MEd Psychology of Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Cognition and Education

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC60742
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
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 two aims to build on constructs explored in semester one and requires you to apply these to contexts within education and learning.  Each session aims:

  • To introduce and examine cognitive theories and identify how they can be related to educational contexts.
  • To explore and examine the use of assessment within educational context and how this is linked with learning.
  • Apply knowledge of cognitive processes to educational contexts.
  • To explore strategies, training and intervention that can be used within educational contexts / with children.

Learning outcomes



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

  • To provide coverage of the BPS syllabus core areas of psychobiology and cognitive psychology by investigating the biological and cognitive bases of typical and atypical development in children.
  • To introduce relevant developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and dyslexia.
  • Examine, interpret and apply topics in cognitive psychology and understand how they can be applied in educational settings and contexts.
  • Critique theoretical models and theories in cognition and the evidence that supports them.
  • Make links/connections and recognise relationships between neurocognitive aspects/functions covered elsewhere on the course and applications of cognitive psychology to educational contexts, including their relevance to selected developmental disorders.





Indicative curriculum content

  • Introduction to Cognition and Education
  • Child Assessment and Neuromyths 
  • Executive Function and Academic Achievement
  • Theory of Mind and School
  • Cognition Theories of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Deaf Learners and Cognition
  • Multiple Perspectives within Educational and Cognitive Psychology Development Language Disorder and Educational Implications

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



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





The unit will be assessed by completion of a critical review. Formative written feedback is provided.

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 units on the MEd, we like to offer a range of books and let you choose the 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 texts below, you will be provided with an expanded reading list, including additional recommendations, 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 explicit recommendations and the content covered in sessions.


Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alexandra Hennessey Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This is a semester two unit

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