Module code: BMS2048

Module Overview

To obtain basic but broad knowledge of the structure and function of the nervous system.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

SEIBT Julie (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: B140

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS1032 Introduction to Principles of Physiology and Practical Skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to the module: concepts and terminology

Structure of the nervous system

Monitoring the working brain

Animal models to study the brain

Manipulating the working brain

Building blocks of the nervous system: neurones and glia

Wiring the brain: creating and connecting neurons

Neuronal communication: membrane potential and action potential

Neuronal communication: synaptic transmission

Sensory receptor mechanisms

Central processing of sensory information

Comparative aspects of sensory systems


Physiology of behaviour and motivation

Language and speech

Sex and the brain


Losing connections: ageing and neurodegeneration

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework One essay on a specific research question in Neuroscience 30
Examination 50 MCQs (50%) and 2 short essays out of 5 questions (50%) (2 hours) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Knowledge and understanding of Neuroscience and ability to synthesize knowledge
Ability to discuss and criticise neuroscience research work and data


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

One summary (1,000-1,500 words, 30%)
50 MCQs (part of 2 hour exam, 37.5% in total)
2 short essays (part of 2 hour exam, 37.5% in total)


Formative assessment and feedback

Answers to sample MCQs and essay questions are assessed formatively in tutorials as verbal feedbacks.

Coursework (essay) is marked within three weeks of submission and returned to students with detailed comments for feedback. In addition, an additional feedback session is also organised for questions and answers.

Module aims

  • To introduce the structure and function of the nervous system
  • To provide an understanding of biochemical processes in the brain as a basis for normal functioning of the nervous system
  • To develop knowledge about sensory processing and cognitive brain functions

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a basic understanding of important concepts in Neuroscience. Show knowledge of neuronal communication, neural bases of special senses, and higher brain functions. KC
002 Develop skills in essay writing and critical thinking. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 124

Lecture Hours: 19

Tutorial Hours: 7

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop subject specific knowledge

Provide formative feedback, class discussion and summative examinations

The learning and teaching methods include:

18 Lectures (19 hours)
4 tutorials for formative assessments and class discussions (7 hours)
1 piece of coursework (essay on a research question in Neuroscience)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.