PY3DN-Developmental Neuroscience

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:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Patricia Riddell


Type of module:

Summary module description:
Developmental Neuroscience

This module aims to:
- Enable students to study the role of the developing brain in behavioural changes that can be seen in children of different ages;
- Give students experience of critical evaluation of selected topics in developmental neuroscience including pre- and post-natal development of the brain, plasticity of the brain across the lifespan, the neural basis for the development of emotion and the development of memory;
- Make students aware of current research being undertaken in the department in the field of developmental neuroscience;
- Help students develop the ability to study independently.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to
1.Critically assess research relating to pre- and post-natal neural development
2. Apply this knowledge to understand the relation between neural changes and behavioural changes in cognitive abilities (e.g. emotion regulation and memory) across the lifespan
3. Consider the real life applications of this learning for both typically and atypically developing children

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

Outline content:
The module comprises 7 2-hour seminars. This course will use lectures, group discussions and student presentations to introduce students to the role of neuroscience in the study of child development. Our understanding of the changes in brain structure and connectivity that underlie developmental changes in behaviour is increasing. This option is an opportunity to learn about how early brain development can be studied, the types of questions this research can help to answer, and recent advances in our understanding that have come from this research. In addition, you will be encouraged to consider how this area of research can be used to inform interventions for typically and atypically developing children.

A range of topics will be covered during the course including: constructivism, prenatal brain development, formation of neural networks, plasticity in the nervous system, typical and atypical brain development. We will also consider how neural developments relate to cognitive and behavioural changes during childhood in areas such as memory and emotional regulation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars involve lectures and interactive discussions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14 1
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 99.00 1.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Set exercise 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:
1.5 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework is assessed by weekly set exercises (Continuous Assessment Questions; 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 weekly online assessments which require critical evaluation of the material covered on the course.

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 Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment 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: 20 April 2018


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