PY3ASC-Autism Spectrum Conditions

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites: Priority access given to student on BSc Psychology Mental and Physical Health and BSc Psychology Childhood and Ageing programmes
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Fiona Knott


Summary module description:
Autism Spectrum Conditions

This module aims to enable students to understand the nature of autism spectrum disorders and their impact on the individual and the family, and to develop skills in critical analysis of interventions. The module provides experience of critical evaluation of selected topics in those areas, and of current research being undertaken in the department, and aims to help students develop the ability to study independently.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be able to:
1. Appraise key theoretical perspectives in the development of ASD
2. Apply their understanding of ASD to consider the impact on individuals and families, with critical reference to the literature
3. Critically analyse research investigating the effectiveness of interventions for ASD

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups.

As this module focuses on clinical aspects of ASD, it provides students with insights into the nature of clinical psychology, with particular benefits for those wishing to pursue clinical careers.

Outline content:
This module comprises seven two-hour seminars.

The focus of these seminars is the nature and development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), concentrating on childhood and adolescence. The implications of these disorders for individuals, their families and professionals who support them will be addressed from the perspective of clinical psychology.

The first two seminars will explore theoretical issues relating to development and diagnosis of ASD. Seminars 3 and 4 examine the impact of ASD for parents, siblings and individuals themselves, with regard to mental health in particular. The final seminars will present an overview of range of interventions for ASD, and will critically analyse the research evidence for key interventions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The format includes short presentations by the lecturer, illustrated by clinical examples and video material. A wide range of sources will be drawn upon, including personal accounts and video material as well as the psychological evidence base. Small and large group discussions and activities will allow critical analysis of theory and research and will emphasise theory-practice links. A range of structured activities are included such as practice in video observation techniques to analyse data, and clinical techniques, such as writing social stories. Such activities allow students to both develop clinical understanding of the techniques and also help to develop skills in critical research analysis.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14
Guided independent study 86
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise a poster presentation.

Formative assessment methods:
Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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