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Unit information: Theoretical and Clinical Neuropsychology. in 2020/21

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Unit name Theoretical and Clinical Neuropsychology.
Unit code PSYCM0067
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Kit Pleydell-Pearce
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit covers two areas.

Part A: Clinical Neuropsychology in Practice provides students with a detailed understanding of a diverse range of issues connected to clinical neuropsychology in professional practice. Lectures are delivered by experts in a range of allied medical specialities, and students will explore how these various related disciplines interface with the role of a clinical neuropsychologist in a day to day medical context

Part B: Theoretical Neuropsychology focuses upon key theoretical issues within Neuropsychology. This involves an overview of theories concerned with the cerebral bases of key cognitive and affective processes. This provides an understanding of issues that are at the frontiers of contemporary research and theory. Areas covered emotion, reward, sleep, ageing, memory, language and theories of higher order brain function

Intended learning outcomes

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

Part A:

  1. develop further competence in clinical practice and how that practice relates to interactions with a range of allied medical specialities.
  2. synthesise and integrate the contributions made by a range of medical specialities in the treatment of individual patients. To critically evaluate the role of distinct interventions and their convergence in overall treatment outcome in the context of the evidence base. An understanding of the complexity of the overall processes.
  3. demonstrate a clear understanding of the wider context of clinical practice and the professional world in which the clinical neuropsychologist is embedded.

Part B:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of a range of contemporary theories concerning cerebral bases of cognitive and affective functions.
  2. demonstrate a capacity to understand the connection between academic neuropsychology/neuroscience and clinical practice issues. For example, how does an understanding of brain mechanisms of emotion influence our understanding of depression or anxiety? To demonstrate a synthesis of information from clinical practice and more academic approaches. To critically evaluate this interface.
  3. develop a critical understanding of contemporary theories of brain function and evaluate the contribution of such knowledge within a clinical context.
  4. synthesis and evaluation of information from a variety of sources. For example, to understand how scientific evidence about normal ageing can provide important insights into various forms of dementia.

Teaching details

Part A: A series of lectures delivered in a week block by clinical subject matter experts (20 hours) live over the internet

Part B: Weekly lectures (20 hours) delivered live over the internet. This meets strict accreditation requirements for professional programmes conferring the highest UK award for professional training in clinical neuropsychology. This unit is also employed on non-accredited programmes but these students may be able to seek retrospective accreditation should they complete a UK DClinPsych.

Assessment Details

2000 words coursework essay which requires students to provide evidence of critical understanding of a topic in theoretical neuropsychology (100% of total unit mark).

Reading and References




Part A: Clinical Neuropsychology in Practice

  • Andrewes, D. (2016) Neuropsychology: from theory to practice (2nd ed). Psychology Press. Arts and Social Sciences Library, oversize QP360 AND.
  • Bush, S. (2007) Ethical Decision Making in Clinical Neuropsychology. Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386.6N48 BUS)
  • Gurd, J., Kischka, U. & Marshall, J. (2010) The Handbook of Clinical Neuropsychology (2nd ed). Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386.6N48 HAN) ONLINE ACCESS
  • Heilman, K. M. & Valenstein, E. (2012) Clinical Neuropsychology (5th ed). Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC341 CLI)
  • Morgan, J. & Ricker, J. (2008) Textbook of clinical neuropsychology. Taylor and Francis. Arts and Social Sciences Library, oversize RC341 TEX.
  • Stucky, K. & Bush, S. (2017) The neuropsychology fact-finding casebook: a training resource. Oxford University Press. Arts and SS Lib, RC386.6N48.
  • Resources in Evidence Based-Healthcare. Available online at:
  • Site accompanying Sackett, D.L., Straus, S.E., Richardson, W.C., Rosenberg, W., & Haynes, R.M. (2000).Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM. (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • Ebmmental health journal: (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • Cochrane reviews: (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • The TRIP Database direct, hyperlinked access to the largest collection of 'evidence-based material on the web’ as well as articles from premier on-line journals such as the BMJ, JAMA, NEJM etc (link last accessed 15/05/2018)
  • EB Users' Guides published as a series in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). on behalf of the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. (link last accessed 15/05/2018)

Part B: Theoretical Neuropsychology

  • Kolb, B. and Wishaw, I.Q. (2009). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Worth Publishers, New York (6thEdition).
  • Feinberg, T. E. & Farah, M. J., editors (2003). Behavioural Neurology and Neuropsychology. New York: McGraw-Hill (Second Edition).

This unit uses references to primary literature and thus core reading cannot be easily specified. The two references above provide quite detailed coverage of the topics covered in this unit. However, these books do not substitute for primary references