Developmental Neuroscience

MQF Level: 6

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Duration: 6 Sessions

Contact Hours: 15

Self Study Hours: 40

Assessment Hours: 20


Module Description

Through this module, participants will be given the opportunity to observe cognitive and language development from the early stages of life up to adolescence and adulthood including typical and atypical development. In turn, this will lead to further research on the application of neuroscience to classroom practice and how various studies have shown how to harness this development and direct it to improve learning.

Overall Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:


a) Support learners with developmental disorders and create adequate learning experiences;
b) Develop knowledge on the different areas involved in brain development and how each can inform research-based education;
c) Formulate interventions based on language development.


a) Describe the different rates of brain plasticity during the early years of an individual and in adolescence;
b) Determine brain differences in atypical development and subsequent impact on the classroom;
c) Identify key stages in language development.


a) Link knowledge of the biological processes involved in early development and other critical stages to the educational process;
b) Critically analyse several developmental disorders and how these interplay with academic achievements;
c) Critically evaluate the development of the social side of the brain.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Research Assingment and Online Tasks/Reflections.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Taylor, S. J., Barker, L. A., Heavey, S. & McHale, S. (2012) The Typical Developmental Trajectory of Social and Executive Functions in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood. Developmental Psychology.
2. Kuhl, P. K. (2007) Is speech learning ‘gated’ by the social brain? Blackwell Publishing.
3. Pfeifer, H. J. & Blakemore, S. J. (2012) Adolescent social cognitive and affective neuroscience: past, present, and future. Oxford University Press.
4. Blakemore, S. J. (2008) The social brain in Adolescence. Nature Reviews Publishing Group.
5. Crone, E. A. (2009) Executive Functions in Adolescence: inferences from brain and behavior. Blackwell Publishing.

Supplementary Reading List

1. Viding, E., Larrson, H. & Jones, A. P. (2008) Quantitative Genetic Studies of antisocial behaviour. Royal Society
2. Kirk, H., Gray, K., Ellis, K., Taffe, J. & Cornish, K. (2017) Impact of Attention training on Academic Achievement, Executive Functioning and Behaviour: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal on intellectual and developmental disabilities.
3. Casey, B. J., Jones, R. M., Todd, A. H. (2008) The Adolescent Brain. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Skip to content