Surrey University Stag


Module code: PSY3103

Module Overview

This module will cover a broad range of different neurodevelopmental disorders. Students will learn about associated behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics and related developmental trajectories. The impact on day to day experiences for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families will also be highlighted.

Module provider


Module Leader

MOSS Joanna (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: C845

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 30

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BSc Psychology Levels 4 and 5 or equivalent

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to neurodevelopmental disorders

Genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability  for example: Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome and Rett syndrome.

Typical and atypical developmental pathways.

Autism spectrum disorder

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Research methods

Revision and consolidation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Posters can be created and presented individually (30%). Students who take temporary suspension partway through this module may not be able to complete the remaining classes for this module on their return if it is not running in the following academic year. Such students will have the choice to take a replacement module, or, if they have already completed an assessment for the original module, to attend classes from a new optional module within the same stream (area of psychology) and complete an alternative assessment based on this content that meets the learning outcomes of the original module. The specific alternative assessment will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  2. Insight into the biological and psychological mechanisms underlying the development of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  3. Understanding of the wider impact of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  4. The ability to critically evaluate different methodological approaches used to study the behavioural and cognitive characteristics associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

  5. Present, summarise and discuss scientific reading on neurodevelopmental disorders.

  6. Initiative and ability to conceptualize novel studies on neurodevelopmental disorders.

  7. Design and present posters with scientific concepts.

Assessment outcomes 1-5 will be assessed by exam. Outcomes 5-7 will be assessed by poster presentation in week 7.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A one-hour exam during the formal exam period: students choose one question (70%)

  • Poster presentation of a research study designed to evaluate a relevant research topic (for example: autism intervention in Fragile X syndrome, changes with age in Cornelia de Lange syndrome or early onset dementia in Down syndrome). Oral feedback on poster presentation sessions will be provided during the poster presentation session and written feedback will be provided after the poster presentation session. (30%)

Formative assessment and formative feedback will be provided on research questions and study design contributing towards the poster presentation. Students will also receive formative feedback each week during their seminar sessions and will have the opportunity to receive group level written feedback on a lay summary of a research article which they will produce as part of one of their seminars. The module convenor will engage with the SurreyLearn discussion board and respond to queries or issues that arise there.

Module aims

  • Provide in depth understanding of the cognitive and behavioural features associated with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders, with a focus on the lived experience of affected individuals and their families.
  • Specific aims are: To provide an understanding of the psychological and biological basis of typical and atypical development
  • Specific aims are: To develop a knowledge of a range of research methods employed in the field of neurodevelopmental disorder research.
  • Specific aims are: To apply knowledge and understanding of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders in the context of the lived experience of affected individuals and their families.
  • Specific aims are: To develop research ability through guided practical work designing a research study to address a key research question in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and presentation of research ideas in the context of a mock academic conference.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Define a range of neurodevelopmental disorders and describe the main cognitive, behavioural and developmental features K
002 Know about theories and mechanisms underlying the development of neurodevelopmental disorders and critically evaluate these KC
003 Display an insight into the lived experience of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. K
004 Scientifically report and critically discuss the principle research methods used to evaluate the cognitive and behavioural features of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their application. KPT
005 Ability to design and present a research study proposal that addresses a key research question in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders CPT
006 Design and present a research proposal on a poster PT
007 Knowledge of the importance of translating research into practice for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

A - Substantiate knowledge on neurodevelopmental disorders

B - Develop a high-level understanding of the behavioural, cognitive and emotional characteristics of a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.

C – Develop an understanding of the impact of neurodevelopmental disorders on everyday life for affected individuals and their families.

D -Develop insight into how neurodevelopmental disorders can be evaluated through different methods of research.

E - Develop skills in critical scientific thinking

F - Develop skills in scientific discourse and communication



The learning and teaching methods include:

10 x 2-hour lectures/seminars including group discussion of topics, assignment introduction and revision session.

10 x 1-hour captured content.

1x 2-hour poster presentation session.

1x 1-hour online assignment Q&A session.

Formative assessments to develop an integrated body of knowledge

Problem-based learning activities

Group work activities which support the development of translational skills.

SurreyLearn resources repository including documentaries and links to websites and podcasts.

Critical discussion of research findings.

Guided learning activities on SurreyLearn.

Independent student reading.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY3103

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.