Researching People with Learning Disabilities - PSYC6020

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module involves students in a project based on interviews with people with learning disabilities. There will be teaching sessions on research, interview construction, recording and analysis. Practical work will involve visiting a person with learning disabilities at their place of work and conducting a recorded interview with due regard to ethical and consent issues. A series of clinics designed to assist students in analysis, interpretation and presentation of the project work will follow. The module will conclude with students doing a group presentation of their findings to people with learning disabilities, staff in learning disability services and other invited guests.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150


Optional to Psychology undergraduate programmes.
Available as an elective module. Available to Short-Term Credit students at the discretion of the school and/or module convenor.

Method of assessment

Literature Review 1,500 words 30%
Project Report 3,500 words 70%

Reassessment methods: Like for Like

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Carnaby, S. (ed.) (2011) Learning Disability Today: 3rd edition. Brighton: Pavilion Publishing.

Dept. of Health (2001) Valuing People: A new strategy for learning disability in the twenty first century. Chapter Six. Norwich: The Stationery Office.

Dept. of Health (2009) Valuing People Now: a new three year strategy for people with learning disabilities . Chapter Three. Norwich: The Stationery Office.

Grant, G., Ramcharan, P., Flynn, M, Richardson, M (Eds) (2010) Learning Disability. A Life Cycle Approach. 2nd Edition, Open University Press

Heal, L. W. & Sigelman, C. K. (1995) Response biases in interview of individuals with limited mental ability in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 29, 4, 331-340

McCarthy, M. (1998) Interviewing People with learning disabilities about sensitive topics: a discussion of ethical issues, British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 26,4: 140-145.

McCarthy, M. (1999) Asking the Right Questions, In Sexuality and Women with Learning Disabilities, Chapter 3. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Establish a rapport with a person with learning disabilities in a service setting

8.2 Demonstrate knowledge of work related issues for people with learning disabilities

8.3 Understand ethical issues involved in interviewing people with learning disabilities, i.e. informed consent

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate an ability in using and critiquing qualitative and participatory methodology, using experiential knowledge

9.2 Demonstrate the ability to write an ethics proposal

9.3 Disseminate findings both to an academic institution via a report as well as to a wider community via a presentation


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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