PY3CA-Cognitive neuropsychology of ageing

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Priority access given to students on the BSc Psychology Childhood and Ageing programme.
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Jayne Freeman


Summary module description:
Cognitive neuropsychology of ageing

The aim of the option is to enable students to explore, in depth, the nature and possible causes of cognitive changes in both healthy and abnormal ageing. The option aims to give students experience of critical evaluation of existing research and theoretical perspectives within the cognitive ageing literature; to help them develop the ability to study independently; to give them experience of current research being undertaken in the department.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to
1.Critically evaluate research approaches to examining the impact of healthy ageing on cognitive functioning
2. Critically analyse research on the effects of different types of dementia on cognitive functioning
3. Appraise key theoretical explanations for the effects of ageing and dementia on cognitive functioning, with critical reference to the literature

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups. They will also gain practical experience of administering neuropsychological tests.

Outline content:
This module comprises seven 2-hour seminars.

This option will use lectures, group discussions and practical activities to explore the nature and basis of cognitive changes in both healthy and abnormal ageing. We will critically evaluate research examining the effects of healthy ageing on cognition (primarily memory and executive function) and will analyse some of the dominant theories of age-related cognitive decline. We will also look at abnormal ageing. The focus will be on the cognitive changes that take place in Alzheimer’s disease; however we will also examine some of the other common types of dementia (including fronto-temporal dementia and vascular dementia). Finally, we will consider some of the factors that might contribute to the maintenance of good cognitive functioning in later life (e.g. diet, exercise and social engagement).

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course will include a variety of learning methods, for example, seminars, interactive discussions, practical activities and student presentations. Students will also have the opportunity to administer and take part in a range of neuropsychological tests used to assess cognitive functioning in older adults.

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: 21 December 2016

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