School of Life Sciences

Principles of Neuroscience (C1016)

Principles of Neuroscience

Module C1016

Module details for 2013/14.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system from its structure, molecular and cellular biology and function through to the consequences of its operation, namely behaviour. The aim of this module is to provide students with their first real insight into the detailed workings of the brain and its development through consideration of the fundamental principles of nervous system operation. The module is also an important grounding for those wishing to take its sister module, Neural Circuits.

Topics covered include:
- Signalling and transmission by nerves and synapses
- Neurotransmission and neuromodulation
- Plasticity in the nervous system
- Cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory
- Fundamental disease mechanisms
- Development of the nervous system
- The role of early experience in the development of the visual system
- Methodological approaches to studying fundamental brain processes

Module learning outcomes

Be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of brain function such as: the cellular, molecular and biophysical processes of signalling within and between neurons.

Be able to demonstrate an appreciation of the types of approaches used to study the fundamentals of brain function; the mechanisms underlying short and long-term neuronal plasticity and their relevance to learning and memory; mechanisms of disease-related neuronal dysfunction; the processes of brain formation from neuronal development to synaptogenesis.

Have developed skills for integrating material from the primary research and review literature for critically assessing and discussing scientific concepts in essays.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT2 Week 1 100.00%
Unseen ExaminationSemester 1 Assessment70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterTutorial * hours
Autumn SemesterLecture1 hour222222222220

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Prof Kevin Staras

Convenor, Assess convenor

Dr Paul Graham

Assess convenor

Prof Louise Serpell

Assess convenor

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.