Module code: PSY3107

Module Overview

Please note: This module is part of the Neuroscience stream of Level 6 optional modules and will not be running every year. In some years an alternative optional module within the Neuroscience stream will be offered instead.

Ageing is associated with changes in brain structure and function; and brain damage and degeneration through stroke or dementia in later life is both common and life changing. This module will take you through the latest research on brain damage and degeneration – learning about risk factors (both environmental and genetic), the neuroanatomy behind how the brain changes with age and after damage or degeneration, impact on language and memory, and potential intervention strategies. This module will allow you to consider current debates in the literature, and engage critically with the material.

Module provider


Module Leader

EVANS Simon (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:

  1. Introduction

  2. the role of the hippocampus

  3. aphasia

  4. control of memory and semantic dementia

  5. dyslexia

  6. Consolidation of topics so far

  7. Neurodegeneration and neurocognitive deficits in dementia

  8. Treatment and prevention of dementia; media coverage

  9. Healthy cognitive and neural ageing

  10. Cognitive decline and dementia risk

Each session except the first will involve group discussion of two papers from the literature which present different views on key topics in this field. Each week, 2 groups of students will be required to prepare and present a short presentation on each paper, to guide the discussion. The rest of each session will be lecture content. The module content builds on the grounding provided by the core Biological Psychology modules PSY1016 and PSY2013 which all students will have completed in Levels 4 and 5.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online ONLINE 2 HOUR SEEN EXAM WITHIN 4HRS 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate each of the learning outcomes. In particular, it will appraise key digital literacy skills, including ability to critically engage with academic literature, ability to critically review evidence across a diverse, global, range of sources/populations, and to assess the quality and quantity of such evidence. The formative assessment focuses on developing critical thinking, alongside digital literacy, communication and teamworking skills, while the summative assessment allows students to demonstrate their ability to critically engage with the academic literature and evaluate relevant evidence, to construct a coherent and logical argument.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Exam (100%)


Exam (2 hours, 100%)

A 2 hour exam will assess your knowledge and critical engagement with the module content, you will be required to answer 1 question in the form of an essay, from a choice of 4. All the questions will be (a) broad in scope, requiring you to draw on content from across multiple sessions, and (b) require you to critically engage with the literature and evaluate evidence, to formulate an argument and defend a position.

For support, we will discuss the assessment in class in Week 1, and there will be a dedicated support session at the end of the semester, focusing on critical thinking, evaluation, and writing  skills.

Formative assessment and feedback

During each lecture, there will be a group presentation on a relevant paper. Students’ will be assigned to a group; each group will be required to present twice across the course: the aim is to stimulate class debate and discussion. Formative feedback will be provided by the lecturer and from peers, to help students develop their communication, teamworking and presentation skills across the course of the module.

Module aims

  • Give an overview to different causes and consequences of brain damage and degeneration, and the changes that occur with age, considering research from a diverse range of populations/backgrounds
  • Give students the skills to critically evaluate research, and critically engage with current research debates
  • Provide a thorough understanding of how neuroscientists study brain damage and degeneration, and its neuroanatomical and functional consequences, with a focus on critical evaluation of modern neuroscience methods
  • Give students the skills to critically evaluate current interventions/treatments to improve outcomes, in dementia and brain ageing
  • Provide students with opportunities to develop their communication and team-working skills, through group-based discussion and presentation activities.
  • Critically assess media coverage of dementia and treatments

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 To gain critical evaluation skills, regarding evaluating research articles and modern neuroscience methods KCT
002 To gain critical evaluation skills, regarding causes, consequences and interventions for brain damage and degeneration, considering different perspectives in relation to the available evidence, and with a focus on practical applications. KCPT
003 Develop effective communication and teamworking skills, by presenting group talks with team members from differing backgrounds. PT
004 To gain critical evaluation and discussion skills, by debating contemporary media representations and other topical (and practical) issues around brain damage/ degeneration KCPT

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:


  1. Develop creative and independent thought and develop transferable critical thinking skills, thus enhancing Employability, Resourcefulness and resilience


  1. Increase knowledge on the causes and consequences of brain injury and degeneration, incorporating evidence from a diverse range of backgrounds and populations.


  1. Develop a high level of critical thinking and understanding of modern neuroscientific and clinical methods around brain injury and degeneration, enhancing employability


  1. Develop a thorough understanding of the causes of brain damage and degeneration, and contemporary debates and issues around policy and practise, enhancing employability


  1. Promote communication, team-working, debate and digital literacy skills through group work, discussion, and presentations. These activities will enhance Employability, Digital capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 10 sessions of 2 hours (as detailed above)

  • Independent student reading

  • Independent presentation preparation (working as a small group)

  • In – class discussion: Students are invited to contribute to these from their own background/experiences and to come up with creative solutions to topical debates and issues, thus developing their own opinions and problem-solving skills.

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: PSY3107

Other information

Resourcefulness and resilience:

The module incorporates multiple opportunities for both independent study and group work, alongside in-class discussion around contemporary debates, thus fostering creative problem-focused thinking, teamworking, debate and presentation skills. All of these contribute to enhancing Resourcefulness and resilience.


Global and Cultural Capabilities:

Students are encouraged to evaluate (and pointed towards) a diverse range of evidence with a global focus and covering a wide range of cultures. Further, students are encouraged to contribute ideas based on their own diverse cultural backgrounds and perspectives.


Digital Capabilities:

Students are provided with multiple opportunities to develop their digital literacy, including evaluating articles (both academic and popular media), in relation to their validity and practical impact. Students are also required to engage with digital technology for the presentations and encouraged to maximise their use of this.



The methods of learning and assessment are designed to develop students’ transferable employability skills. Students work with peers for the presentations, developing interpersonal and teamworking skills. The presentation and in-class debate fosters confidence and communication skills.  Critical thinking and evaluation, and the ability to communicate ideas clearly and effectively, are the focus of the assessments.



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.