Literacy: Difficulties & Intervention

Course code HCS6192
15 credits

This module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore how and why individuals struggle to learn to read and write with fluency and confidence.  It will take a developmental perspective and examine pre-cursors to reading difficulties, issues in the early years, as well as the types of difficulty that persist into secondary school and beyond. We will cover both widely-discussed diagnoses such as dyslexia, as well as reading difficulties that do not fit so neatly into a single category. The module will discuss the behaviours associated with literacy difficulties, as well as what we know about evidence-based intervention.

Suitable for:

Speech and Language Therapists, teachers and other professionals working with children.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students are expected to be able to:

  • A systematic understanding and critical awareness of the range of difficulties an individual may encounter in acquiring reading and writing skills. 
  • The ability to discuss key dilemmas in the diagnosis of literacy difficulties.  
  • To synthesize current best-practices in working with individuals with literacy difficulties and communicate this effectively to a range of other stake-holders.
  • Critically evaluate the value of an unfamiliar intervention for literacy difficulties
  • The ability to independently identify wider academic, socio-emotional and vocational risk factors that may be present for an individual with literacy difficulties

Teaching Methods

The module content is delivered online and includes guided independent study, using online reading material available from the University Library. Students are supported by University tutors via online discussion boards and email. Online learning will be supplemented by an optional 2-day study block in Sheffield.


The module runs in the spring semester, starting in April of each year. The module runs over a period of 12 weeks, and this 15 credit module should take about 150 hours to complete (including preparation for the assignment). See timetable for the year.


This unit will be assessed by a written assignment (3,000 words). Students will have the option of writing either a review on a specific topic related to literacy difficulties or a review and critical evaluation of a specific intervention approach for individuals with literacy difficulties.

Fees and funding for the module

Fee information 

Fully funded places may be available for NHS employees in Yorkshire and Humber, and in East Midlands – please contact us for more information

How to apply for the module

Please visit our how to apply page.

For more information email: