BSc Educational Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
The Brain goes to school

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC13031
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Environment, Education and Development
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit begins with the fundamentals of basic neurology (e.g. cells, neurotransmitters) and an introduction into experience and learning. It then moves to examining how brain structures and specialisation are currently understood and applied to learning.

There will be consideration of: Attention; Perception; Learning; Memory; Language

Each area will be considered from a neurobiological perspective and then applied to learners in classrooms. The unit finishes with an overview, which is then used to inform the assessment.


 To provide coverage of the BPS qualifying syllabus core area of biological Psychology

Show how an understanding of neuropsychology helps to explain learning in the classroom.


Learning outcomes


Category of outcome

Students should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key issues and concepts in developmental neuropsychology (e.g. neural plasticity, double dissociations).

Critically analyse and evaluate relevant literature in the areas of psychobiology and developmental neuropsychology.

Examine, interpret and apply topics in developmental neuropsychology to educational settings and contexts.

Explain, in neuropsychological terms, aspects of perception, attention, learning and memory, and their significance in developmental and educational contexts.

Intellectual skills

Discuss and debate chosen topics in neuropsychology and critically evaluate their strengths and limitations of their underpinning research.

Apply and critically evaluate neuropsychological theory in relation to education

Practical skills

Design and carry out workshop exercises to explore aspects memory and relate this to school based learning.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Take charge of their own learning and undertake self-directed study to produce a credit-bearing assignment (see below)

Written communication

Oral communication (contributing to discussion and debate)

Working with others (group work)

IT skills (word processing, accessing electronic databases and library facilities, managing references)


Teaching and learning methods

Content sessions and virtual lectures (e.g. including discussion and debate, experiential learning, and other approaches to learning and teaching)

Workshop activities to explore aspects memory relevant to school-based learning


Assessment methods

Assessment task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit

Students are to produce a ‘users guide’ showing how one element of neuropsychology (chosen in consultation with a tutor) is applied to learning in the classroom.


Written feedback (utilising Turn-it-in), within University guidelines. 100%

Students are also required to complete an online ‘mid term quiz’, as indicated on Blackboard.  This assessment covers a breadth of knowledge from across the unit.  

This assessment is open book may be completed at any time, and multiple re-sits are allowed.  However, a pass mark of at least 80% is required in order to be able to submit your credit-bearing assignment.

Feedback methods

 Written feedback (utilising Turn-it-in), within University guidelines.

Recommended reading

General texts (indicative texts – these will be reviewed through reading lists associated with the module using Reading Lists Online

Ward, J. (2015) The Student's Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience (3rd Ed) London: Psychology Press

Johnson, M., & De Hann, M. (2015).  Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience: an Introduction (4th Ed). West Sussex: Wiley.

Child Neuropsychology: Assessment and Interventions for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 2nd Edition - Phyllis Anne Teeter Ellison, Margaret Semrud-Clikeman 2009

The learning brain: lessons for education - Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne, Frith, Uta 2005

Casey, B. J., Tottenham, N., Liston, C., & Durston, S. (2005). Imaging the developing brain: what have we learned about cognitive development? Trends in cognitive sciences, 9 (3), 104-110.

Raichle, M. E. (2009). A brief history of human brain mapping. Trends in Neurosciences, 32,


Society for Neuroscience (2012). Brain facts: a primer on the brain and nervous system. Washington, DC: SfN.

Stiles, J. & Jernigan, T.L. (2010). The basics of brain development. Neuropsychology Review, 20, 327-348.

Temple, C. M. (1997). Cognitive neuropsychology and its application to children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 27-52


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 40
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Garry Squires Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Activity Hours allocated
Staff/student contact 10* interactive lectures@ 3 hours
Workshop activities (NeuroLab) 40
Private study, readng and assignment preparation 130
Total hours 200


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