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Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Major subject – Developmental Psychology

Every individual has a unique lifecycle characterised by the challenges they face at various ages. Development Psychology is a discipline that studies human development, especially in childhood and adolescence when the development is fastest, but also in adulthood and old age. During your studies in Developmental Psychology, you will learn about the psychological mechanisms and regularities that steer a child’s identity development, their ability to embrace rules (such as moral rules), identity development, partner selection, and the ability to accept one’s own appearance and ageing.  You will also learn about how people cope with life crises and what consequences these crises have at both individual and social levels.

If you study Developmental Psychology as your major subject, you will have excellent opportunities to create a unique professional profile. You can either specialise in an area that interests you most or complete general studies without any specialisation.  You have a great deal of freedom to choose from elective courses (e.g., sexology, autism, emotion, motion and eating disorders) and optional thematic modules in, for example, school psychology, workplace psychology, crisis psychology and sports psychology. You can choose to take English-language studies in peace mediation and conflict resolution, and you can freely include in your degree any minor subjects that interest you within Åbo Akademi University. Development Psychology can also be studied as a minor subject by students with other major subjects.

There are several focal points in research with relevance to education in the social sciences, such as, geriatric research, research related to children, youth and families, research concerning the health status, living conditions and welfare among the Finnish population, demographics of Finland Swedes, aggression research (including bullying and harassment at schools and workplaces), research of conflict mediation and resolution, research of child abuse and gaming addiction, media research, crisis psychological research as well as research related to rural, urban and environmental issues.

The major subject studies in Developmental Psychology give you in particular skills to work with children and young people in the public sector and in the care sector, but also for work with adults in companies, organisations and associations that need expert services, e.g. in staff-related and motivation development issues. Some graduates choose to start their own company. A Developmental Psychology degree also provides skills for research, but not competence for psychologist services. Your understanding of human behaviour in crisis and conflict situations makes you a sought-after specialist in the labour market.


Visiting address

Rantakatu 2


Åbo Akademi Vasa
Developmental Psychology
PL 311
FI-65101 Vaasa