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Developmental & Educational Neuroscience - PSY00106M

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Lisa Henderson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Education is about enhancing learning, and neuroscience is about understanding the mental processes involved in learning. This common ground suggests a future in which educational practice can be transformed by science, just as medical practice was transformed by science about a century ago.” (Report by the Royal Society, UK, 2011). The first half of this module provides an overview of key findings from developmental neuroscience. We will consider fundamental methods in this field and how they have been applied to understand critical aspects of structural brain development as well as cognitive, social and emotional development, from infancy through to adolescence. The second half of this module progresses on to introduce the relatively new subfield of Education Neuroscience, making connections between developmental psychology, developmental neuroscience and education to generate transdisciplinary research that can inform learning and teaching practices. We will consider a number of approaches and methods within this field, including the use of neuroimaging to monitor response to intervention and how genetics and genomics can inform education. We will also consider cases of when educators too readily accept practices that do not have a sound evidence base in neuroscience (aka “neuromyths”). We will also consider challenges and controversies in education neuroscience, and how we determine whether the time is right to apply findings from developmental neuroscience to education.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the aims of the fields of developmental and educational neuroscience, and how these are situated at the intersections of the broader disciplines of psychology, education and neuroscience.
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of structural brain development from infancy to adulthood, and how methodological advances inform our current understanding of neurodevelopment.
  • Critically analyse key findings in developmental neuroscience, and relate these to current models of cognitive, social and emotional development.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of how neuroimaging methodology can be applied to the evaluation of educational interventions, and be able to critically evaluate the conditions under which this is appropriate and informative.
  • Critically engage with the potential of genetic and genomic advances to inform educational practice, and be able to integrate relevant findings from this field with cognitive and neuroscientific approaches.
  • Develop advanced skills in evaluating the empirical evidence base in educational neuroscience, to be able to apply this to distinguish ‘neuro-hits’ from ‘neuro-myths’, and to communicate clearly to others the basis for this distinction.

Module content

  • Key methods in developmental neuroscience
  • Brain development
  • Key findings from developmental cognitive neuroscience
  • Contributions of developmental neuroscience to our understanding of social and emotional development
  • An introduction to education neuroscience
  • EEG and education
  • Imaging responses to educational interventions
  • How genetics and genomics can inform education
  • The science of learning, as applied to education
  • How sleep science can inform education


Task Length % of module mark
Essay (self cert) : Developmental & Educational Neuroscience
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay (self cert) : Developmental & Educational Neuroscience
N/A 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

Indicative reading

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.