Skip to main content


PSY8044 : Advanced Topics in the Neurodiversity of Development

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Helen St Clair-Thompson
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to provide an advanced understanding of the neurodiversity of development, focusing on the origins of neurodiversity (e.g. genetic or non-genetic basis), and the way it can affect psychological functioning (e.g. cognition and behaviour).

The module therefore aims to:
- Introduce students to the main methods used in the psychological study of neurodiversity, and the main methods used for assessing and diagnosing neurodiverse conditions.
- Enable students to understand some key characteristics, abilities and behaviours that are observed in neurodivergent populations.
- Enable students to compare and contrast the psychological profiles of neurodivergent individuals.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will cover a broad range of topics; including assessment, diagnosis, and interventions for neurodivergent individuals and also cover a range of theories related to the characteristics, cognition and behaviour that are seen in neurodivergent populations.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person interactive lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion166:0066:00Preparation and completion of assessments
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Reading papers on Canvas, completing formative quizzes for each topic
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study190:0090:00Revising and exploring lecture notes and reading.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Interactive lectures will be held every week. Students will be expected to engage in structured research and reading to supplement the lectures, and to complete activities and formative quizzes on Canvas. Students will be required to engage in independent study and reading to supplement the material presented in lectures, and to prepare for and complete their assessments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M75Coursework essay, 3,000 words
Poster2M25Students will individually produce a poster about assessment methods for a neurodivergent condition
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MQuizzes made available on Canvas
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There will be 2 forms of assessment for this 20 credit module. 25% of the overall grade for this module will come from a poster, focusing on the more practitioner based module aim (methods of assessment and diagnosis). Students will be expected to research assessment methods, find relevant examples, and create a poster.

75% of the overall grade for this module will come from completion of a 3,000-word essay. This essay title will be given mid-module and the work will be submitted in the final teaching week of the module. The essay will cover theories related to a particular neurodivergent population, and students will be given a choice in terms of the theories and the population they focus on.

Formative assessments will include quizzes made available on Canvas, students will also be able to engage in group discussions about topics and their assessments.

These methods of assessment support student learning by encouraging wider reading / critical analysis skills and assimilation of arguments based on theory and evidence.

Reading Lists