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Nature vs Nurture: How Infants Learn to Fit into their Environments

This course is also available as part of a bundle.


Course overview

This five-hour, online course explores how infants and children are influenced by, and adapt to, their environments – examining the profound effect that early experiences can have on their brains, bodies and psyches, including the powerful impact of positive early relationships.
This course will be published later this month – register your interest below to be the first to hear when it’s available to book!


Course aims

This course explores the delicate interplay between nature and nurture – outlining how inherited potentials and external influences can all impact on a child’s development. Central to this course is the idea that children are highly adaptive – developing in response to their environment even before birth. By the end of the course, you will be more aware of the implications of this adaptive capacity, and more confident applying this knowledge to your work with children and young people.


How will you learn?

  • Explore key concepts through interactive lecture content and videos
  • Deepen your understanding via regular opportunities for reflection
  • Consider a case study to help apply the theory to your work
  • Test your knowledge with a quiz, and unlock a certificate



Course topics

This course will allow you to:

  • Discover how infants and children learn and adapt to their environment – adjusting to the emotional style and cultural expectations of their family and social group
  • Identify some of the environmental, societal and cultural factors that can affect an infant’s development even before birth, including the impact of chronic stress
  • Explore the powerful interaction between nature and nurture – encompassing the field of epigenetics and how our experiences can affect our genetic potential
  • Establish the importance of interpersonal interaction, how we are all born primed to interact and relate to others, and how good early relationships are central to emotional health and growth.

Who is this course for?

We welcome anyone to this course who has a keen interest in the subject area. In particular, this course is for you if work with children and families and wish to learn more about cutting-edge research findings and how these can be used in your work.

You may be working in:

  • A school
  • Social services
  • Healthcare
  • The voluntary sector
  • Or you may be considering work with children in the future.

Course requirements/assessment

There are no specific requirements for the course, although we suggest you are working with, or have an interest in working with children, or want to learn more about the effects of difficult early experiences on children’s minds and behaviours. There’s a multiple-choice question assessment at the end of the course, which unlocks a Digital Academy certificate upon completion.


Course Timings

This course runs continuously, so you can sign up at any time. It offers five hours of self-directed learning which you can undertake at a time and pace that suits you. You will have access to the course and its materials for a total of four weeks. Access begins the day after you’ve registered and paid, when you will receive login details by email.


Course facilitators

Dr Graham Music

Dr Graham Music

Dr Graham Music (PHD) is Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and an Adult Psychotherapist in private practice. He has a particular interest in exploring the interface between developmental findings and clinical work. Formerly Associate Clinical Director of the Tavistock and Portman’s Child and Family Department, he has managed…

Register your interest

Please complete the form below and we’ll let you know as soon as this course is available for booking!

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