LSC-20076 - Learning & Memory
Coordinator: Simon Trent
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

How we learn and remember events is a complex process that we often take for granted.
Learning is critical to how we adapt our behaviour in an ever-changing, and often challenging, environment. Memories allow us to draw from our experiences and come to define who we are. In fact, they are so crucial, it would be extremely difficult to function with any kind of impairment to our learning or memory. The human brain is highly plastic, changing significantly following experience and can support many different types of learning and memory. In this Learning Memory module, you will understand how the brain encodes, stores and recalls information, which are also important challenges in neuroscience research.
Tutorials and workshops throughout the module will support group discussion of core material and you will explore many of the fascinating behavioural, cellular and biological aspects of how we learn and remember.

The aim of this module is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the acquisition, consolidation, retention and recall of knowledge and information.

Intended Learning Outcomes

discuss the role of the prefrontal cortex in short-term working memory: 1,2
describe how the brain acquires new information, including fear memory and motor skills: 1,2
critically evaluate a primary source journal article and answer questions related to the content of the paper: 2
explain learning and memory with reference to the underlying physiological mechanisms (e.g., synaptic plasticity): 1,2
explain the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory: differentiate between different types of learning and memory in humans and animals (e.g., declarative versus non-declarative memory): 1,2
explain how learning and memory can be impaired in disorders and diseases of the brain: explain the contributions of the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortices to spatial learning and memory: 1,2

Study hours

14 x hours asynchronous content (14 x topics)
6 x 1 hour live lectures (6 x topics)
10 x 1 hr live tutorials
Active learning total = 30 hours
4 hrs per topic for further study/note taking = 80 hours
40 hours for preparation and completion of assessments

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 70%
2 h Online open book assessment in an 8 h window
The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9 am on the morning of the exam. Exam divided into Section A and Section B. Students must answer 1 essay question from a total of 2 in Section A, and 1 essay question from total of 2 in Section B i.e. answer a total of 2 essay style questions from a grand total of 4. Students should answer each question using Word, clearly labelling each question as they provide their answers. Work will be submitted to Turnitin no later than 5 pm on the day of release. Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 2 hrs. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. For essay-based questions, typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words per question. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.

2: Open Book Examination weighted 30%
Journal Comprehension assessment (2-hour active working in a 8-hour assessment window)
Some broad topics relevant to journal paper will be released 2 week prior on the KLE. The paper (and SAQ form) will then be released to students as a timed test on the KLE (link to test will be available on the KLE on the day of the assessment at 9 am). Once started, students will be given 8 hrs to complete, although we recommend that 2 hours should be sufficient. For these short-answer questions, students should pay careful attention to the number of points that each question is worth. In general, we would expect only one or two sentences for each point.