Educational and Life Transitions: Changing Roles and Changing Contexts19B (Block - Tauranga)
The life of an individual involves many transitions to new roles and new contexts. These include numerous educational transitions, from infants and young children entering early childhood services, through school transitions, to adults starting tertiary or work contexts. Each transition may offer both opportunities and challenges. ...
HMDEV504Difference and Diversity in Human Development19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores critical perspectives on difference and diversity for selected issues in lifespan development. It examines recent cultural, feminist, environmental and post-structural questions that have been raised for contemporary psychological and educational practice.
HMDEV524Intelligence, Creativity and the Development of Talent19A (Online)
This paper involves an in-depth examination of historical and contemporary models of intelligence, creativity, giftedness, and talent, and how these different interpretations impact on policy and practice in education.
HMDEV565Restorative Practices in Education19A (Hamilton)
This paper examines restorative practices and considers their role in education settings.
MAOED500Rangahau Kaupapa Maori - Kaupapa Maori Research19C (Hamilton)
This paper seeks to explore Kaupapa Maori research theory and methodologies, developing more informed and culturally located and responsive research practice, with a particular focus on researching in Maori educational contexts.
POPST507Critical Demography19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to critical demography as a field that marries social science theory with quantitative and qualitative methods to understand demographic phenomena. Lectures and in-class discussion will focus on weekly readings drawn from Aotearoa/NZ and internationally. Study topics include population categories and ...
POPST508Population Health and Equity19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores population health within particular communities, emphasising the broader determinants of population health and social equity. It introduces students to aspects of epidemiology, considers demographic and social science perspectives, and explores the relationship between health, community and society. It examines ...


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Human Development is available as a major and graduate level subject in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Papers in this subject are offered by the Department of Human Development and Counselling in the Faculty of Education. Students majoring in other Social Sciences disciplines for their BSocSc(Hons) and MSocSc may also consider taking one or two Human Development papers with particular relevance to their major subject: for instance, Psychology majors may be interested in Conflict Resolution, Working with Groups, or Counselling, and Psychology or Social Policy majors with a critical bent might consider taking Young People in Contemporary New Zealand Society and Difference and Diversity in Human Development.

Available Qualifications

Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the BSocSc(Hons) in Human Development, a student should normally have majored in Human Development in their undergraduate degree and have at least a B average in the best three of their 300 level Human Development papers or all of their undergraduate Human Development papers. Students who have taken an undergraduate major in Psychology will normally be considered to meet the criteria for entry to graduate study in Human Development. Admission requirements vary, so students should consult the Graduate Adviser directly.

To complete a BSocSc(Hons) in Human Development, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points of research, normally HDCO591 or an equivalent approved by the Programme Convenor and at least 30 further points from papers listed for Human Development. Students who are intending to go on to a MSocSc in Human Development must include an approved research methods paper in their BSocSc(Hons) programme.

Visit Bachelor of Social Sciences to find out more about the entry and requirements for this qualification.

Master of Social Sciences

Entry to the MSocSc in Human Development is open to students who have completed a BSocSc(Hons) in Human Development (or equivalent) and have gained a B+ average across all 500 level papers.

To complete a MSocSc in Human Development, students must take a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and 60 points from approved 500 level papers. MSocSc students who have not completed an approved research methods paper in their honours degree must include an approved research methods paper in their masters programme.

Visit Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc) to find out more about the entry and requirements for this qualification.

Postgraduate Certificate

Entry to the PGCert(HumDev) is open to suitably qualified candidates who have completed study at an advanced level and satisfied any prerequisites for graduate study in Human Development.

Students must gain 60 points at 500 level or above in Human Development.

Visit Postgraduate Certificate to find out more about the entry and requirements for this qualification.

Postgraduate Diploma

Entry to the PGDip(HumDev) is open to suitably qualified candidates who have completed study at an advanced level and satisfied any prerequisites for graduate study in Human Development.

Students must gain 120 points at 500 level or above, including 90 points in Human Development.

Visit Postgraduate Diploma to find out more about the entry and requirements for this qualification.


Contacts

Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education:

Phone: 0800 832 242 or +64 7 838 4500
Email: teach@waikato.ac.nz