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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC2555 Neuroscience

20 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Richard Harris

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

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 BSc Psychology with Education.

This module is mutually exclusive with

PSYC2518Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC2519Behavioural Neuroscience
PSYC3418Joint Honours/Intercalated Programme: Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC3419Joint Honours: Behavioural Neuroscience

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Brain functioning underlies human and animal behaviour, and so is critical to our understanding of psychological phenomena. Psychology as a discipline has the potential to deliver considerable benefits to society in general, and to certain stakeholders in particular. This module explores how neuroscientific knowledge and theory can be used to inform effective experimental work addressing real-world problems. It also considers the challenges facing Neuroscience and critically draws upon contemporary issues in experimental/research development and implementation science. In addition, given that this module is delivered in the form of Problem-based Learning, it offers students a unique learning context that allows them to develop valuable research-specific and transferable skills. This module will provide a mid-level to advanced critical knowledge of the field of behavioural neuroscience of animal cognition, and human cognitive and affective neuroscience.


On completion of this module, students should be able to provide in depth coverage of key concepts in Neuroscience, especially ‘Behavioural Neuroscience’ and 'Cognitive 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
Students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding on how several cognitive, affective, motivational, learning and social behaviour processes are underpinned by neurobiological processes in the human brain and/or animal models
2. Identify and appropriately deploy neuroscientific and neuropsychological theory and empirical research to address real-world problems
3. Formulate, present and justify suggestions/recommendations for research development to gain funding within the field of neuroscience
4. Explain and critically discuss the issues pertinent to the application of neuroscientific and neuropsychological theory and the evidence to the suggested research suggestions/recommendations
5. Critically evaluate the research methods used in behavioural neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience
6. Develop communication and team working skills, and critically reflect on the development of these and other transferable skills

In this module, students will develop an understanding of how to translate neuroscientific theory and evidence into research suggestions/recommendations and the prominent issues facing neuroscientists in doing this. It will give students a unique opportunity to work on real-world issues (aiming to gain funding from stakeholders) and to draw widely from their own developing psychological knowledge to respond to these. Notably, this module offers a novel learning configuration (problem-based Learning) that will support a range of learning styles and which will facilitate the development of valuable skills. The critical understanding of the neuroscientific theory and evidence and its application to real-world issues will also be critical to prepare students for Level 3 modules from the Biological and Cognitive range of options, as well as for the Level 3 Project proposal (i.e. reviewing the literature, identifying appropriate methods and statistics for their research questions etc.).

Skills outcomes
Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in the critical analysis of published behavioural and cognitive neuroscience research.
This module supports the development of:
- analytic and creative thinking
- information retrieval, synthesis and evaluation
- evidence-based reasoning
- group working skills
- leadership, negotiation and communication
- time management
- concise writing


1. Historical and epistemological foundations of behavioural and cognitive neuroscience
2. Methods in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience
3. Fundamentals of Behavioural Neuroscience and the neuroscientific bases of domains among the following: Learning and Memory, Motivation and Addiction, Social attachment, Appetite, Fear and Anxiety.
4. Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience and the neuroscientific bases of domains among the following: Long-term memory, Working memory, Executive function, Aging, Language, Lateralization in the brain, Motivation, Emotion and appetite.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning31.003.00
Drop-in Session21.002.00
Group learning61.509.00
Independent online learning hours3.00
Private study hours172.50
Total Contact hours24.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study:
Final assessment (Critical Evaluation): 60 hours
Group assignment (Funding Proposal): 70 hours
Formative MCQs: 2 hours
Formative peer review: 2 hours
Independent reading: 41.5 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be formative MCQs throughout the semester to support students understanding and knowledge. These will allow students to gauge their understanding, and will provide formative support for the Critical Evaluation, group tasks, and the Funding Proposal.
One peer review session will provide formative feedback. This will be a interactive and reflective piece, which will help students to prepare for the Funding Proposal. This will ask one group to pair with another group (that has selected another topic) and review their approach to the Funding Proposal, and their understanding of the topic. This formative piece will help them to gain a better understanding on other topics and prepare for the Critical Evaluation, and gain feedback for their ongoing group work to prepare for the Funding Proposal.
Students will be also be provided with feedback in the group-based teaching sessions. Group-based teaching sessions will be an opportunity for students to work on their group assignments and so staff members can provide formative feedback during these sessions. Students will also work on tasks during the group teaching sessions, staff will be able to provide students with feedback during these sessions which will help students to clarify their understanding of the module content. This will be helpful for the completion of their Funding Proposal and Critical Evaluation.
Students will also be asked to reflect on what they learned about group work, and how they function in groups, at the end of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectFunding Proposal (2000 words)30.00
Group DiscussionEvaluation of how much each member of a group contributed to the group work according to their peers in the group10.00
Assignment1500-2100 words (500-700 words max for each of 3 topics that were covered in the module but not included in the Funding Proposal)60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

All summative assessment components (Funding Proposal, Critical Evaluation, and Peer Evaluation) must be completed. To pass the module, students need to attain over 40% in both the Critical Evaluation and the Funding Proposal.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/01/2023


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