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The University of Southampton

BIOL6084 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 (75% of module mark) and these associated in-course assessments will be supplemented by a final exam (25% 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 short 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

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.


There will be 8 summative work packages, selected from the following: Synaptic Biochemistry Imaging neuronal cell biology Optogenetics Structural Neurobiology Proteomics: signalling networks Neuronal Modelling Neuroimmunology Human Neuropathology & Brain Banks Drug Discovery in 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.

Independent Study260
Total study time300



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 75%
Written assessment 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 75%
Written assessment 25%
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