Skip to main content

Unit information: Introduction to Neuroscience in 2021/22

Unit name Introduction to Neuroscience
Unit code PHPH10012
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Howarth
Open unit status Not open




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


The aim of the unit is to provide students with an introduction to neuroscience. The unit will give students a fundamental understanding of the structure and function of nerves and brains. The unit will begin with an overview of gross anatomy of the nervous system. The next sections will look at the sensory and motor systems and examine how the brain processes information related to sensory perception and voluntary movement, and how the brain coordinates responses to external stimuli. The development of the mammalian nervous system will also be covered.

The unit will end with lectures which will cover a historical perspective on some of the key findings and discoveries in Neuroscience and the current advances in the subject, to encourage and increase enthusiasm for Neuroscience.

The teaching in this unit will be complement first-year neurophysiology teaching provided in Physiology 1A and Physiology 1B units.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit students should have knowledge and understanding of:

1.1 Introduction to the cell biology of the neuron

1.2. Gross organisation of the nervous system - brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, cerebral spinal fluid

1.3. Ascending sensory pathways

1.4. Special senses

1.5. Descending motor pathways

1.6. Development of the nervous system

1.7. Selected discoveries in neuroscience

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

2.1. Figure legend writing

2.2. Effective listening and note taking

2.3. Problem solving

2.4. Basic IT skills

2.5. Familiarity with Neuroanatomy

2.6. Practical and data analysis skills

2.7. Group work

2.8. Time management

Teaching details

  • Lectures
  • Large group tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Practical sessions including human anatomy
  • e-learning, including eBiolabs and online teaching materials

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed through a combination of formative work undertaken throughout the unit and summative assessment at the end of the unit. The assessed ILOs are indicated in brackets.

Formative work:

  • Neuroanatomy spot questions (1.2, 2.2, 2.5. 2.7)
  • Tutorial tasks (1.1-1.7, 2.3, 2.4, 2.7, 2.8)

Summative assessment:

Coursework (30%)

  • Figure legend writing task (2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.8)
  • Neuroanatomy Spot assessment (1.2, 2.2, 2.5)
  • eBiolabs assessments (1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5)

Timed assessment (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. PHPH10012).