The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read MBiol, BSc Neuroscience in the course catalogue.
Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.
You will be introduced to a range of topics that will begin to develop your key skills and understanding of neuroscience, equipping you with a broad knowledge across the biomedical sciences. Topics will include essential anatomy & physiology of human systems, biochemistry of the cell, microbiology, pharmacology, and neuroscience. This is delivered in a structured and facilitated way to support your learning.
You’ll also develop the fundamental practical laboratory skills and techniques that will underpin the rest of your studies. These essential academic and professional skills will help you progress successfully through the course and into further study or employment.
There is the opportunity in year 1 to take optional modules to tailor your neuroscience degree programme to the areas you’re most interested in, across the biosciences and beyond.
At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure may offer you the opportunity to transfer onto other suitable, related degree courses within the School of Biomedical Sciences, subject to academic performance and availability.
Team Based Solutions for Local Challenges in Human Sciences (20 credits) - You’ll be provided with the opportunity to address a current human health-related challenge in a facilitated team-based environment. You will develop the core skills necessary to tackle challenges which may cover topics such as the prevention and treatment of disease or healthy ageing, aligned to your programme whilst working in interdisciplinary groups. Challenges tackled and skills gained will compliment taught content in other first-year modules.
Practical Application of Clinical, Laboratory and Field Skills for Human Sciences (20 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the cornerstone skills and capabilities that are essential for scientific research in the field of Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology. This module includes hands-on practical application of these skills and will include those applied in a clinical setting, in a laboratory and out in the field, as well as skills that support such activities for example research design, hypothesis testing, scientific writing and data analysis.
Structure and Function of Human Body Systems (20 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the core concepts underpinning structure and function of human body systems, with an emphasis on how systems are structured, operate and interact. You will also discover how the environment, exercise and disease can disturb these core systems, and the underpinning physiology.
The Basis of Life (20 credits) - You’ll learn about the fundamental processes of life, identifying the key concepts that underpin the biological processes in all living organisms, from bacteria to mammals. On completion of the module, you will have a comprehensive grounding in the molecular basis of life from the atomic scale up to cells.
Biology of the Mind (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the foundational neuroscience concepts of structure and function, and how systems level function emerges. These concepts will be explained using examples drawn from across the human nervous system in health and disease, and from the experimental approaches used in neuroscience research.
Introduction to Pharmacology (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the foundational concepts underpinning pharmacology: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical pharmacology, and drug discovery and development. Learning concepts will be covered using cutting-edge examples drawn from different pharmacotherapeutic approaches, disease states and pathophysiology.
20 credits from the following, at least one module from basket 1
Introduction to Immunology (10 credits) - You’ll review fundamental immune mechanisms with a particular emphasis on human immunology and its relationship to health and disease. You will discover how we protect ourselves from infection through our immune defences, and learn about the role of different types of leukocytes and antibodies and complement in our immune defences.
The Microbial World (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to a wide range of microscopic life forms and viruses, giving you a sound introduction to Microbiology and exploring the diversity of microbial life with emphasis on how we interact with microbes that are responsible for infections as well as those that do not normally cause disease. You will learn how microorganisms interact with each other and how they influence the lives of more complex organisms, for good or ill and will learn how fungi, bacteria and viruses are observed and manipulated safely.
Introduction to Genetics (10 credits) - You’ll be provided with essential foundational knowledge in genetics, exploring the different meanings of ‘genetics’ and how this concept has changed over time. More importantly, you will explore what genetics means for us as organisms. To what extent do genes determine our inheritance? And how do our genes make us the distinct and unique organisms we are?
If only one module is selected from basket 1, choose an optional module from basket 2
Psychology for Healthy Minds (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to contemporary approaches to therapeutic intervention with people experiencing mental health difficulties. We will explore: the ways in which each approach formulates the origin and maintenance of mental health difficulties; the psychological theory / framework which underpins the various approaches; and how this is deployed in practice. The module will illustrate the variety of ways of constructing and understanding human experience and how this translates into different therapeutic approaches.
Elements of Human Nutrition (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to the underpinning physiological processes that govern health such as nutrient function and metabolism, dietary intakes and food sources, deficiency diseases and nutritional requirements. You’ll too look apply nutritional recommendations within the context of health and special populations.
Forensic Psychology (10 credits) - This module considers the contribution of psychology at all levels of the criminal justice system and provides you with an overview of how psychology has been used to inform practical problems arising in the criminal justice system, including: witness memory; eyewitness testimony; how memories can be susceptible to distortion; the issues associated with eliciting information from both willing and unwilling suspects; and how psychologists work with offenders in prison settings.
Discovery Module (10 credits) - As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you may be able to choose something different to your main subject as a Discovery Module.
You will gain a more detailed exposure to the systems, processes and functions of the body. Core and optional modules will build upon and apply your knowledge from the molecular neuroscience level up to the whole brain. In year 2, there is more choice in the topics you may choose allowing you to tailor your degree.
Modules are taught in an integrated way that brings together normal structure and function with changes in disease and treatment. Advanced neuroscience concept units include aspects of neurobiology, neuropharmacology and molecular neuroscience.
In year 2 the modules are taught via facilitated and independent learning. You’ll have a range of optional modules to select from, including human diseases, bioinformatics, or chemotherapy, and develop your understanding of research methods and experimental skills. You will further develop your personal and professional skills including critical thinking, creative problem solving, team-working, and critical reasoning skills.
At the end of Year 2 you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.
Practical Research Skills in Neuroscience (20 credits) – You’ll develop more complex practical skills to address research questions. You will participate in practical activities and mini-projects, using key experimental approaches and methods used in neuroscience. This allows you to develop key research skills including experimental design, and appropriate statistical and mathematical methods or approaches for analysing biomedical data and information.
Team Based Solutions for Global Challenges in Human Sciences (20 credits) – In line with key UN sustainability goals (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | Sustainability (leeds.ac.uk)), students will build their skills in knowledge application, analysis, and scientific data presentation. You’ll work as a team to research and create neuroscience solutions to a global grand challenge or UN SDG. You will develop and practice key academic and professional skills including the critical analysis of research papers, verbal, written and graphical communication, team-working, planning and organisation, and negotiation.
Advanced Neuroscience Concept Units I (20 credits) – You’ll build subject specialist knowledge by choosing concept units that most interest you. This module builds on Year 1 and prepares you for Specialist Topic units in Year 3. Units may include advanced concepts in cellular and molecular neuroscience, or the central neural control of physiological processes and function.
Advanced Neuroscience Concept Units II (20 credits) – This module builds on first year and prepares students for Specialist Topic units in Year 3. Units may include the neuropharmacological basis of disease, or regenerative medicine.
In the integrated Masters programme the focus of year 3 is to extend your understanding of key topics in the biomedical sciences right up to the very forefront of what is current in research. Using your knowledge gained during Levels 1 and 2 and your critical thinking and analytical skills, you will learn to interpret advanced research data, critically evaluate theories and make decisions about how to test new ideas.
Our integrated Masters MBiol programme shares the same year 1 and 2 studying with our BSc programme, providing a broad foundation knowledge and skills. In year 3, the theory and skills modules are the same as for the BSc programme. However, the Capstone Research Project is replaced by a critical review project and experimental proposal and plan, linked to and to prepare you for your extended research project in year 4.
Specialised Topics in Neuroscience I (20 credits) – You’ll have the opportunity to build your knowledge of research in specific topic areas led by active researchers in the field of study. It will introduce you to a range of research topics in the field of neuroscience, and the broader biomedical sciences, and develop your ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information. Topics covered will reflect current research interests of the School, and may include autism or Alzheimer’s disease.
Specialised Topics in Neuroscience II (20 credits) – You’ll further build your knowledge of research specific topic areas led by active researchers in the field of study. You’ll be introduced to a range of research topics in the broad field of biomedical sciences and develop your ability to collate, critically analyse, and describe scientific information. Topics covered will reflect current research interests of the School, and may include, for example, neuroplasticity or neuronal ion channels in health and disease.
Advanced Skills (20 credits) – You’ll attend a series of compulsory and optional units designed to provide scaffolding and support for your capstone research experience. This will develop and utilise your research, employability and 4th Industrial Revolution skills required both for their capstone project and for the workplace. You’ll select the units which develop key skills and attributes required for your individual capstone project and/or future employment. The assignments for this module provide further scaffolding and support for the creation of your extended research project.
Your extended research project or appropriate work-based practice (a project taken in the work place), will focus on an original, cutting-edge research topic specific to your area of interest. This will equip you with the skills necessary for a career in research, in addition to ensuring you stand out in the job market. These projects are linked to research programmes of academics in our School, thereby allowing students to actively contribute to current research outcomes and discoveries.
Examples of previous research projects include:
- Microglial conditioned media as a model of neuro-inflammation.
- Co-administration of two compounds modulates neurogenesis within the spinal cord.
- Inhibition in the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb and its modification by learning.
Advanced Research Topics (30 credits) – You’ll develop the research skills to support your laboratory or other research or enquiry-based activities that you will undertake as part of your extended research project and to prepare for a career in a research environment. You’ll develop skills to critically analyse published research. It will also expose you to current research trends in neuroscience, and to leading researchers in the field.
Extended Research Project (90 credits) – You’ll choose an independent project of interest, which will be mentored by one of the world leading academics in their field, conducting an individual extended research or enquiry-based project. This will also incorporate experience of working as part of a team in a research environment and interacting with research scientists.
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Our teaching is delivered through a combination of large and small group workshops and practicals. We take a student-centred approach to learning and so our teaching is designed to enable student engagement through active learning approaches that include creative problem-solving, team-work activities and mini-projects. In this way, you are able to apply the theoretical knowledge learnt to practical, real-life contexts. We put a high value on practical teaching and so a core part of your teaching will focus on developing hands-on practical and associated research skills.
Independent study is an important part of University learning and you will be expected to undertake private study. We will support you in becoming independent learners through our teaching approaches and through regular meetings with your personal tutor who is there to advise you academically.
We use a range of digital tools to enhance your learning. Through our Minerva learning management system, you will be able to access our extensive library of online materials, some of it designed specifically to support preparation prior to attending classroom sessions and discuss content with peers and teachers. In the classroom, educators use a variety of interactive digital tools to help you learn through discussion and debate. Laboratory practicals are accompanied by detailed online preparation guides and use of electronic laboratory notebooks to ensure you get the most out of your time and develop workplace skills.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.