Social Psychology of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - TZ861

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 3)
Autumn and Spring 7 10 (5) DR P Triantafyllopoulou checkmark-circle


All academic modules are taught using a combination of web-based resources, reading, the introductory workshop and a one-week workshop in the Spring. For each module, there will be web-based materials including video-recorded lectures, web-based discussions/seminars, and quizzes/group exercises. Students are also expected to conduct their own literature searches and follow-up the core reading and the reference lists for each topic covered

The aim of this module is to teach the basic facts about the nature and origins of intellectual and developmental disabilities, including definitions of learning disability, epidemiology, biological, social and environmental causes of learning disability. In addition, characteristics of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be considered (including cognitive and social characteristics) along with issues such as autism, ageing, transition, early intervention, physical & mental health, parenting, sexuality and people with intellectual and developmental disability in the criminal justice system.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

This is a distance learning module so there are no contact hours as such. However students will be able to access a video recording of each campus based taught session within a week of the session. There are approximately 30 hours of lectures and seminars spread across 6 workshops.



Method of assessment

Web-based exam (100%)

Indicative reading

Bouras, N. (2007) Psychiatric and Behavioural Disorders in Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation. 2nd Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carr, A., O'Reilly, G., Noonan Walsh, P. & McEvoy, J (2007). Handbook of Intellectual Disability and Clinical Psychology Practice. London; Routledge.

Background reading:

Baxter, C., Poonia, K., Ward, L. and Nadirshaw, Z. (1990) Double Discrimination. London: Kings Fund Centre. HV3008.G7

BMA & Law Society (2004). Assessment of Mental Capacity: Guidance for Doctors and Lawyers. 2nd Edition. BMJ Books

Department of Health. (2001) Reference Guide to Consent for Examination or Treatment. London: Department of Health. Download from:

Emerson, E., Hatton, Felce, D. and Murphy, G. (2001) Learning Disabilities: The Fundamental Facts. Chichester: Wiley & Sons. 9HV3008.G7

Harris, J.C. (2005). Intellectual Disability. Oxford University Press.

Hogg, J. & Langa, A. (2005) Assessing Adults with Intellectual Disability: A Service provider’s Guide. BPS Blackwell

Janciki, M.P. & Prasher, V.P. (2005) Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia in Down Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities.

Schalock, R.L., Gardner, J.F. & Bradley, V.J. (2007) Quality of Life: Applications for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disability. AAIDD.

Ward, L. (1998) Innovations in Advocacy and Empowerment for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Chorley: Lisieux Hall Publications ISBN1870335244 HV 3008.G7

Walsh, P.N. & Hellar T. (2002) Health of Women with Intellectual Disabilities. Blackwells.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will:

• Understand the history of the definitions of intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Be familiar with current practice in defining intellectual and developmental disabilities in UK services and elsewhere
• Know the epidemiology of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the UK, other Western countries and the developing world
• Understand the biological, social and environmental causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities and how these interact in individuals
• Know the cognitive and social characteristics of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Be aware of issues such as ageing, abuse, autism, behavioural phenotypes, transition, early intervention, empowerment, physical health, mental health, sexuality, witnesses and suspects with intellectual disability in the criminal justice system.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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