PY0645 - Researching Working Memory in Clinical Contexts

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What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will examine the importance of working memory in a number of clinical and atypical developmental contexts. Based upon the theoretical work of Baddeley, Logie, Cowan, Engle, Cornoldi and Vecchi etc., the module aims to look at how researchers have employed working memory constructs within a variety of applied contexts. The sessions will cover research findings in atypical development with areas such Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, ADHD, Fragile X, etc. being covered. The sessions will also cover a number areas of mental health, e.g. Unipolar Depression, Bipolar Depression, etc. You will have the opportunity to learn how psychology practitioner researchers make use of findings and theory in working memory in order to underpin their research rationales and methodologies. You will also have the opportunity to develop skills in research critique and evaluation.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will have the opportunity to learn through a combination of interactive lecture sessions, workshops and tutorials, along with independent study. The sessions will be two hours long. Directed and independent learning will be encouraged through the provision of electronic reading lists, journal articles and other resources relating to session/workshop topics. These lists and resources will then serve as a basis for further independent study. Discussion board forums will be available to encourage you to exchange ideas with their peers. Together, the lecture/workshops, directed and independent learning and online discussion will enable you to gain greater depth of knowledge and understanding of how working memory is applied across a variety of research contexts. These learning experiences will enable you to make use of relevant working memory and theory in order to critically evaluate applied research papers.
Group discussion and activity will be a key component of your learning experience on the module and will enable you to develop oral communication skills and the research critique skills. Tutorials will provide an opportunity for you to discuss issues related to the development of your learning with a member of staff.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported in the module not only by the learning experience of the sessions themselves but though the presence of resources out of these scheduled sessions. You will have access to the teaching staff, through tutorials, where you can discuss issues pertinent to your learning experiences. Staff contact details and locations will be listed on the module site on the E-learning Portal, Blackboard. In addition, not only will session (PowerPoint) and PANOPTO resources be present on Blackboard but Blackboard will also have, via the reading lists, explicit routes to guided and independent reading resources and where pertinent, web based resources. Module information will be e-mailed through the Blackboard site and Discussion Boards will be established to encourage your explicit conversations with other students on the module. The AllPsych pages on Blackboard will also provide details on university wide services to support your academic study, Student Wellbeing, University Assessment Regulations (ARTA), Library, Careers, etc.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MK1: Show a critical understanding of how empirical evidence can be applied to construct and evaluate arguments, and reason scientifically on psychological issues
• MK2: Critically evaluating the applications of core knowledge in the context of the clinical psychology pathway
• MK2: Critically evaluating the applications of core knowledge in the context of the experimental psychology

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MIPSA1: Evaluating the application of specific methodologies, and the approaches to management of ethical issues, within the clinical psychology pathway
• MIPSA2: Evaluating the application of specific methodologies, and the approaches to management of ethical issues, within the experimental psychology

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
Formative assessments will comprise interim presentations of ideas, and group activities related to the final assessment, practice, i.e. research critiques. These will be evaluated by peers, and through discussion with the module tutor. (MIPSA1; MIPSA2)

Summative Assessment
The main assessment consists of one piece of individual written work (3500 words) worth 90% of the module mark.
The assignment will consist of a research critique of a research paper within a field of clinical psychology. You will be expected to take your knowledge and understanding of experimental and individual differences research in working memory and evaluate the extent to which the target research paper employs these constructs in their research rationale and methodology. The final element of the assessment will ask you to plan a new study in the research context of the target paper which could develop our understanding of how to employ working memory in this applied context.

The second assessment is a self-reflective account in which you will be asked to consider how this module has impacted on your employability and future career (MIP2). This will be worth 10% of the module mark (500 words)

Formative assessments, the module tutor will provide immediate verbal feedback on top of peer feedback provided through discussion in group activities.

For the summative report, feedback will be provided on the electronic submission in the form of a level-specific rubric. Additional written comments will be provided that identify a minimum of one strength, one weakness and one area for improvement. General feedback will be provided on the eLearning Portal.

You will be required to arrange a tutorial with your personal tutor for formal feedback on your reflection.





Module abstract

Through the experience of interactive lecture sessions and workshops you will have the opportunity to explore and critically examine how the constructs of working memory are employed in a diverse range of clinical contexts. You will be able to evaluate the extent to which clinical research in fields such as ASD, Down Syndrome, and Bipolar Depression and Major Depression have effectively employed working memory constructs to underpin their research rationale. You will be able to look at how effectively working memory multiple resource accounts (e.g. Baddeley, Logie,), attentional accounts (Engle, Cowan) and integrated accounts (e.g. Cornoldi & Vecchi) inform and underpin the clinical research studies. The application of the working memory constructs and research is the basis for your major assessment, worth 90%, a clinical research paper critique and evaluation. The second assessments is a reflective piece which considers the knowledge and skills you have developed pertinent to your degree pathway and wider career.

Course info

UCAS Code C800

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full time or 4 years full time with optional study abroad year

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

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