PSY3320 - Sleep and circadian rhythms - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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 Psychological Sciences


Dr Shruti Mujumdar

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Sleep and circadian rhythms are fundamental for the maintenance of general health, performance and mood. This unit will give students an understanding of the neurobiological processes that control sleep and circadian rhythms, as well as the consequences of their dysfunction.

The unit will be comprised of lectures and in-person workshops. Each student will have the opportunity to attend 5 workshops over the course of the unit, with the final workshop focused on helping students complete their final assessment (attendance optional for the final workshop). The lectures will focus on both the functions of sleep and circadian rhythms and their neurobiological underpinnings in both health and disease states.

Topics that will be covered will include: sleep function and neurobiology, circadian function and neurobiology, impact of sleep and circadian dysfunction on mood and cognition, sleep and metabolism, sleep disorders, and sleep and circadian interventions for optimising health and safety.

At the end of the unit, students are expected to have an understanding of core concepts in the fields of sleep and circadian rhythms. This unit will provide students with a solid foundation in sleep and circadian rhythms research, a growing strength in Australia.


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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of sleep and circadian rhythms research and its importance for optimal general health, cognitive function, and mood.
  2. Explain the neurobiological control of both sleep and circadian rhythms.
  3. Describe and contrast the major sleep disorders, their measurement and impact on health.
  4. Apply practical and theoretical skills underlying several major methods for conducting sleep and circadian research.
  5. Communicate findings of sleep and circadian rhythms to others through the conference-style presentation of research results.


  • Examination (MCQ) (2 hours) (50%)
  • Poster (1,000 words) (25%)
  • Online quizzes (25%)

Workload requirements

One x 2 hour lectures each week.

For each week during the semester that students are not engaged in a workshop, students will be expected to independently complete the equivalent of 2 hours independent study that is linked to their workshop activities.

For each week during the semester, students will be expected to complete the equivalent of 2 hours preparation for each lecture, 2 hours preparation for each workshop and 4 hours of research work/independent study (total = 12 hours study).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


48 credit points.