BMS5004 - Advanced neuroscience - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Prof Ramesh Rajan

Dr James Coxon

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit will aim to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the fundamental organisation and functional principles of the brain. Current and emerging concepts relating to brain neural systems and complex behaviours will be highlighted to provide a contextual basis for discussion of the range of approaches and methods used by neuroscience researchers in studying normal and abnormal brain function and behaviour. Students will evaluate and review relevant research literature to further explore specific areas of neuroscience, from brain neural networks through to human and animal behaviour, and present this information in written forms, and via oral presentations and posters suitable for a conference presentation.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Compile and recount advanced knowledge of relationships between brain processes and behaviour;
  2. Apply problem solving and decision-making methodologies to discuss and analyse contemporary research and theoretical issues in key defined areas of neuroscience;
  3. Explain the pathological mechanisms involved in specific neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders;
  4. Review, analyse and communicate on a range of research tools and paradigms used in different domains of neuroscientific research;
  5. Source, integrate and critically evaluate literature to synthesise the review necessary for a prototype application to study a particular problem;
  6. Present, analyse and interpret data from a range of experiment types and discuss this in the context of current scientific literature.


  • Journal club presentations (5 x 45 minutes) (40%) (hurdle)
  • Experimental design task (1,500 words equivalent) (20%)
  • Data analysis task (1,500 words equivalent) (20%)
  • Essay (1,500 words) (20%)

Hurdle requirement: 100% attendance and pass in the journal club presentations.

Workload requirements

12 hours study per week distributed as:

On-campus: 6-8 hours of contact per week, including lectures, practicals/simulations and tutorial time.

Off-campus: 4-6 hours of private study time.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Background of study in biomedical, biotechnology, medical or allied health sciences is required for admission into the unit.