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The University of Southampton

PSYC8041 Cognitive Elements of Learning 2

Module Overview

This module focuses on atypical development. It will give develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the identification and assessment of children and young people whose learning difficulties are observed infrequently (‘low incidence’ needs). It will also consider more specialised assessment techniques and provisions required for pupils with major learning needs. This module will also focus on developing your knowledge of appropriate evidenced based interventions to address these needs.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of evidence based practices, taking account of normal progression and development, and the modifications necessary to support effective learning and development for children, young people and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities relating to learning.
  • Identify needs and promote change through the application of psychological knowledge for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities relating to learning.
  • Be able to contribute to the analysis, development and maintenance of effective and supportive learning environments for all children and young people in a range of specialist learning settings.
  • Develop skills in the critical evaluation of research and produce systematically conducted research syntheses to inform practice and policy decisions.
  • Generalise and synthesise knowledge and experience to enable application and adaptation in different settings and novel situations.


The module looks at a number of issues related to learning difficulties (e.g., visual, hearing and language impairments, severe learning difficulties, physical disability), as well as classroom assessment of learning environments, consultation work with parents and teachers, assessment of pupil learning needs, programme planning for individual pupils, and managing the review process.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Core content in this module is covered mostly through taught sessions at the University, with use also of some problem based learning sessions. Additionally, trainees have the opportunity on placement to develop their knowledge and understanding of complex learning needs. Aspects of the seminar and field work in this module will focus on and relate closely to PSYC8040 Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, PSYC8025 Placement learning and practical skills and PSYC8038 Casework.

Independent Study128
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Frederickson, N., & Cline, T. (2009). Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Diversity. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Reflection 20%
Critique 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Reflection 20%
Written critique 80%
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