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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC2519 Behavioural Neuroscience

10 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Dr Pam Birtill

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of all pass for progression modules in Level 1 of: BSc Psychology or MPsyc, BSc Advanced Psychology or BA Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought (and its International and Industrial variants), or BSs Psychology with Education

This module is mutually exclusive with

PSYC3419Joint Honours: Behavioural Neuroscience

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This is an intermediate course on behavioural neuroscience of animal cognition, including illustrative experimental examples,. Specific topic areas will include brain mechanisms of learning and memory, drug addiction, social attachment, appetite, and fear.


This module aims to provide in depth coverage of key concepts in behavioural neuroscience.
The module will be taught by a team of experts in the subject.
Students will continue to develop their knowledge of this discipline with particular emphasis on the research expertise of the module team.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the course students should be able to:

1. understand the importance of animal models to advances in our knowledge of key areas such as learning and memory, motivation, and social behaviour.
2. critically evaluate the successes, limitations, and problems associated with the use of animal models.
3. evaluate key theories and findings related to learning and memory, motivation and addiction, social attachment, appetite, and fear and anxiety.
4. understand some of the ways in which our biology can interact with our environment to influence the way we behave

Skills outcomes
Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in the critical analysis of published behavioural neuroscience research and in literature researching.


- Animal models of learning and memory
- Animal models of motivation and addiction.
- Neurobiology of social attachment.
- Neurobiology of appetite
- Neurobiology of fear and anxiety.

In all cases, there will be an emphasis on brain & behaviour, with some reference to human behaviour. The contribution to understanding from other approaches/disciplines will be noted as appropriate including ethology, learning theory, neuroscience, physiology, molecular biology, and pharmacology.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning10.500.50
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Private study hours82.50
Total Contact hours17.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- 40 hours: 10 x 4 hours preparation for each lecture
- 10 hours: preparation for mid-module MCQ
- 29 hours: preparation for the end of semester exam
- 3.5 hours: preparation for tutorial

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The mid-module MCQ test will provide feedback to the student as to whether their preparation and understanding of the topic areas has been sufficient.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQ.0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)0.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The exam will consist of two parts. Essay questions (70% of module mark) and MCQs (30%)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 14/03/2022


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