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PSY3054 : 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:

Introduce students to the main methods used in the psychological study of the neurodiversity of development.
Enable students to develop knowledge of key aspects of cognition that are often examined in neurodiverse populations.
Enable students to understand key developmental disorders that can disrupt typical development and their impact upon psychological functioning.
Introduce students to some of the assessments and interventions that are offered to neurodiverse populations.
Enable students to understand neurodiversity across the lifespan.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will cover a broad range of topics and disorders of development throughout the module. The module will begin by introducing key aspects of cognition that are examined in neurodiverse populations (e.g., sensation and perception, memory, executive functions), and the methods for assessing these. The module will then cover a range of disorders of development, for example autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and specific learning disabilities.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation and completion of exam and formative practice
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation and completion of assignment 1 (poster)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Present in person
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Reading papers on Canvas and completing formative quizzes for each topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching52:0010:00Present in person seminars in which students will complete tasks working in small groups
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study166:0066:00Revising and exploring lecture notes and readings
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce core concepts for the study of disorders of development, beginning with aspects of cognition and behavior, and their assessment. Lectures will be supported by seminars in which students will work in small groups to complete tasks and answer questions, and to design an assessment that could be used within neurodiverse populations. There will also be structured reading activities and formative quizzes on Canvas.

Private and self-study is encouraged to think critically about published research exploring cognition and behavioural phenotypes associated with disorders of development, and to prepare for and complete the coursework and end of semester exam.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A75End of semester examination (complete 2 essay questions out of 5): present in person
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster2M25Poster (on the design of an assessment to be used with neurodiverse participants). Poster will be submitted individually and submitted online via Canvas.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written Examination:

The unseen examination will show if students have managed to extract and combine the relevant information presented across various lectures in order to formulate a coherent ‘story’ or ‘argument’. The questions are designed so that a satisfactory answer cannot be achieved by focusing on only the material from a single lecture, and they require the student to pull together / compare / contract aspects of different topics.


Students will design an assessment / resource that could be used with neurodiverse populations, and present this in the form of a poster. This will assess students’ ability to comment critically on research methods that are used to explore the neurodiversity of development, as well as work with other students in the sessions that will prepare students to design a new assessment / resource.

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

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

If the module is failed, Stage 3 students may only be offered a resit if an honours degree is not awarded on the first occasion. Failed assessments will be the same format during the August resit period.

Reading Lists