University of Technology Sydney

92431 Human Life Course Development

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject focuses on the transitions that occur as a consequence of normal lifespan development and the experience of illness from a psychological and nursing perspective. Students are introduced to lifespan development and its assessment highlighting expected milestones in children and adolescents. Health experiences and related behaviours are examined using theories and models from health psychology and sociology. Concepts of loss, stress, coping and adaptation are explored and the influence of values, beliefs, attitudes and attributions on perceptions of health, illness and health behaviour considered.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Examine human development across the lifespan and its relevance to nursing practice (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 1, 2, 6).
B. Define and describe the term holistic health and the relationship between physical, psychological and spiritual health (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 1, 4, 5, 6, 7).
C. Examine the role of psychosocial assessment in the planning and implementation of person centred nursing care (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 1, 4. 5)
D. Relate the learning in this subject to clinical reasoning and self-care (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 3, 4).
E. Demonstrate academic writing and researching skills appropriate for a beginning nursing student (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 1).
F. Develop a beginning understanding of the role of registered nurses in delivering safe patient care (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 1, 2, 5, 6).
G. Demonstrate and recognise appropriate therapeutic communication and understand its relevance to patient safety (Registered Nurse Standards of Practice 1, 2, 5, 6).

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Accept professional accountability and responsibility for quality and safe care concomitant with scope of practice (1.4)
  • Engage in person-centred care that is appropriately sensitive to the needs of individuals, families and communities (2.0)
  • Practise person-centred, holistic care in which all aspects of the patient's wellbeing are considered (2.1)
  • Promote the use of preventative health strategies to reduce the risk of disease and/or ameliorate severity of illness (2.4)
  • Communicate fluently and effectively for safe therapeutic and collaborative practice (3.1)
  • Speak, read, write and listen effectively and with sensitivity to different audiences and contexts (3.3)
  • Inquire critically to assess a body of evidence to inform practice (4.0)
  • Comply with intellectual academic writing practices and use information ethically, legally and respectfully (4.4)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage you to engage with Human Life Course Development. This learning will be enriched by your preparation for class and the collaborative activity undertaken within in-class groups. Each 6-unit subject requires at least 140 hours of work (including face-to-face and self-directed learning activities) to successfully complete academic requirements.

Guest speakers will assist the subject coordinator to deliver the content of this subject. Lectures will be delivered in both face to face and online modes.

Tutorial preparation
Students will be required to undertake preparatory work prior to each tutorial to ensure that they are ready to participate in tutorial activities. The tutorial activities will build on this knowledge. Tutorial participation will be expected at the class level and students will also work together in pairs and/or groups to work collaboratively on tasks. Critical thinking will be fostered through discussion, analysis, interpretation and reflection on case issues.

Students will be provided with feedback on their work from their tutors during tutorials.

NB: This learning is expected and will not be recaptured in class.

Academic Writing
An introduction to academic writing practices and information literacy is undertaken within this subject.

Content (topics)

  • Major theoretical perspectives from psychology that inform an understanding of human behaviour and development;
  • Growth and development across the lifespan including theories and models of human development focusing on critical stages and transitions;
  • The mind-body relationship including psychosocial responses to developmental change;
  • Health beliefs, values, attributions and behaviours and their impact on lifestyle choice;
  • Health compromising behaviours and possibilities for change;
  • Working with clients and families to enhance health and wellbeing;
  • Social factors that influence human development and inform our understanding of human behaviour;
  • The dynamics and impact of loss and illness on development throughout the lifespan;
  • Stress and its relationship to health, illness and wellbeing;
  • Psychosocial assessment;
  • Comprehension and writing skills commensurate with stage of learning;
  • Therapeutic communication techniques and relevance to patient safety.


Assessment task 1: Online Quiz


To test students recall and application of knowledge.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, E and G

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 3.1, 4.0 and 4.4

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

30 multiple choice questions. Students will have 30 minutes to complete this task. Please make sure that your internet connection is reliable, as this quiz will only be available for 45 minutes and you will only have one chance to complete this task.

Assessment task 2: Electronic poster and presentation


The purpose of this assessment is for students to identify factors that could cause harm or injury to vulnerable patients during their hospitalisation. Students will share their learning via an e-poster.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, E, F and G

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 2.4, 3.1 and 3.3

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%


Assessment task 3: Video stimulus - written assessment


To enable students to identify poor nursing practice, specifically with regards to therapeutic communication and professional boundaries and to relate these concepts to patient safety and the nurse/patient relationship.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.4, 2.1, 3.1 and 3.3

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

1500 words

Required texts

Levett-Jones, T. (2020). Critical conversations for patient safety: An essential guide for health professionals (2nd ed.). Pearson.

Recommended texts

Faigley, L. (2018). The Little Pearson Handbook (4th ed.). Pearson.


Refer to UTSOnline for access to up to date references for this subject.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
?The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or