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Educational Neuroscience


Entry Requirements

This course is only available for Master’s students in Psychology with specialisation School Psychology


Developmental neuroscience is the study of how changes in the developing brain are related to changes in behavior. In the context of school psychology, this relates to functions like attention, memory and cognitive flexibility as well as developmental problems and responsivity to stress or social exclusion. Knowing how the brain changes can provide a critical backbone to understanding the developmental changes one can observe in cognition and behavior especially in- and outside the classroom. With an increasing awareness of neuroscience in society, it is important to provide school psychologists with the tools to help teachers, parents and students use this evidence to their best advantage. This entails debunking myths and common misperceptions as well as utilizing cutting edge neuroscience to tailor diagnoses and intervention programmes to individual needs.

The module consists of two parts. The theoretical part is divided into lectures on: 1) basic principles of neuroscience; 2) the neural and behavioral mechanisms underlying cognitive functions and developmental problems; 3) factors that support healthy development in a school context, such as sleep, social and work-load related stress and quality of peer relationships and bullying.

The practical part will: 1) impart students the skills of how to translate their knowledge to a school setting; 2) provide insight into (neuroscientifically derived) training programmes used in the classroom; 3) teach the tools of neuropsychological testing and diagnosis.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course a student:

  • can critically evaluate (neuro)scientific evidence;

  • is able to effectively communicate gained theoretical knowledge to various parties in school setting (i.e. children, teachers, parents).

  • can explain basic principles of cognitive neuroscience, brain development and the tools used to study the brain;

  • can explain behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying learning, memory, attention, and how this contributes to models and theories of executive functions;

  • can explain behavioural and neural mechanisms and developmental change in circadian rythms, and stress

  • can explain behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying developmental problems such as ADHD, dyslexia and Language Development Disorder

  • has practiced with neuropsychological assessments;

  • can critically evaluate training programs aimed at improving behavior in classroom settings.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

  • 7 2-hour lectures introducing basic principles and theories of cognitive neuroscience, brain development and cognitive and social functions subserved by the brain

  • 7 2-hour work group sessions focusing on acquisition of skills of how to use neuroscientific evidence in an applied fashion

Assessment method

1 oral presentation (50% of final mark)
1 written paper (50% of final mark)

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

General articles

  • Thomas, M. S., Ansari, D., & Knowland, V. C. (2018). Annual Research Review: Educational neuroscience: progress and prospects. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Additional online-readings will be provided via Brightspace

Contact information

Dr. Annelinde Vandenbroucke