BSc Neuroscience / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Neuroscience RSM

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL20922
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This Research Skills Module is designed to develop your experimental design, report writing, and practical skills. You will develop a range of skills relevant to Neuroscience and/or Cognitive Neuroscience research including electrophysiological, biochemical, and histological methods. You will work with cells, human subjects and interactive computer simulations.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience BIOL10832 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Sensory Systems BIOL21341 Co-Requisite Compulsory
Motor Systems BIOL21332 Co-Requisite Compulsory
BIOL20922 Pre & Co-requisites are BIOL10832, BIOL21332 & BIOL21341


To provide practical experience of a range of techniques and data analytical procedures relevant to current neuroscience and/or cognitive neuroscience research. The techniques will mainly be drawn from the disciplines of anatomy, pharmacology and physiology. Students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of biological preparations, from cells to whole humans, and with interactive computer simulations.

Learning outcomes

To be proficient in the use of a range of technical skills, including the application of selected electrophysiological, psychophysical, biochemical and histological methods, and to possess the abilities to find and understand information, to analyse complex data sets and to write scientific reports.


Core practicals for Neuroscience and CogNeuro:

  • Human visual function - the Electroretinogram
  • Operant conditioning - Virtual rat (Sniffy) behaviour 
  • Motor function – the electromyogram
  • Human visual function - the Visually Evoked Potential 
  • Sheep brain dissection
  • Human neuroanatomy
  • Neurophysiology computer simulations
  • Statistical analysis

Neuroscience-specific practicals:

  • Neuropeptide Pathways

CogNeuro-specific practicals:

  • Emotional arousal - galvanic skin response

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students undertake both experimental laboratory and data analyses.
Group/team working
Students work in small groups (3-4) when undertaking a range of laboratory experiments and associated data analyses.
Students are encouraged to design experiments to test specific hypotheses.
Different members of small groups are encouraged to take the leadership role for coordinating the running of various experiments.
Project management
Small groups of students collaborate in the design, running and analysis of a series of laboratory experiments, allocating different tasks amongst group members.
Oral communication
Students are encouraged to answer questions during experimental classes.
Problem solving
Students undertake assessments based on solving both numerical and conceptual problems.
The unit is based on students performing a series of laboratory research experiments to collect novel data that allow biological hypotheses to be tested.
Written communication
Students write a detailed report of a laboratory experiment and a series of short note answers to questions on each of 8 practical classes.
Computer and IT skills in running and analysing laboratory experiments.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Report 40%
Practical skills assessment 50%

5x Practicals with short-note questions 10% each, Practical with closed-book MCQ: 10%, Lab Report 40%

Feedback methods

Written comments on assessment exercises and lab reports and Feedback session with staff in lecture theatre.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 4
Practical classes & workshops 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 66

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicholas Glossop Unit coordinator

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