The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL6067 Advanced Neuroscience

Module Overview

This module will provide Master’s year (level7) Neuroscience students a course based around UoS expertise in Neuroscience. This will be a research led education in which core concepts and techniques developed at levels 4-6 are iterated to an advanced level through 8 workpackages. These work packages will be led by individual (or groups of) academics around a generic structure encompassing pre-contact preparatory work, face to face contact in workshops, post contact assessment exercise followed by a final feedback session. Within each work package the students will be provided with detailed information about an area of research and the techniques involved. Where possible the students will be given the opportunity to directly observe experimentation and undertake exercise designed to train them in appropriate analysis/modelling and data presentation. These assessments will build and use aspects of the workshop and post contact set-tasks to develop skills required to extract and critically think about data and verbally and textually discuss with advanced precision. Wider concepts as presented in publication formats including primary papers, reviews, and wider policy documents will be used as an important route to develop advanced understanding. There will be an assessment for each work package (10% of module mark) and these associated in-course assessments will be supplemented by a final exam (20% of module mark) designed to test wider comprehension of advanced neuroscience. This will take the form of a 3 hour exam in which the students will be asked to generate a 500 word summary capsule based on their comprehension of a research paper provided at the exam session. This capsule should report on the works Background, Results, Conclusion and Significance, and include a summarising diagram. The course will develop the student’s ability to understand neuroscience methodologies and synthesize material at an advanced level, consistent with a student studying at level 7.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about current neuroscience research areas, experimental techniques and data analysis/modelling via interaction with active researchers spanning investigation of brain science across levels of biological organization. In addition the wider societal significance of neuroscience will be addressed.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognize the range of current concepts and research methodologies that underpin understanding of brain function and dysfunction.
  • Critically assess experimental data across levels of biological organization and how it informs understanding of neuroscience.
  • Independently undertake a range of analytical approaches for experimental data and recognize how they can be used to support integrative understanding of brain function.
  • Hypothesise appropriate combinations of experimental, analytical and modelling approaches to address neuroscience questions and recognize how these dovetail with the student’s own ongoing experimental investigation that take the form of a long-laboratory project that is a cornerstone of the course this module will support.
  • Develop an understanding of how the research environment advances understanding of neuroscience and supports wider societal benefit.

Syllabus

The module will consist of multiple ‘work packages’, each led by neuroscience research scientists. Within each package the lead researcher(s) will explain the context of their research speciality and the concepts underlying the research methodologies employed and their analyses. The students will gain practical knowledge of how research data can be obtained, analysed and modelled to extend knowledge of neuroscience.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will consist of multiple ‘work packages’, each led by a neuroscience research scientist. Within each work package the students will be provided with detailed information about an area of research and the techniques involved in an interactive seminar format. Where possible the students will be given the opportunity to observe experimentation. In a workshop format, students will be guided through the relevant processes of data analysis and tasked to undertake appropriate analysis of sample data and to prepare a report putting the information into context. Finally students with be trained to advance level in which their comprehension of neuroscience is tested against their ability to report against content in a scientific paper.

TypeHours
Follow-up work30
Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Seminar30
Tutorial10
Completion of assessment task50
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Module Resources. Data analysis and modelling programmes (where possible, existing ISS provision or freeware). Computer access (where possible students own systems, or loan of ISS system). Articles in scientific journals.

Assessment

Formative

Paper comprehension

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 80%
Paper comprehension 20%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework %
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