PSYCH 708A/B : Clinical Neuropsychology


2024 Semester One (1243) / Semester Two (1245) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Consists of: an introduction to neuroanatomy and neuropathology, seminars on the major areas of neuropsychological dysfunction, introduction to community-used test materials and theoretical issues of neuropsychological assessment, neuropsychological dysfunction, individual assessment and individual case studies.

Course Overview

The course is divided into three parts. First, students are introduced to general methodology in clinical neuropsychology, test materials, theoretical issues in neuropsychological assessment, as well as human neuroanatomy and neuropathology. This will cover examination of issues specific to Aotearoa, including critical examination of the discipline in relation to Māori and other cultures. Second, five case studies will be dealt with during the year, which will provide students with practice in the analysis and interpretation of client data, and in presenting test data and recommendations in report format. Finally, each student is expected to work with one other student to present a seminar to the class on a specific topic and independently write an essay on one aspect of that topic. 

Course Requirements

To complete this course students must enrol in PSYCH 708 A and B

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop a good working knowledge of neuroanatomy and common types of neuropathology. (Capability 3)
  2. Develop proficiency in the administration and scoring of specific neuropsychological tests (i.e., WAIS-IV, WMS-IV, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, Oral Word Fluency, California Verbal Learning Test), as well as a basic familiarity with additional test protocols (e.g., NART, Token test, Wisconsin Card Sort). (Capability 3 and 8)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of and critically evaluate the general principles and approaches in neuropsychology, including strengths, weaknesses and its limitations with respect to Aotearoa, Māori and other cultures. (Capability 1 and 4)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of neuropsychological profiles and issues involved in working with different areas of neuropsychological dysfunction (e.g., aphasia, spatial disorders, dementia, head injury), as well as specific client groups (e.g., children, different cultural groups). (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  5. Analyse and interpret neuropsychological profiles, utilizing clinical, health, social, educational and cultural history and information. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  6. Develop neuropsychological formulations and make clinical recommendations related to individual client data and history. (Capability 3, 4, 6 and 8)
  7. Critically evaluate an issue in the literature related to their seminar topic in depth, to demonstrate their ability to synthesise and critically evaluate research. (Capability 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Practical 5% Group & Individual Coursework
Test 10% Individual Test
Case Studies 35% Individual Coursework
Presentation 5% Group Coursework
Essay 15% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 30% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Case Studies
Final Exam


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Special Requirements

  • Practical work (test protocols) will be conducted out of scheduled class times in groups and may be off-campus if preferred by the students.
  • There will be one test conducted outside of scheduled class hours.

Workload Expectations

Following University guidelines, a 30 point course represents about 300 hours of study. As a standard 30-point course students are expected to spend 10-12 hours per week on the course. For this course, you can expect a total of 54 hours of lectures/class discussions, 6 hours of tutorial, 24 hours of practical, 50 hours of reading and 142 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

This is a double semester course (708 A & B). During Semester 1, in a typical teaching week there will be 3 contact hours per week, comprising 30 hours of lectures or seminars and 6 hours of tutorials. That leaves a total of 90 hour across the semester for independent study (approximately 24 hours for practical work and 66 hours for reading and thinking about the content, working on assignments and test preparation).

During Semester 2, in a typical teaching week there will be 2 hours of contact per week (lectures, seminars, case study discussions), leaving 102 hours across the whole semester for coursework and independent study (reading and thinking about the content and case studies, working on case studies and the assignment and exam preparation).

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is required at scheduled activities, including lectures, to complete components of the course.
  • Lectures will be available additionally as recordings, but are not able to totally replace the inperson experience. Other learning activities, including seminars, will be available as recordings.
  • The course will not include live online events, including group discussions.
  • Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

You will be supplied with a course book containing information and current normative data for the neuropsychological testing instruments used in the course.

Required Text:
  • Lezak, M. D., Howieson D.B., Bigler, E.D. Tranel, D. (2012). Neuropsychological Assessment (5th ed) (minimum Chpt 1 – 8; 20), OUP, New York. This may be read in the library.
Recommended Text:
  • Ogden, J. A. (2005). Fractured Minds: A case study approach to clinical neuropsychology (2nd Ed), OUP, New York.
References related to each case study will be available via CANVAS.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student feedback has indicated we should extend the trial of having seminars produced in pairs and make this a permanent feature of the course.
Student feedback suggests we need to develop an additional resource to help with test score interpretation for the first case study.  This is in development.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 07/11/2023 08:09 a.m.