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The University of Southampton

BIOL6034 Systems Neuroscience

Module Overview

This module seeks 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; research into the mechanisms underlying learning & memory; and analyses of neural circuits controlling behaviour. Following this module, students will be expected to be able to integrate their understanding of cellular properties into coherent concepts of system level functions and be able to evaluate examples of current research in this field.

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 the circadian rhythm of CNS activity;
  • Describe the molecular mechanisms underlying long term changes in synaptic function in learning and memory in mammals and other organisms;
  • Discuss the implications of a sample of current research in this field for our understanding of nervous system function.


• Nervous system development • Structure and function of neural cell populations • Learning and memory • Neural Control circuits • Circadian rhythms

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal lectures, research paper seminars and independent study of selected reference materials

Independent Study122
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review with presentation  (2000 words) 35%
Written exam  (2 hours) 65%


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review with presentation 35%
Written exam  (2 hours) 65%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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