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Unit information: Child Health in the Early Years in 2015/16

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Unit name Child Health in the Early Years
Unit code COBM20000
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Cathy Williams
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

'Child Health in the Early Years' examines pathways of health, growth and development in children from birth to seven. The unit is taught by a range of professionals including psychologists, paediatricians, health visitors and nurses who are either directly involved in working with children, or who are academics working in the area of child development. This multidisciplinary approach to teaching encourages students to learn about different perspectives, current approaches and policies relating to child health and development. Through a series of interactive seminars, students will examine:

(i) Factors that can impact on developmental pathways including genetic inheritance, family environment and socio-economic background. (ii) Child health surveillance and its importance in promoting health and development. (iii) Causes of childhood disability and its impact on the child and family. (iv) Factors that lead to inequalities in children's health.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to access and critically appraise information on the health of children.
  • Show an understanding of the normal patterns of child growth, health and development and common conditions and circumstances affecting them.
  • Be familiar with the normal process of child health surveillance and its importance in promoting child health and development.
  • Understand some of the causes of childhood disability and its impact on the child and family.
  • Be aware of the impacts of the environment on children’s health and the impact of health on the subsequent development, education and well-being of children.
  • Be aware of the factors that lead to inequalities in children’s health.

Teaching Information

Interactive seminars.

Assessment Information

Formative: Group presentations on a given topic at the end of each block of four lectures. Students are given a grade and written feedback by email. Presentations are assessed in terms of the student’s individual contribution and overall group cohesiveness. Peer assessment will also be used during the session.

Summative: A three hour unseen exam comprising four short notes and two hour long essays from a choice of four.

Reading and References

Taylor J and Woods M (2005) Early Childhood Studies: an holistic approach, 2nd Edition. London: Hodder Arnold.

Hall D, Elliman D (2003) Health for all children, 4th Edition. Oxford University Press inc

Lindon J (2005) Understanding Child Development. London: Hodder Arnold

Graham, H. & Power, C. Childhood disadvantage and adult health: a lifecourse framework. Health Development Agency, 2004 (

Illustrated textbook of paediatrics: Lissauer T, Clayden G (2001) 2nd edition.

Common Assessment Framework: Every Child Matters. (