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The University of Southampton

BIOL3020 Systems Neuroscience

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to expose students to research level studies in a number of areas related to the function of the nervous system, necessary to understand the pathophysiology of neurological conditions. The course will describe CNS development, and the structure and functions of neural cell populations. Following this, research into the mechanisms underlying learning & memory will be discussed, as will analyses of neural circuits controlling behaviour.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Outline the overall development and mature structure of the CNS.
  • Describe the structural and functional properties of the different neural cell types and their interactions and dependencies, including different classes of neurones, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia
  • Describe the organisation and function of neural circuits underlying defined behaviours
  • Describe the processes underlying non-visual light perception and circadian control of behaviour.
  • Describe the molecular mechanisms underlying long term changes in synaptic function in learning and memory in mammals and other organisms


• Nervous system development • Structure and function of neural cell populations • Learning and memory • Neural Control circuits • Non-visual light perception and circadian rhythms

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Principally via lectures, supported by informal discussions with lecturers and study of selected reference materials

Independent Study126
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

BIOL2010 or BIOL2011 or MEDI2046

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