Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Behavioural Neurobiology
Academic Year
Semester 1
External Examiners
  • Dr Martin Genner (Senior Lecturer - University of Bristol)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Miscellaneous 6 x 1 Hour Miscellaneous
Workshop 1 x 3 Hour Workshop
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 1 x 4 Hour Practical


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework 1.  20%
Semester Assessment Coursework 2.  20%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain adaptive animal behaviour based upon the neural mechanisms that underlie it.

2. Recognise key principles within behavioural mechanisms.

3. Critically evaluate research findings in neuroethology.

4. Discuss the tools and approaches that researchers use/have used to assess the neural basis of animal behaviour.

Brief description

Behavioural Neurobiology introduces a range of neural, and neuroendocrine, mechanisms that underpin animal behaviour. It draws examples from a broad range of animal taxa (both vertebrate and invertebrate) where mechanisms of behaviour are becoming well understood. Teaching focuses on an in depth analysis of example systems of particular interest.


To introduce students to the neural mechanisms that underlie animal behaviour, and the ways in which scientists can investigate these mechanisms.


Lectures will focus on a range of behavioural mechanisms that have become important models in neuroethological research. Examples will be drawn from a broad range of animal taxa, both invertebrate and vertebrate.
Lectures will consider the mechanisms behind a variety of simple animal behaviours, aiming to introduce students to the key principles underlying the production of behaviour. They will also consider the ways in which such mechanisms can be modified by internal and external factors to produce adaptive modifications in animal behaviour over a range of timescales.
Two practical sessions will allow students to conduct real or simulated neuroethological investigations, which may be written up in a variety of formats for assessment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number It is expected that students will conduct statistical analyses of data collected in practicals.
Communication Students will be produce reports on laboratory practicals which will require them to develop good skills in effective science communication. This will be assessed through laboratory practical reports.
Improving own Learning and Performance Not a significant component of assessment in this module. However, students will be provided with feedback on assessed exercises and, by attending to that, it is hoped that they will improve their skills.
Information Technology It is expected that students will word process reports, use spreadsheet programs to handle data and graph findings, and statistical programs to analyse data. The correct application of this technology will be assessed via practical reports.
Personal Development and Career planning Not a significant component of this module.
Problem solving Not a significant component of assessment in this module, although students will be required to problem solve during lectures and practicals.
Research skills Students will be required to engage with the peer-reviewed research literature and this will require effective use of scientific search engines, and critical reading and appraisal of scientific papers. Effective use of the peer-reviewed literature will be assessed via practical reports and examination.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Not a significant component of this module, although students may be required to work as a team during laboratory work.


This module is at CQFW Level 6