Principles of Neuronal Function and Dysfunction (C1016)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

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 you with your 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.


100%: Lecture


30%: Coursework (Essay)
70%: Examination (Multiple choice questions)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: