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The University of Southampton

PSYC1017 Behavioural Neuroscience

Module Overview

The module aims to develop the themes introduced in the Introduction to Psychology Module in semester 1. The module integrates the approaches and findings of biological psychology in an attempt to understand the biological factors that explain why people behave as they do. The module will examine how innate biological mechanisms control our desires. For example how our early requirements for energy, as our bodies develop, will control our taste for sweet food and how that desire for sweetness declines as we age. We then apply those principles to understand why the system breaks down and might lead to conditions such as Obesity One of the pre-requisites for PSYC2025 and PSYC3048.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the structure of the Brain and Central Nervous System
  • evaluate theories regarding the biological control of behaviours such as sleep
  • describe experiments in the research area and evaluate how well the research has tested the theories studied in class
  • discuss the changes in the brain associated with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and explain why treatments may be effective
  • illustrate independent learning by reading material beyond the lecture


The course is divided into 3 sections: Structure, Function and Application. The Structure component of the course will examine the structure of the nervous system and the genetic basis of behaviour. The Function lectures will examine motivated behaviour such as sexual behaviour and ingestive behaviour. Finally, applied aspects are discussed with reference to addiction and psychiatric disorders.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The class will include 22 lectures and 5 tutorials. You will be expected to read the unit text, some additional readings and, where relevant, to make use of the internet resources for seeking further information.

Independent Study123
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Foundations of Behavioural Neuroscience. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 27.5%
Essay  ( words) 70%
Research Participation 2.5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PSYC1016

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