MEd Psychology of Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Neuroscience and Education

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC60741
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Education
Available as a free choice unit? No



This unit is one of two that addresses the core curricular areas of Neuropsychology, Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology.  This means we look at the connection between the brain and behaviour and seek to find out more about how our experiences and environments (including schools) influence how we think, process information and view others.  We present an introduction to the topic, and also cover specific themes with clear links and examples made regarding education and schooling.




Semester one will introduce key constructs and acts as a prerequisite to semester two (Cognition and Education). 

Each session focuses on specific topics and aims to:

  • Examine recent research in areas of cognitive neuroscience.
  • Introduce concepts, definitions and terminology.
  • Provide a neuroanatomical model - neuroanatomy / biopsychology (including frontal lobe function).
  • Consider the application of topics to applied settings (e.g. schools / classrooms).


Learning outcomes


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key issues and concepts in developmental cognitive neuropsychology (e.g. neural plasticity, double dissociations).
  • Critically analyse and evaluate relevant literature in the areas of psychobiology, cognitive psychology and developmental cognitive neuropsychology.
  • Examine, interpret and apply topics in developmental cognitive neuropsychology (e.g. executive functions) to educational settings and contexts.
  • Explain, in neurocognitive terms, aspects of perception, attention, learning and memory, and their significance in developmental and educational contexts.



  Indicative Curriculum Content

  • Introduction to Neuroscience and Education
  • The Frontal Lobe
  • Executive Functions
  • Theory of Mind
  • Attention and Memory
  • Language
  • Perception
  • Applications in Education



Teaching and learning methods

Sessions will use a range of teaching methods to engage students and encourage participation, for example, hands on activities, videos, group discussion, focused journal article analysis, supplementary reading activities and simulations. Students will be required to work both independently and in small groups.


Learning Hours



Hours allocated

Teaching sessions

22.5 (9 x 2.5 hours)

Directed reading


Private study




Total hours



Knowledge and understanding



Transferable skills and personal qualities



  • Word processing, accessing electronic databases and library facilities.
  • Critical evaluation of current literature.
  • Analysis and synthesis of arguments based on current literature.
  • Examination and interpretation of current literature, and subsequent production of information for a specific audience.
  • Explore how empathy, tact and diplomacy are essential in dealing with individuals whose behaviour may be challenging.
  • Working independently with minimal supervision.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods


Unit Feedback and Student Engagement

Student representation at both the programme and unit level plays an important role helping the quality of provision be upheld. MEd student representatives liaise between staff and students on matters of concern to either side; provide two-way feedback on the course and on teaching quality, and promote student involvement in course development. Student representatives participate in course review meetings (including a confidential meeting with external examiners) and feedback information from these meetings to other students.

At the end of each semester all students are asked to complete an on-line evaluation questionnaire for each course unit they have taken.  This anonymous feedback is circulated to unit leaders and supports quality assurance.

Formative assessment and written feedback to students is a key feature of this unit. Students are provided with an opportunity to complete an outline in advance of the submission deadline for assessed work and formative written feedback is provided when marking has been completed.

Recommended reading


As with all modules on the MEd, we like to offer a range of books and let you choose a combination that appeals to you.  As such, you are advised to have a look through them all first (either in the University Library or online). 

The Online version of this Reading List will show you where these core texts can be found in the library or online:

In addition to the recommended reading, you will be provided with reading lists of journal articles, chapters in edited texts and on-line resources that you are strongly encouraged to make use of.  You will also be expected to search relevant databases (e.g. PsycINFO) to find research that extends beyond the content covered in sessions.


Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sarah MacQuarrie Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This is a semester one unit.

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