Module code: PSY3103

Module Overview

This module builds on topics that were introduced to students in their year 1 and year 2 Developmental Psychology modules. In this final year module, we will extend existing knowledge of neurodevelopmental conditions and will cover a broad range of different neurodevelopmental conditions. 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 conditions and their families will also be highlighted. The module complements other final year modules including the Psychology of Education and General Psychology modules.

Module provider


Module Leader

MOSS Joanna (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 40

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to neurodevelopmental conditions

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 conditions

Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Research methods

Revision and consolidation


While the module covers information about a broad range of neurodevelopmental conditions, the content is structured around several important over-arching themes as follows:

Identification and diagnosis

Assessment and research design

Models of cause

Experiences of individuals and their families

Importance of research into neurodevelopmental conditions

Translating research into practice.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Posters can be created and presented individually (30%).  

Assessment Strategy

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

1. Knowledge of a range of neurodevelopmental conditions.

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

neurodevelopmental conditions.

3. Understanding of the wider impact of neurodevelopmental conditions.

4. The ability to critically evaluate different methodological approaches used to study the behavioural and cognitive

characteristics associated with neurodevelopmental conditions.

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

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

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:

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). Written feedback will be provided after the poster presentation session. (30%)

An online open book exam during the formal exam period (four hour window for completion): students choose one question (70%). Questions will evaluate depth and breadth of understanding, the ability to critically evaluate the evidence and application of knowledge of individual conditions.   


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 conditions, 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 condition research.
  • Specific aims are: To apply knowledge and understanding of a range of neurodevelopmental conditions 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 conditions and presentation of research ideas in the context of a mock academic conference.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Define a range of neurodevelopmental conditions and describe the main cognitive, behavioural and developmental features K
002 Critically evaluate theories and mechanisms underlying the development of neurodevelopmental conditions and critically evaluate these KC
003 Display an insight into the lived experience of individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions 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 conditions 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 conditions CPT
006 Design and present a research proposal on a poster PT
007 Discuss the importance of translating research into practice for individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions 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 conditions

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

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

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

 E - Develop skills in critical scientific thinking

 F - Develop skills in scientific discourse and communication including communication to user communities


The learning and teaching methods include: 11 x 2-hour lectures/seminars including weekly discussion/activities related to lecture content during the lecture sessions, assignment introduction, poster presentation session and revision session. 11 x 1-hour captured content.

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

Other information

Resourcefulness and resilience:

Students are required to take their initial learning from the module and to apply this in a creative way in order to design a novel research study and present this to the rest of the group. The students will work together in small groups to research a topic of interest and to generate a new study idea. To do this, students need to be organized and resourceful and to demonstrate effective teamwork skills. Students have to demonstrate that the study they design fills a gap in the literature and that steps have been taken to mitigate key threats to validity. The oral presentation challenges students to build resilience through developing a new skill of communicating science to an academic audience.


Global and Cultural Capabilities:

There is a strong emphasis on global and cultural capabilities throughout this module. The module content focuses on individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions and learning disabilities with an emphasis on the lived experiences of those individuals and their families. Live/recorded Q&A sessions with parents and or clinicians gives the students insight into the day-to-day challenges that people with these conditions face and how they can be better supported to overcome these. Translation of research to user communities is incorporated into weekly activities and in the assignment.


Digital Capabilities:

Students are provided with multiple opportunities to develop their digital literacy, including evaluating different psychological theories, articles, their validity, and practical use within the field of neurodevelopmental conditions. Students are also required to engage with digital technology, designing an eye-catching and accessible academic poster to present their research study. Students are also given an optional opportunity to submit a lay summary of an academic article which may be selected for publication on a knowledge exchange website with co-authorship for the students.



The learning aims and assessments are designed to develop students’ employability skills. The poster presentation assignment requires group work and effective communication skills with group members to design the study, poster and during the oral presentation. Through this, alongside weekly group activities in class, it is expected that students will work with peers developing strong interpersonal skills that supplement their learning. The students have an opportunity to submit a lay summary which may be selected for publication on a knowledge exchange website with co-authorship for the student. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate written capabilities to future employers.

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 2023/4 academic year.