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Unit information: Introduction to Neuroscience in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Introduction to Neuroscience
Unit code PHPH10012
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Clea Warburton
Open unit status Not open



Understanding Body Function A and B

School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of the unit is to provide students with an introduction to neuroscience. The unit will give students a fundamental understanding of on the structure and function of nerves and brains. The unit will begin with an overview of gross anatomy of the nervous system followed by a focus on development of the mammalian nervous system. The next sections will look at the sensory and motor systems and examine how the brain processes information related to sensory perception and voluntary movement, and then look at homeostasis and how the brain coordinates responses to external stimuli.

The unit will end with lectures which will cover a historical perspective on some of the key findings and discoveries in Neuroscience to encourage and increase enthusiasm for Neuroscience. that causes students to choose this specialized degree programme.

A further aim of the unit will be to complement first-year neurophysiology teaching (Understanding Body Function A and B)

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students should have knowledge and understanding of:

1.1 Introduction to the cell biology of the neuron

1.2. Gross organisation of the nervous system - brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, cerebral spinal fluid

1.3. Development of the nervous system

1.4. Ascending sensory pathways

1.5. Descending motor pathways

1.6. Special senses

1.7. Introduction to homeostasis

1.8. Selected discoveries in neuroscience

Additionally the unit is designed to enable students to obtain or improve the following transferable academic and personal skills

2.1. Short essay/abstract writing

2.2. Effective listening and note taking

2.3. Problem solving

2.4. Basic IT skills

2.5. Handling prosected brain specimens

2.6. Practical skills

2.7. Group work

2.8. Time management

Teaching Information

Lectures, class and small group tutorials, practical session

Assessment Information

The assessed ILOs are indicated in brackets


In class spot questions (1.2, 2.2, 2.5. 2.7)


Short essay/abstract writing task (1.8, 2.2, 2.4, 2.8)

Spot assessment (1.2, 2.2, 2.5)

Ebiolabs post lab quiz (1.2, 2.2, 2.3,2.5)

Unseen written examination comprising MCQ and EMQ (1.1-1.7, 2.2)

Reading and References

Neuroscience Exploring the Brain (4th Ed) M.F. Bear, B.W. Connors, M.A. Paradiso