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    Focuses upon the interface between clinical practice in neuropsychology and other neuroscience disciplines, including neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology and neurorehabilitation.

    This paper represents the 2nd year advanced topics in Neuroscience and has a particular focus on neuropathology, as well as their medical, neuropsychological and multidisciplinary treatment.

    About this paper

    Paper title Applied Neuroscience in Neuropsychology
    Subject Neuropsychology
    EFTS 0.2500
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,551.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to

    This course is only open to psychologists registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board. There is no limitation on what scope of practice you will be registered under, however you will be expected to have prior knowledge of assessment, formulation and intervention, as well as simple brain-behaviour relationships, the application of psychometric tests and knowledge of basic statistics. The training is intensive and will require you to undertake 1,500 hours of supervised practice, in addition to your academic study over the two years.

    To undertake the PGDipNeuropsych you will need to meet all of the following criteria:

    • Hold at least a master's level training in psychology.
    • Be a currently registered practitioner with the NZ Psychologists Board, holding a current practicing certificate without conditions.
    • Be working at least 0.6 full-time equivalent in a neuropsychology setting, or a health setting with a neuropsychology component.
    • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
    • Undertake regular supervision by an approved neuropsychologist supervisor, at your own (or your employer's) cost. Programme staff will be able to support you to find a suitable supervisor.
    • If you are employed by an organisation, we will need evidence of prior approval/support of your service manager.

    Course admissions are limited, so admission to the course will be on the basis of academic performance, curriculum vitae, current employment and verification process.


    Teaching staff

    Course Director: Dr Paul Skirrow

    Professional Practice Fellow/Tutor: To be confirmed

    Professional Practice Fellow/Tutor (Māori): To be confirmed

    External and internal guest lecturers.

    Teaching Arrangements

    This paper involves a 3-day on-campus teaching in Wellington, followed by weekly, online teaching for approximately 10 weeks.


    Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., Bigler, E. D., & Tranel, D. (2012). Neuropsychological assessment (5th ed.). Oxford University Press. (6th edition due for release in 2023)

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Global Perspective,Interdisciplinary perspective,Lifelong learning,Scholarship,Communication,Critical thinking,Cultural understanding,Ethics,Environmental Literacy,Information literacy,Research,Self-motivation,Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    This paper is designed to reflect the Context and Perspectives and Professional Issues knowledge components of the Curriculum Guidelines for Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology developed by the NZSIGN professional body, as well as the competencies prescribed by the NZ Psychologists Board. With this in mind, the key learning outcomes for this paper are:

    1. To be able to differentiate significant aspects of neuroanatomy, including the form and function of key structures of the brain, including its neurochemical and circulatory system and to formulate their inter-relationships across the life cycle.
    2. To be able to accurately describe and evaluate the form and function of common neuroradiological, neurosurgical and neurological techniques and their role in the diagnosis and treatment of common neurological conditions across the life cycle.
    3. To be able to differentiate neurocognitive effects of common neurotoxins, including the impact of common medical conditions (e.g. poor renal and hepatic function), in terms of their pathology, treatment, neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological features across the life cycle.
    4. To be able to appraise the typical features of common space-occupying lesions, including brain tumor and to compare their neuropsychological features across the life cycle.
    5. To be able to critically appraise typical Western approaches to neurorehabilitation, including multidisciplinary aspects of care and the role of the neuropsychologist, synthesising bicultural and multicultural approaches into their practice.
    6. To be able to critically appraise the context of 'challenging' behaviour amongst individuals with neurological conditions, including its cultural context, and the application of Te Tiriti-informed Positive Behavioural Supports.


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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