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Unit information: Applied Clinical Neuropsychology and Principles of Neuropsychological Assessment in 2020/21

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Unit name Applied Clinical Neuropsychology and Principles of Neuropsychological Assessment
Unit code PSYCM0045
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


This unit covers two areas.

Part A: Principles of Neuropsychological Assessment delivers an understanding of psychometric theory and how psychometric principles influence clinical decision making. Students will be introduced to contemporary test instruments; learn how to interpret and ‘understand’ the results of their assessments in relation to brain damage / disease, and develop the ability to communicate these results.

Part B: Applied Clinical Neuropsychology provides a Neuropsychological understanding of a range of conditions commonly encountered in clinical neuropsychology practice, including traumatic brain injury, movement disorders, epilepsy, stroke and dementia. Students therefore learn how knowledge of neuropsychological theory, functional neuroanatomy and technical approaches to studying the brain are employed within a clinical context.

Intended learning outcomes

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

Part A:

  1. understand both qualitative and quantitative approaches to patient assessment.
  2. understand how results of assessment are employed within a clinical and medical setting, and how cooperation and interaction between different NHS teams is critical for patient treatment and investigation.
  3. understand the principles underlying effective assessment and awareness of the limitations of inferences that can be drawn from test results.
  4. appreciate the complexities associated with neuropsychological assessment and evaluate the consequences of these problems for reliable and meaningful assessment.
  5. synthesise and integrate knowledge and the evidence base in order to demonstrate a holistic, yet detailed, understanding of the principles of assessment.

Part B:

  1. understand a range of common neuropsychological disorders frequently encountered in clinical practice.
  2. understand causes and consequences of these disorders and integrate this knowledge with theories of brain function and principles of diagnosis and treatment.
  3. demonstrate a clear understanding of the evidence-base pertaining to a wide range of common neuropsychological disorders, and a capacity to synthesise and evaluate distinct sources of knowledge (e.g. aetiology, diagnosis and treatment options).

Teaching details

Part A: A week block of lectures provided by clinical subject matter experts. (20 hours). Part B: Weekly lectures provided by clinical subject matter experts (20 hours). 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

Part A:. Short turnaround (24 hour) alternative assessment. Answer one long question from four options (1500 word limit, excluding inline references. Answer 8 short questions (max 500 word limit, excluding inline references) from ten options. Long answer delivers 36% of mark, short answers deliver 64% of mark (8% per question). Part B: 2000 word essay on a topic covered in the Part B which provides 34% of total unit mark.

Reading and References




Part A: Assessment in Clinical Neuropsychology

  • Arnett, P. (Ed) (2013) Secondary influences on neuropsychological assessment performance. Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386.6N48 SEC)
  • Bowden, S. (Ed) (2017) Neuropsychological assessment in the age of evidence-based practice. Oxford University Pres. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Goldstein, L. & McNeil, J. (2005) Clinical Neuropsychology: A practical guide to assessment and management for clinicians. Wiley-Backwell. ONLINE ACCESS See chapters on neuropsychological assessment.
  • Holdnack, J., Drozdick, L., Weiss, L. & Iverson, G. (2013) WAIS-IV, WMS-IV and ACS: advanced clinical interpretation. Elsevier. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Lezak, M. et al. (2012) Neuropsychological Assessment (5th ed). Oxford University Press. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386.6.N48 LEZ) A fundamental key text, covering a range of important topics, with good introductory chapters – highly recommended.
  • Strauss, E., Sherman, E. & Spreen, O. (2006) A compendium of neuropsychological tests: administration, norms, and commentary. OUP. Arts and Social Sciences (Oversize RC386.6.N48 SPR) A reference text, where you can find information on the evidence base supporting most of the currently utilised neuropsychological tests.
  • Vanderploeg, R. (2000) Clinician’s Guide to Neuropsychological Assessment. Psychology Press. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Larrabee, G. (Ed.) (2011). Forensic Neuropsychology: A Scientific Approach (2nd edition). Oxford University Press

Part B: Applied Neuropsychology

  • Barnes, M., Dobkin, B. & Bogousslavsky, J. (2005) Recovery after stroke. Cambridge University Press. ONLINE ACCESS
  • David, A., Lishman, W. A. et al. (2009) Lishman’s Organic Psychiatry: a textbook of neuropsychiatry (4th ed). Wiley-Blackwell. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Godefroy, O. & Bogousslavsky, J. (2007) The Behavioural and Cognitive Neurology of Stroke. Cambridge University Press. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Noggle, C. A. & Dean, R. S. (Eds) (2013) The Neuropsychology of Cancer and Oncology. Springer. Arts and Social Sciences (RC262 NEU)
  • Noggle, C. A. & Dean, R. S. (Eds) (2015) The Neuropsychology of Cortical Dementias. Springer. Arts and Social Sciences (RC521 NEU)
  • Noggle, C. A. & Dean, R. S. (Eds) (2012) The Encyclopaedia of Neuropsychological Disorders. Springer. Arts and Social Sciences (RC386 ENC)
  • Ruskin, S. & Mateer, C. A. (1999) Neuropsychological Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Oxford University Press. ONLINE ACCESS
  • Schoenberg, M. R. & Scott, J. (2011) The Little Black Book of Neuropsychology. Springer. ONLINE ACCESS An excellent all-round neuropsychology resource, structured according to syndromes and conditions.
  • Richards, D., Clark, T. & Clarke, C. (Eds.) (2007). The Human Brain and its disorders. Oxford University Press.

The following two books provide advanced and detailed treatments of a number of key topics raised in the seminars. These are not introductory readings but are included here for those who wish to undertake early advanced reading:

  • Waller, N., Yonce, L., Grove, W., Faust, D., & Lenzenweger, M. (Eds.) (2006). A Paul-Meehl reader: Essays on the practice of scientific psychology (2006). Psychology Press, Taylor and Francis.
  • Flanagan, D. P., & Harrison, P. L. (Eds.). (2012). Contemporary intellectual assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.