Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module PSYC3667: Language, Literacy and Numeracy in the Developing Brain

Department: Psychology

PSYC3667: Language, Literacy and Numeracy in the Developing Brain

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • • 60 credits from Level 2 Psychology


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • In this module you will learn about infant and child language learning, literacy and numeracy, and how these core skills are represented in the brain as it develops. Contemporary and historical debates about language, literacy and numeracy will also be examined.


  • This module will provide an in-depth understanding of language, literacy and numeracy in development
  • We begin with language learning and early word learning in infancy
  • We will discuss how language supports early literacy, and how children learn to read.
  • We then discuss the development of numeracy skills throughout childhood.
  • This module relates these cognitive functions to brain development, looking at topics such as neuroimaging techniques in development, and will also discuss atypical and clinical implications.
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in developmental cognitive neuroscience.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of language development, literacy development, and numeracy development.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to review critically and consolidate understanding of a coherent body of psychological knowledge and apply it appropriately
Key Skills:
  • Good written communication skills
  • Good IT skills in word processing
  • Ability to work independently in scholarship and research within broad guidelines

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Students' acquisition of detailed knowledge will be facilitated by lectures, audio-visual materials, discussions and reading lists
  • These modes of teaching provide students with detailed knowledge of the key theories and the skills needed to evaluate different theoretical positions in light of current evidence
  • The examination will assess students' detailed subject knowledge
  • An assessment of the range, recency and appropriateness of sources will be included in the overall assessment of the examination
  • Lectures and online materials will also give students the opportunity to interpret and evaluate the significance of empirical work
  • The summative examination will also assess students' written communication skills
  • The module will be taught using lectures supplemented with online material. enter text as appropriate for the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
1 hour lectures 10 1 per week 1 hour 10
1 hour online material 10 1 per week 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 80
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University