PY1IN-Introduction to Neuroscience

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Compulsory to continue to PY2NS1 and PY2NS2
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Ciara McCabe


Summary module description:
Introduction to Neuroscience
Module Convenor: Dr Ciara McCabe (UoR)
Module Lead: Dr Andreas Kalckert (UoRM)

The aim of the module is that students should learn basic information, terminology and concepts relating to the structure and function of the nervous system of humans (and other mammals); to become familiar with some applications of neuroscience for our understanding of human behaviour, such as perception, substance abuse and abnormal psychology. Students will also be introduced to the methods used to study the brain including anatomical, physiological and functional imaging techniques.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the structure and function of the human nervous system, including gross anatomical brain structures
2. Understand the electrical and chemical processes involved in neuronal communication and their role in synaptic plasticity
3. Understand different approaches to measure brain processes and their involvement in behaviour

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
Lectures cover:
(a) The central nervous system of humans and other mammals: structure, function and basic neuropharmacology.
(b) Methodologies used to study the brain
(c) Applications of neuroscience to topics such as visual perception, developmental psychology, motivation, substance abuse and mental illness

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is taught via 10 hour-long lectures, each followed by a further hour-long online discussion forum, and supported by recommended reading. Weekly continuous assessment questions will enable students to gauge their knowledge and understanding of the topics. There will be a revision session to help students prepare for the final exam.

Teaching methods include the following:
(a) Lectures, including demonstrations where appropriate
(b) Online discussion forum following lectures
(c) Recommended reading from texts
(d) Revision lecture in summer term

NB The contact hours in the table below are indicative of the contact hours for students studying this module in the UK, and may vary for students taking this module at branch campuses.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Set exercise 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is examined by a 1.5-hour written Summer Exam (75%). The exam requires students to answer four short-answer questions on topics covered in the module plus multiple-choice questions.
Students are also assessed on the breadth of material covered in the module by weekly set exercises (25%).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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