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    Focuses upon the role of neuropsychological assessment and intervention with individuals with acquired brain injuries, including as a result of traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular accidents, neurotoxicity and anoxic/hypoxic brain injury.

    This paper focusses on the neuropsychology of traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebrovascular disease (specifically stroke), hypoxic brain injury and inflammatory brain disorders in a New Zealand context.

    About this paper

    Paper title Neuropsychology of Acquired Brain Injuries and Stroke
    Subject Neuropsychology
    EFTS 0.1250
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,275.88
    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 2-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 describe, and critically appraise, the typical approaches to assessment of severity of Traumatic Brain Injury, typical interventions for TBI, common comorbid features, the impact of culture and ethnicity, and their relation to long-term recovery across the life cycle.
    2. To be able to summarise the typical neuropsychological features of penetrative and non-penetrative Traumatic Brain Injury and their relation to long-term recovery across the life cycle.
    3. To be able to discriminate common cerebrovascular disorders in terms of their pathology, acute treatment, neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological features across the life cycle.
    4. To be able to contrast common inflammatory brain disorders in terms of their pathology, acute treatment, neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological features across the life cycle.
    5. To be able to discriminate common neurocognitive disorders resulting from reduced cerebral oxygenation in terms of their pathology, treatment, neurorehabilitation and neuropsychological features across the life cycle.
    6. To be able to describe known disorders of object, face and spatial perception, language, social cognition, praxis and calculation, including their typical neuropsychological features across the life cycle.


    Semester 2

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