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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

Module Aims

To enable you to acquire the knowledge and develop proficiency in the assessment and management of newborn babies who have, or are suspected of having neurological disorders.

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

Special Features

Prior to commencing the module all students will have completed the pre-requisite online induction module, the aim of which will be to introduce you to the key principles of online learning as well as providing the opportunity for you to become familiar with learning within the VLE. You will be expected to spend at least 4 hours each week working online within your collaborative learning group. Online tutors as well as the module developer who as a subject specialist will be able to provide an appropriate learning experience will support you. This online learning experience is designed to give you an insight into and the opportunity to engage in, authentic online learning, which can promote collaboration and the development or refinement of key transferable skills. This inclusive virtual learning environment can support a range of learner needs and styles and can also promote an increased awareness, insight and understanding of multi-cultural challenges facing health care provision.

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

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

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

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

Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Multimodality Imaging Findings.

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

Fenichel G (2007). Neonatal Neurology. 

Volpe JJ (2008). Neurology of the Newborn. 

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

The asphyxiated term infant.


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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