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

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 124

Lecture Hours: 19

Tutorial Hours: 7

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

  • Memory

  • Physiology of behaviour and motivation

  • Language and speech

  • Sex and the brain

  • Consciousness 

  • 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

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS2048

Programmes this module appears in

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

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 2020/1 academic year.