PYMCAN-Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Pre-requisite: BPS-accredited BSc in Psychology with coverage of Biological Psychology, or international equivalent
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Carien Van Reekum


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The purpose of this module is to engage students with the current state of knowledge and debate in cognitive and affective neuroscience.  Topics reflect the expertise in our School, and include memory, cognitive control, beliefs and decision-making, emotion regulation, and lifespan development of cognition-emotion interaction.


Within the neurosciences, cognitive and affective neuroscience are relatively young disciplines and characterised by rapidly changing views, incorporating an ever expanding array of methods. The purpose of this module is to inform students about the current state of knowledge and debates in cognitive and affective neuroscience.  This module will also touch upon lifespan brain development. Topics covered in this module reflect the School’s research expertise in cognitive and affective neuroscience. Whilst the seminars cover basic research in these select topics, relevance to neurocognitive and emotional disorders will be highlighted where applicable.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe some of the theoretical notions and neural/neurobiological models in the study of cognitive and affective neuroscience

  • Reflect on findings from both animal and human studies

  • Be able to find, describe and evaluate recent experimental work within subfields of cognitive and affective neuroscience and independently extend the knowledge to neurocognitive and emotional disorders.

Additional outcomes:

It is anticipated that this module will provide the requisite theoretical background to inform subsequent careers in psychology and related disciplines with a neuroscience element, such as clinical neuropsychology.

Outline content:

A brief introduction to cognitive and affective neuroscience will be followed by seminars focusing on a range of topics, including working memory/cognitive control, memory systems, emotion regulation, beliefs and decision-making and lifespan development of cognition-emotion interaction.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning methods include a mixture of plenary lectures, group discussions, aided by audio-visual materials available online or recorded by staff members as part of their research.

Students should be aware that the standards expected of them, in oral and written contributions, are higher than those expected in undergraduate work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15
Guided independent study: 85
Total hours by term 0 100 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module will be assessed via a written essay (max length 2000 words) in which the student integrates information provided across 2 or more lectures. Essay questions will be released after the final seminar.

Formative assessment methods:

In-class assignments with in-class feedback intended to prepare the student for the essay.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

If a student fails the assignment, an alternative, equivalent assignment can be submitted.  The assignment and date of submission will be by arrangement with the Module Convenor and/or Programme Director. Students should note however that, given the University regulations on failing credits, it may not be in their interests to resubmit the coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 30 September 2019


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