PSYCHOL 7135 - Clinical Neuropsychology & Disability

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

The overall aim of this course is to introduce clinical trainees to the fields of clinical neuropsychology and disability by examining some of the developmental and acquired brain-based disorders that can impact on the cognitive and psychological functioning of children and adults who are seen in clinical settings.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 7135
    Course Clinical Neuropsychology & Disability
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Honours level course in Psychological Assessment (or equivalent)
    Corequisites PSYCHOL 7132
    Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate level training in neuropsychology
    Restrictions Available to M Psych (Clin) and PhD/MPsych(Clin) students only or by permission of Head of School
    Course Description The overall aim of this course is to introduce clinical trainees to the fields of clinical neuropsychology and disability by examining some of the developmental and acquired brain-based disorders that can impact on the cognitive and psychological functioning of children and adults who are seen in clinical settings.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Emma Fitzgerald

    Additional Academic Staff:
    Dr Linley Denson: Ph - +61 8313 4128; Email -

    School of Psychology Office:
    Ms Janine Flory: Ph - +61 8313 1540; Email -

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1.    Understand at an advanced level the nature, rationale, and purposes of neuropsychological and disability assessments.
    2.    Acquire a strong working knowledge of the structural and functional organisation of the brain, and the regions that are affected by various brain-based disorders.
    3.    Recognise and understand tests that are commonly used in neuropsychological and disability assessments.
    4.    Understand at an advanced level some of the main types of developmental and acquired brain disorders; the main cognitive and psychological problems that are associated with these different disorders; and the treatments and prognoses for these disorders.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Students will be provided with a detailed reference list in the first week of their lectures.  Individual lecturers will also provide additional specific references for each lecture.

    Online Learning
    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:

    - Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    - Submission of assessment
    - Access to resources such as additional readings
    - Self-directed learning activities

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures will be supported by small group discussions and exercises that are related to the lecture content.  Lectures will be interactive.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Seminars: 12 x 3 hours - 36 hours
    Independent reading: 36 hours
    Presentation preparation: 4 hours
    Written assignments:  80 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures will be held weekly on a Friday morning from 9.10 am – 12 noon. The following is a provisional program. The final program will be provided in the first lecture.

    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Introduction to clinical neuropsychology and disability Introduction
    Week 2 Orientation, attention and memory Neuropsychological Assessment
    Week 3 Perception, language, construction, and higher order cognitive functions Neuropsychological Assessment
    Week 4 Executive and motor functions, emotional functioning, and test effort Neuropsychological Assessment
    Week 5 Developmental Disorders    Childhood Disorders
    Week 6 Neuropsychological Disorders Childhood Disorders
    Week 7 Intellectual Disability Childhood Disorders
    Week 8 Traumatic Brain Injuries Adult Disorders
    Week 9 Epilepsy Adult Disorders
    Week 10 Alcohol and Substance Abuse Adult Disorders
    Week 11 Vascular Disorders Adult Disorders
    Week 12 Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias Adult Disorders
    Disclaimer: This program is provisional and subject to change.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning outcome(s) being addressed
    Self Directed Learning: neuroanatomy revision - reading & DVD Formative Not applicable 2
    Class presentation Formative Not applicable 1,3
    Test review Summative 50% 1,3
    Disorder review Summative 50% 1,2,4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must attend at least 80% of classes.  Attendance lists are maintained. Failure to meet this attendance requirement (i.e. absence from three or more sessions in this course) may lead to exclusion from the course.

    Redemption assignments will be set for any lecture that is missed, to ensure that the student gains adequate exposure to, and understanding of, the material that they missed.  These must be completed to the satisfaction of the lecturer or course co-ordinator.
    Assessment Detail
    The aim of these assessments is to improve students’ understanding of some of the main disorders that are seen in clinical practice and some of the tests that are used to assess the cognitive problems associated with these disorders.

    The SDL (neuroanatomy reading and YouTube videos) is completed in the first few weeks of the course and is designed to refresh students’ knowledge in this area.

    Student oral presentations are scheduled for lectures 2, 3 and 4, with the Test Review due after this.  

    The Disorders Review is completed in the second half of the semester.

    Further details of both assignments will be provided at the commencement of the course.

    The School of Psychology undertakes to adhere to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, Procedure 6a, which requires that assessments are returned within 4 weeks of the deadlines for submission.

    Extension of time for an assignment may be granted at the discretion of the Course Coordinator, to whom students should apply in writing (or email) before the due date and time.

    No requests for extensions will be considered if made after the due date and time.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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