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Advanced Neuropsychology, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Avancerad Neuropsykologi

This syllabus is valid: 2017-09-18 and until further notice

Course code: 2PS147

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Psychology: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Psychology

Established by: Head of Department of Psychology, 2017-01-16

Revised by: Head of Department of Psychology, 2017-09-18


The course is intended for students seeking advanced knowledge in neuropsychology, regarding both typical functioning and in clinical applications. The course covers both theoretical and practical aspects of the area.

Part 1: Advanced Neuropsychology: Structure and Function of the Brain (7.5 hp)
This part of the course provides basic theoretical knowledge of the neuroanatomy and structure of the brain and its relation to psychological functioning and behavior. The topics include: biological bases of behavior, memory, emotion, processes of brain development and deviation, structural-functional laterality, brain plasticity and abnormal psychology. Additionally, it gives an overview of different brain imaging techniques and applications.

Part 2: In-depth project: Neuropsychological Test Methods and Applications (7.5 hp)
This course part provides in-depth knowledge of a well-defined area of neuropsychology, focused on a neuropathological condition and/or deviation related to acquired or congenital brain damage. Additionally, provide an update on brain research and neuropsychological assessment tools.

Expected learning outcomes

Part 1: Advanced Neuropsychology: Structure and Function of the Brain (7.5 hp)
After the course part the student will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
•    account for and interpret the overall brain anatomical, structural and functional subsystems and related behaviour
•    describe the key principles of plasticity in the normal brain
•    labelling different brain imaging techniques, applications, strength and major limitations of such methods

Skills and ability
•    identify and describe structures of the nervous system from anatomical models,
•    discuss and explain relations between the higher central nervous functions that determine our behavioral repertoire
•    describe differences between congenital and accrued brain abnormalities and the major risks factors for early brain developmental related deviations

Evaluation ability and approach
•    demonstrate the ability to make valuations in the main area, taking into account relevant neuropsychological, biological, environmental and ethical aspects,
•    demonstrate understanding of the importance of neuropsychological knowledge on the subject of human development and changes,  
•    and to demonstrate the ability to identify the need for further understandings and to develop their expertise in this subject matter.

Part 2: In-depth project: Neuropsychological Test Methods and Applications (7.5 hp)
After the course part the student will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
•    account for and describe neuropsychological assessment methods and techniques, the information they generate

Skills and ability
•    describe, present, and discuss in an elaborated and reflecting manner, a well-defined neuropsychological phenomenon, deviation and/or psychopathological condition(s) from a theoretical and empirical grounded psychobiological/neuropsychological perspective,

Evaluation ability and approach
•    Discuss neuropsychological assessment methods and techniques and related to ethical considerations.


Required Knowledge

90 ECTS in psychology, medicine or equivalent
Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6

Form of instruction

The teaching forms include lectures, seminars, group discussions, and demonstrations (Part 1). Group supervisions, lab demonstrations, assessments instructions and critical evaluations of different investigation methods, will also be included on Part 2 of this course.

The course includes compulsory seminar whereas the student have to give a short, written presentation of four seminar papers (occasions) of the main topics in focus for this course (Part 1), and of their individual in-depth project work (Part 2). Thus, including even discussion, critical reflections and feedback on the others classmates seminar presentations/and in-depth papers. The teacher in charge for respective seminar will give feedback/requests if any further, supplements and/or information’s are required after the individual presentation, as well as if supplements are required for the written paper(s) as the presentation is grounded on.

A second opportunity will be given to participate if missed compulsory parts on the end of this course. Alternatively, the student has to complement with a written assigned, and additionally, more elaborated seminar paper on the specific topic in focus for the in-depth project work.

The right to receive teaching and supervision applies only during the time the course, for which the student is registered to, is ongoing. The course may be given in Swedish and/or English


Examination modes

The examination includes (Part 1): written assigned seminar papers with a focus (or sub-topic) chosen from the main lectures, active participation in seminars and oral group exercises; (Part 2): written and oral presentation of the in-depth project work, active participation in group discussions and group supervision.

Presence of examining elements should be indicated in the schedule. All existing teaching within the course can be examined. Decisions on any deviations from the current form of assessment will be made by the relevant examiner.

Grade for the course / each part of the course will be assigned when the written test / tests and all mandatory elements are approved. The possible grades are either ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’. (Alternatively, ‘Pass with distinction’,’ Pass’ or ‘Fail’ for independent courses) Students are entitled to rewrite the same examination five times (at least twice in the case of practice or clinical teaching or equivalent). Students who do not pass the regular examination should be provided an opportunity for further examination according to the University's "Regulations for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate levels." A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course, is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (HF 6 Chap. 22 §). Requests for new examiners are made to the head of the department of Psychology. Students have the right to be tested on the same curriculum as the regular examination at least two occasions up to two years after the first registration.


Other regulations

This course replaces the previous course “The Brain and its Psychological Functions”, 15 hp (2PS045), and cannot be included in a degree together with this this course.

In order to transfer credits to a corresponding course at Umeå university, students have the right to submit previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession for evaluation. Application for transfer of credits is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. More information on transfer of credits is available on Umeå University's student website,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal for transfer of credits may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies whether the entire application or part of the application for transfer of credits is refused.


Valid from: 2017 week 38


The literature consists of approximately 500 pages in total, mainly articles.

Articles will be provided by respective teacher/moment in Part 1, and in dialog with the responsible course leader and teachers in Part 2.

Reference literature

Recommended reference literature:

“Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology" by Bryan Kolb and Ian Q Whishaw (7 Rev ed, 2015, Worth Publishers Inc.,U.S.).