LSC-30052 - Behavioural Neuroscience
Coordinator: Simon Trent
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

Behavioural Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary module designed to develop an understanding of human and animal behaviour in terms of nervous system function. The module content focuses on the brains of mammals ¿ especially humans ¿ through a detailed examination of both cortical and subcortical systems that mediate specific behaviours. There are occasional references to lower vertebrates and even invertebrates where the study of shared mechanisms in simpler animals is useful. Modern neuroscience is an interdisciplinary study, and this is reflected in the syllabus in that it draws on information from anatomy, physiology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and neuroendocrinology to bring about an understanding of behaviour. Topics covered include motivated behaviours (or the four ¿Fs¿), pleasure and pain, stress, emotions, sleep and consciousness. Although there are no prerequisites for this module, students with little or no background in rudimentary Neuroscience may find some of the module content challenging. As such, non-Neuroscience majors are encouraged to engage with the supplemental material listed on the KLE during the first few weeks of the semester, as well as to attend a special ¿crash course¿ seminar in basic Neuroscience.
In this module, students will take a very active role in their own learning. Students will work in small group under the close guidance of module tutors to help develop the lecture content and deliver the curriculum. This will include the preparation of supplemental reading lists and model exam questions for study and revision.

The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of human and animal behaviour in terms of nervous system function. An analysis of the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology and neuropharmacology of specific neural systems will be used to understand how the brain produces an array of complex behaviours.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe in detail the neurobiological mechanisms (e.g. chemical, cellular and molecular mechanisms) underlying behaviours including sleep, biological rhythms, sexual behaviour, homeostasis, attention, ageing and language: 1,2
discuss the neurobiological mechanisms that connect motivation to pleasure, pain and reward, and discuss the role of the amygdala in emotional processing including learnt fear: 1,2
compare and contrast stressors and stress responses, considering their beneficial/detrimental effects and its role in the psychopathology of behavioural disorders: 1,2
work as a member of a group, including the development and execution of ideas and delegation of key tasks: critically reflect on good practice in teaching at higher education and apply findings to develop appropriate teaching materials:

Study hours

- 4 x 1 hour staff-delivered lectures
- 12 x 1 hour student-delivered lectures
- 4 x 1 hr in situ tutorials to whole class
- 2 x 1 hr in situ small-group in situ tutorials
Group work towards group presentation
- 40 hours should be spent for group presentation
Active learning total = 62 hours
4 hours per lecture (x 15, excluding own presentation) should be spent on attending lectures, note-making from slides/videos and reading core material = 60 hours.
Private study
- 28 hours should be spent for critical reflection

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Group Project weighted 60%
Lecture development and delivery
Students will work in groups of 5 to 7 to produce one of the 12 lectures (max 45 min long), with lecture topics and group assignment chosen at random. Students will prepare the slides for their lecture and deliver a PowerPoint-based in situ presentation (worth 60%). In addition, students will compile detailed study notes and reading list (10%), five SAQ¿s with model answer (10%) and engage in Q&A's at the end of the presentation (20%). Skeleton PowerPoint presentation will be provided 4 weeks in advance, giving students a foundation for presentation content. Each group will have two rounds of 1h tutorial with the Module Tutors, where they will receive feedback and comments about their presentation (2 and 1 weeks prior to presentation). Module Tutors will assess the quality of each lecture, supplemental material, SAQ¿s provided and engagement with Q&A's, and an averaged group mark will be assigned. However, individual student marks can vary within the group as a result of feedback from anonymous peer review (maximum increase/decrease of 5%).

2: Reflective Analysis weighted 40%
Critical reflection of Behavioural Neuroscience Presentations
Students will be required to write a 1,000 word critical reflection based upon two student-led presentations i.e. approximately 500 words for each presentation. We recommend that students do not exceed this word limit as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity. It should include aspects of identification, questioning and assessment of presentation content and whether it is a) well-researched, b) up-to-date/cutting edge and c) well-linked to other/larger neuroscience themes or concepts. It is not sufficient to simply highlight areas that are lacking, but instead, provide the relevant details or research findings into the reflection. An in situ tutorial will provide further guidance on critical reflection writing skills. Students should not concentrate on style of delivery or individual performance, but content only. Students cannot choose to provide a critical reflection on their own presentation. Students will submit critical reflection as a Word document via a Turnitin link prior to deadline.