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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Neuroscience (Biomedical Sciences)

Undergraduate Course: General Neuroscience (NEBM10028)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers aspects of cognitive systems, cellular, molecular and clinical neuroscience with the aim of educating students in the breadth of the subject, and providing training and development in evidence-based critical reading and writing skills, data acquisition and analysis. The course will include critical reading of original research literature and analysis of experimental results in neuroscience. We also highlight current controversies and challenges for the 21st Century in Neuroscience, partly by asking teachers and experienced researchers to speak about their subject area then leading students through specific aspects of the topic. The aim is to encourage critical thinking and evaluation of evidence, crucial to the development of a neuroscientist. These skills are also of practical value in dealing with material on the Elective Courses and students' independent research towards their Dissertation.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Blocks 1-3 (Sem 1-2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 25, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 147 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 25% in course assessment (paper critique)
25% in course assessment (data analysis)
50% written exam
Feedback Formative:
Paper critique - students participate in Journal Clubs for which they are to discuss and critique journal papers every week over six weeks.
Data analysis - students are given a tutorial and practice data analysis task.

Paper critique/data analysis - feedback is provided within 15 working days of the submission deadlines
Degree exam - Feedback is available from the course organiser on request
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)General Neuroscience2:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Address major advances in Neuroscience over the past 200 years and how they were made
  2. Address major challenges to society which might be better informed by advances in Neuroscience
  3. Appreciation of the interdisciplinary, multi-level scope of Neuroscience
  4. Training in critical skills for evaluation of evidence in neuroscience research publications, including rigorous appraisal and evaluation of quantitative data, summarising research findings, following and constructing arguments, proposing specific future research
  5. Insight into the scientific and ethical challenges that confront neuroscience research in the 21st century; debating contentious issues
Reading List
The core textbook for the Programme is:

John G. Nicholls, A. Robert Martin, Paul A. Fuchs, David A. Brown, Mathew E. Diamond, and David A. Weisblat et al (2012) From Neuron to Brain. 5th edn. (Sinauer). ISBN-13: 978-0878936090

You should also read the following articles, one published more than 20 years ago but as relevant as any to contemporary neuroscience.

Churchland, P & Sejnowski, T. (1988) Perspectives on cognitive neuroscience. Science. 242:741-745 .
Lichtman, J.W. & Denk, W (2011) The Big and the Small: Challenges of Imaging the Brain's Circuits. Science 334: 618-623

The following popular science book is interesting ¿bed-time reading¿:
¿The Power Of Habit¿ by Charles Duhigg. 2012. Pub: William Heinemann ISBN-13: 978-0434020362
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Thomas Theil
Tel: (0131 6)50 3721
Course secretaryMs Caroline Morris
Tel: (0131 6)51 3255
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