Life Sciences

Foundations of Neuroscience

Module code: C1054
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in autumn & spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module offers an broad introduction to neuroscience including:

  • cellular physiology,
  • synaptic transmission,
  • developmental neuroscience, and
  • neural circuitry.

The module includes a substantial lecture series and seminars based on primary reserach literature. Foundations in Neuroscience is intended primarily for students who have not studied neuroscience at BSc level.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of brain function including 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.
  • To acquire the ability to apply concepts and principles underlying circuit function outside the context in which they were first studied, e.g., in a behavioural context. Appreciate that understanding the neural mechanisms involved in the generation of behaviour depends on studying all levels of organization, behavioural, neural and cellular. Cellular analysis of neural circuits must have a behavioural context to be valuable.
  • To develop knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles of how simple and complex neural circuits operate and of the way in which those principles have developed. Understand that the output of neural circuits is controlled by a number of mechanisms that give the brain flexibility. These mechanisms include sensory feedback, neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity.
  • To obtain a knowledge of the main methods of enquiry into the operation and functions of neural circuits, and an ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field of neural circuits. Understand the importance of using advanced techniques in tracing and modelling circuit activity.
  • Have developed skills for integrating material from the primary research and review literature for critically assessing and discussing neuroscientific concepts in essays.