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The University of Southampton

HLTH6156 Neurology of the Newborn (Online)

Module Overview

The module syllabus is designed to provide you with the theoretical basis and the analytical skills needed for senior decision-making roles in clinical practice. The module will include clinical problem-based elements and will afford participants the opportunity of considering different approaches to the management of clinical problems by involvement in case-based discussions.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • acquire the knowledge, understanding, and skills to be able to identify the risk factors of brain injury in newborn babies
  • demonstrate critical analysis with regard to diagnostic thinking and decision making in complex clinical situations with reference to neonatal neurology
  • be able to critically explore and debate the pathogenesis of brain injury
  • demonstrate you have the knowledge and skills to articulate clinical diagnostic reasoning with due reference to underpinning clinical science
  • critically appraise and evaluate the contribution, accuracy and costs of clinical tests to inform differential diagnoses
  • demonstrate the knowledge and insight required to give appropriate advice to parents of babies with brain abnormalities.
  • critically evaluate international differences in approach to the management of brain injury.


The following topic areas will be covered: • Brain development – embryology, anatomy and physiology • Neurological evaluation • Pathophysiology of asphyxia • Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy • Seizures • Diagnostic interventions • Neuroprotection strategies • Brain lesions • Encephalopathy and prematurity • Neurological prognosis and outcome • Early developmental care • Ethical principles

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will take a broad-based learner centred approach to teaching and learning methods, intending to promote deeper learning whilst meeting a range of learning styles. The core theoretical material will be delivered as online text “lectures” within a “Virtual Learning Environment” (VLE) and you will be allocated to discussion groups (“Discussion Forums”) which will be tasked with reflecting on, and discussing within the VLE, clinical scenarios which relate to the theoretical material. The groups will each include about 10 participants and discussions will be directed and modulated by experienced tutors – two per group. While most of the discussions will be asynchronous – by leaving comments within the Discussion Forums - each group will also hold synchronous discussions, possibly once every two or three weeks, when they will “meet” together either online or using media such as Skype. Where appropriate, “Plenary Sessions” will be included, which will allow you to share in discussions on specific topics. In addition, you will be required to participate in collaborative projects, the outcome of which will be the production of, for example, a clinical guideline or operational policy relating to the theoretical material. A range of resource material, including links to relevant online sites, will be made available on the VLE. These methods will facilitate learning from text-based material, from participation in discussion and reflection with peers working in a range of different cultural environments, from background reading, and from the negotiating processes required to produce a collaborative document.

Independent Study220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Multimodality Imaging Findings.

Lagercrantz H, Hanson M, Evrard P and Rockeck C (2002). The newborn brain. 

Tritsch IT, Monteagudo A, Cohen H (2011). Ultrasonography of the Prenatal & Neonatal Brain. 

A comprehensive online library will be available which provides access to generic resources (e.g. basic sciences, physiology, pharmacology, genetics, evidence based medicine) and specific neonatology resources.. 

Levine MI, Chervenak FA, Whittle M (2001). Fetal and Neonatal Neurology and Neurosurgery.. 

Volpe JJ (2008). Neurology of the Newborn. 

Stevenson DK, Benita WE (2003). Fetal and neonatal brain injury. 

The asphyxiated term infant.

Rennie J, Cornelia F, Robertson NJ (2008). Neonatal Cerebral Investigation. 

Fenichel G (2007). Neonatal Neurology. 


Assessment Strategy

This tri-partite approach to assessment is designed to enable you to demonstrate your depth and breadth of respiratory knowledge as well as your ability to demonstrate your ability to use higher cognitive skills. All assessment guidance will be available in your module handbook where you will also find information on referencing and plagiarism. As all assignments will be submitted electronically Turnitin will be used to confirm originality of your work. Method of repeat year: Repeat the referred element of the assessment internally. The examination and the written assignment can be taken as a standard second attempt however as it is not possible to have a second attempt at the discussions this element of the assessment strategy will be substituted with an alternative method of assessment. For this second attempt you will be required to submit a written assignment (1,500 words), which will critically evaluate the international differences in approach to the management of brain injury.


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice question  (2 hours) 60%
Qualitative evaluation 20%
Written assignment  (1500 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Summative assessments 100%
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