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Unit information: Cognitive Psychology and Special Education in 2021/22

Unit name Cognitive Psychology and Special Education
Unit code EDUC20006
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Carolina Gordillo Bravo
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Psychology in Education



School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will develop students’ scientific knowledge and understanding of the study of cognition and how cognitive psychology can contribute to the understanding of education, particularly special education. We will introduce students to approaches to the study of cognition and how to apply theory and research to key topics in special education. Indicative topics include memory, language, literacy development, and attention.

Students will develop a thorough understanding of the role of empirical evidence in the formulation of theory and how to interpret empirical data. This unit will help students to understand the conceptual and historical issues in the subject area, and will help students acquire a wide range of transferable skills. Throughout, students will be required to consider ethical issues in the field.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate that they:

1. Understand key concepts in the current study of cognitive psychology;

2. Understand how cognitive psychology contributes to the study of special education;

3. Have developed an awareness of the ethical issues and practices of the field;

4. Can communicate research effectively to a range of audiences;

5. Can analyse behavioural data and interpret how this relates to cognition.

Teaching Information

This unit will be taught using a blended approach consisting of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous activities including lectures, seminars, and group presentations. Each week will introduce a new core area of psychology and there will be a focus on quantitative methodology and statistics related to evaluating cognitive research. Students will also learn how to analyse data. They will be expected to engage with readings and actively participate in all activities.

Assessment Information

Formative Assessment:

Group Oral Presentation (Formative)

Summative Assessment:

2000-word Quantitative Research Report (60%) - ILO 1-5 1000-word Blog Post (40%) - ILO 1-4


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EDUC20006).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.