Skip to main content

Unit information: Functional Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience Methods and Issues in Neuropsychology in 2021/22

Unit name Functional Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience Methods and Issues in Neuropsychology
Unit code PSYCM0034
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Kit Pleydell-Pearce
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit covers two core areas.

Part A: Issues in Neuropsychology delivers an understanding of the psychological and neuropsychological impact of living with a neurological disease or disability. The unit will therefore help students understand the common themes of grief, adjustment, depression, anxiety, disability and coping as they pertain to specific neurological diseases and acquired brain injury. Students will also be helped to understand rehabilitation and psychological treatment options across different conditions and at different stages of chronic diseases. The unit also examines a range of conceptual problems within contemporary clinical neuropsychology and encourages students to appreciate and explore the limitations of current knowledge.

Part B: Functional Neuroanatomy and Neuroscience Methods reviews the functional neuroanatomy of the human brain, and thus provides an absolute core set of knowledge for Neuropsychology. This learning is coupled with a comprehensive and critical review of the major techniques and methods employed to study the human brain.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

Part A

  1. develop an understanding of a range of issues encountered in clinical practice, including impact of pain, sleep quality, adjustment to diagnosis, depression and psychosis.
  2. develop an understanding of the limits of current knowledge and the impact this has upon clinical reasoning and clinical practice.
  3. demonstrate awareness of critical issues connected to clinical neuropsychology practice and the evidence base which informs our understanding of these issues.
  4. demonstrate an ability to evaluate particular issues in the wider context with appropriate argument and assessment of the significance of each issue. For example, in the context of tests of symptom validity, functional neurological disorders or medicolegal frameworks.
  5. demonstrate an ability to synthesise information from various sources in the generation of a holistic evidence-based understanding of particular issues. For example, to demonstrate a clear understanding of the complexities associated with terms such as executive function.
  6. demonstrate an understanding of other factors which may impact upon a neuropsychological presentation. For example, the impact of pain or sleep quality on cognition and mood and the implications of this for patient assessment and rehabilitation.

Part B:

  1. develop an understanding of the principles of human brain function.
  2. demonstrate knowledge of a range of techniques used to investigate the human brain.
  3. develop a clear understanding of the principles underlying techniques employed to study the human brain and a capacity to evaluate the quality and usefulness of each technique.
  4. demonstrate awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of different neuroscientific techniques and appraise and judge these in the context of formal assessments.
  5. demonstrate a capacity to critically appreciate the kinds of information delivered by different neuroscientific techniques. To evaluate and appraise the ways in which convergence of different techniques provides a more holistic level of understanding at differing spatial and temporal scales.
  6. synthesise information based on brain imaging with our understanding of the consequences of brain injury.
  7. appreciate the limits of current understanding of the human brain how this relates to current limits in spatial and temporal resolution. To produce critical evaluations based upon awareness of these limits.

Teaching Information

Part A: A series of lectures delivered in a one-week block by clinical subject matter experts (20 hours).

Part B: Weekly lectures deliver a total of 20 hours This meets strict accreditation requirements for professional programmes conferring the highest UK award for professional training in clinical neuropsychology.

Assessment Information

Part A: An online open-book assessment worth 44% of total unit mark and an online 1 hr exam worth 22% of total unit mark.

Part B: An online open-book assessment worth 34% of total unit mark


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. PSYCM0034).

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.