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Unit information: Functional Neuroanatomy in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Functional Neuroanatomy
Unit code PHPH10013
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Howarth
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

Introduction to Neuroscience.

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


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

Unit Information

This unit enables students to gain an understanding of the molecular, structural and functional organisation of the mammalian nervous system. This will include aspects of molecular neuroscience, how networks function, plasticity in the brain, cognitive function and the basis of some common disorders of the nervous system.. The practicals include detailed anatomical study of the human brain.

The aim of this unit is to enable students to obtain an insight into biological principles related to a range of topics within the subject area of neuroscience. Particular emphasis is placed on the human and relevance to common disorders is also considered.

Your learning on this unit

The unit learning objectives are to engender knowledge about the following topics:

  • Organisation of the nervous system
  • Protein structure, function and modifications
  • Neurotransmitter systems
  • Cellular organisation of neuronal receptors and ion channels
  • Neuronal networks
  • Neuronal plasticity (especially in relation to memory)
  • Sensory perception, including cortical representations of sensory inputs
  • Neural basis of higher cognitive functions and emotion
  • Scientific basis of common neurological disorders

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

  • Effective listening and note-taking
  • Report writing
  • Independent learning
  • Problem solving
  • Organising and managing information
  • Development of scientific thinking

How you will learn


There are three lectures timetabled each week. Attendance is strongly advised since they represent the most efficient means of covering the syllabus. Lecturers are always willing to answer your questions, either during or after the lecture, and you should make use of this opportunity.


Practicals consist of Neuroanatomy and histology sessions, to explore the anatomy of the human brain and how the various parts are connected together. Attendance at practicals is a requirement of the Faculty and failure to attend may lead to exclusion from examinations.

Tutorials and workshops

Problem-based learning, hands on learning activities and digital experiments are used to explore the nature of the scientific process and how scientific investigations are carried out in tutorials and workshops.

How you will be assessed


  • In class spot questions


  • Coursework: 30%
  • Exam (end of unit): 70%


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHPH10013).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.