Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Brain and Behaviour
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 x 1 hour lecture for 11 weeks (22 x 1 hour lectures in total)
Seminars / Tutorials 4 x 90 minutes workshops (one during the last week of semester for presentation)
Workload Breakdown (Every 10 credits carries a notional student workload of 100 hours.) Workshops: 6 hours Independent learning 172 hours Lectures: 22 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x group poster presentation  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 hour exam  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   2 hour exam  If students fail the module overall, any failed component must be re-sat or determined as the Examination Board sees fit.  70%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x group poster presentation  30%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Demonstrate knowledge of research methods used in biopsychology.

2. Identify relationship between structure and function at a gross and minute level.

3. Evaluate what brain damage can tell us about typical and atypical behaviour.

4. Demonstrate understanding of psychopharmacological processes and their role in typical and atypical behaviour.

5. Identify how emotions are regulated at a biological level.

6. Demonstrate understanding of psychological disorders, their symptoms and biological basis.

7. Identify the role of associative learning in atypical and typical behaviour.


Psychology seeks to understand and explain human behaviour from various perspectives; the physicality of human behaviour is central to any examination of human psychology. Knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the brain, nervous and other bodily systems is necessary to appreciate complex phenomena such as mental illness, motivated behaviour and emotion. Knowledge of basic core information of structure and will be complemented by theoretical accounts of the phenomenon under scrutiny.

Brief description

The aim of this module is to explore the relationship between the nervous system, in particular the brain, and behaviour, alongside factors that underpin the acquisition and maintenance of typical and atypical behaviours.


Indicative content is as follows:

Research Methods in biopsychology
Neuroanatomy Interactive session (Neuroanatomy and surgery dvd, origami brains)
Cellular Building Blocks
Membranes and potentials
Intercellular communication
Psychopharmacology and neurotransmitter systems
Interactive session (bio workbook, formative phase test)
Motivational systems and drug addiction
What is emotion?
Emotion 2
Sexual differentiation and gender
Sexual behaviour
Interactive session (bio workbook)
Schizophrenia AD/HD
Ethics of animal research
Interactive session and bio third year projects

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Interpretation of previous empirical findings will involve understanding of statistical approaches, however this is embedded rather than explicit, and so shall be assessed indirectly via other learning outcomes. Students' understanding of basic statistical outcomes will be assessed directly through the laboratory worksheet.
Communication Laboratory worksheet (written communication: assessed), Poster (visual medium assessed); Presentation (oral communication: compulsory, but not assessed: formative feedback given): thus various modes of academic communication will be embedded in the module.
Improving own Learning and Performance Review and monitor progress, revising action as appropriate to improve overall performance. Module aims to promote self management, facilitated by tutor and peers. Students will need to take responsibility for own learning by conducting independent and collaborative desk-based research in order to answer the worksheet and produce the poster.
Information Technology Assessed coursework will require use of multiple IT packages such as Word, Publisher and/or PowerPoint, alongside psychological research databases. However, this will not be assessed directly.
Personal Development and Career planning The laboratory worksheet is intended to simulate an early research career situation: e.g., the premise that as a new RA it is the task to look at some existing data, identify and investigate the methods used, interpret appropriately and draw some conclusions. This is to give some indication to students what kind of work and responsibilities may be involved in a junior RA position.
Problem solving The assessments will entail adoption of a differing points of view, the ability to reason logically, apply theoretical models and so on in order to arrive at solutions to the problems set.
Research skills Both the Lab worksheet and poster will use knowledge from a range of disciplines in Biopsychology. This will require desk-based research skills and understanding of specific research methods.
Subject Specific Skills * Evaluation of biological research methods * Literature searching in the biopsychological domain * Appreciation of complex interactions and biological influences on behaviour * Critical understanding of ethics of animal research
Team work The poster presentation is intended to be a group project and thus teamwork will be necessary. However, this will not be assessed directly.

Reading List

General Text
(2008.) Behavioral genetics /Robert Plomin ... [et al.]. 5th ed. Worth Publishers Primo search (2007.) The human brain and its disorders /edited by Doug Richards, Tom Clark, and Carl Clarke. Oxford University Press Primo search Kolb, Bryan (c2009.) Fundamentals of human neuropsychology /Bryan Kolb and Ian Q. Whishaw. 6th ed. Worth Publishers Primo search
Essential Reading
Carlson, N.R. (2007) Physiology of Behaviour 9th Boston, MA: Pearson International Education Primo search Martin, G. Neil. (2006.) Human neuropsychology /G. Neil Martin. 2nd ed. Pearson/Prentice Hall Primo search Rutter, Michael (2007) Genes and behavior :nature -- nurture interplay explained /Michael Rutter. Blackwell Pub. Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5