Skip to main content

Unit information: Brain and Behaviour in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

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 Brain and Behaviour
Unit code PHPH30016
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Apps
Open unit status Not open




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


Students will study advanced topics in the neural basis of behaviour through a series of seminars. Examples of the topics covered include: the functional organisation of the cerebellum; the neural basis of cognition; the neural basis of social behaviour. The unit aims to develop an understanding of key concepts in behavioural neuroscience including:

  • The range of techniques used to study the function of different brain structures involved in complex behaviour
  • The role of the cerebellum in sensorimotor integration
  • The role of interactions between limbic and cortical areas in learning, memory and decision making, and its dysfunction in psychiatric disorders.
  • The role of neuromodulatory amines and neuropeptides in social behaviour

Intended learning outcomes

  • An in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of selected aspects of behavioural neuroscience, with an ability to keep up-to-date with recent developments in the field.
  • The ability to gather information from the primary scientific literature and to critically evaluate the material and appraise competing theories.
  • An understanding of the way in which neural systems can be modified by experience.

Teaching details


Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed through a 3-hour summative examination in May/June, which contributes 90% of the unit mark and consists of two sections. In Section A (50%), students will be expected to answer one essay question from a choice of 3, which will assess their knowledge and critical understanding of the field, and their ability to gather information from the primary scientific literature. In Section B (50%), students will be expected to answer one multi-part compulsory question assessing data handling/data interpretation and experimental design skills. The remaining 10% of the unit mark will come from completing coursework. The coursework will be either an essay, data interpretation or experimental design question of a similar format to that used in the summative exam.

Reading and References

Reviews and key references from the current scientific literature