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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

BSc (Hons) Neuroscience with Professional Training Year

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Neuroscience with Professional Training Year Programme codeUFS4EMSEMS02
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
St Luke's (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

The Neuroscience programme explores the neural basis of normal physiological processes and how these are altered by disease. The focus is on research-engaged teaching: we support you to develop the knowledge and skills needed to participate in contemporary neuroscience research. At the same time, we recognise that students might choose a career outside research. If so, we believe that a firm foundation in scientific knowledge and its methods can unlock opportunities for success across a wide range of occupations. 

To develop this skill-set, the first part of the course provides a wide-ranging insight in to how the human body normally works. Neuroscience forms part of this, but a fully sophisticated understanding of neural processes must also encompass an appreciation of the diverse biological processes with which they interact. We study these topics through small-group sessions, lectures and hands-on laboratory sessions. 

We build upon this foundation to study neuroscience itself in more detail. Content in the second year develops a detailed understanding of key neuroscientific principles and techniques, whilst giving you the flexibility to start identifying the areas of greatest personal interest. In the final year, you can choose modules that reflect these interests, working closely with leading researchers and, with your tutor’s support, tailoring their degree to match your specific career ambitions. 

A distinctive feature of the course is the opportunity for you to undertake extended periods of research. Many students undertake summer placements, and all students complete a specialised dissertation in their final year. Currently, about half of the students on the allied Medical Sciences programme also choose to spend an optional third year working in industry or in a university laboratory, either in the UK or abroad. This provides an exceptional opportunity to participate in real research, whilst at the same time enhancing employability and gaining the first-hand experience which is essential to making informed career decisions. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme has been designed to share our passion for Neuroscience through research-engaged teaching – and to prepare you for success within academia and further afield. Specifically, we offer: 

1. An up-to-date introduction to Neuroscience 

You explore how the structure and function of the human nervous system gives rise to behaviour - and disease. 

A hallmark of the course is that this understanding is developed in the context of other physiological systems: a sophisticated appreciation of neural processes must encompass a familiarity with the diverse biological processes with which they interact. 

Research in Neuroscience is advancing and expanding rapidly. The course is updated regularly and frequently to ensure it continues to provide the very latest information, alongside consistent coverage of well-established fundamentals. 

2. Training in the scientific method, and some of its contemporary implementations 

Experimental and quantitative methods underpin the utility of a scientific training – and make graduates attractive to a wide-range of employers. Our research-engaged teaching offers students the chance to develop these key skills through their practical application. 

3. A creative, collaborative, and international approach to problem-solving 

Creativity is essential if problem-solving is to be incisive and effective. We believe that genuine creativity comes from collaboration and engagement with the widest and most diverse global community. 

Our staff and students come from all over the world because they share this vision. 

4. Instruction in critical thinking

We train you to evaluate arguments, and to construct their own arguments with clarity and precision. This starts the moment you arrive, with small-group sessions led by academic staff; it culminates with you completing your own research as part of one of our well-regarded research teams. 

5. Guidance in communication 

Ideas must be communicated if they are to change the world around us. Our training in communication encompasses the diversity of emerging methods and techniques, and does so by building upon a secure command of the written word.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following information and tables outline the programme and its constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, withdrawn, or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site.

In addition to required compulsory modules, you may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows; you must not have already taken the module in question or its equivalent.

Stage 1


Stage 1 

120 credits of compulsory modules

The aim for the first year is to set the nervous system - the real focus of Neuroscience - in a broader biological context. We believe that this provides a genuinely secure foundation for future work.

The centre-piece of this Whole-human approach is the Integrated Human Physiology module, which explores topics such as respiration, metabolism and digestion, and the immune system. The relationship of these systems to the nervous system is emphasized throughout. Other compulsory modules, which have all been revised to introduce additional material of particular interest to those studying neuroscience, include: Medical Cell Biology, Chemistry of Life, and Introduction to Genetics.

In terms of specific Neuroscience content, the Introduction to Neuroscience module introduces key knowledge related to the form and function of nervous systems. It has a particular focus on how signals pass within and between nerve cells, but also considers how nervous systems develop, and the most important anatomical features of their mature form. The Methods in Neuroscience module provides you with the practical and theoretical grounding needed to begin to appreciate contemporary neuroscience research in context.

You will also be enrolled in the zero credit “Academic Support and Development” module (NEU1095) as a compulsory requirement. During this module you will receive regular academic support from a tutor and begin to develop a personal development portfolio. 

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
NEU1010 Methods in Neuroscience 30No
CSC1005 Integrated Human Physiology 30No
NEU1006 Introduction to Neuroscience 15No
NEU1007 Introduction to Genetics 15No
NEU1008 Medical Cell Biology 15No
NEU1009 Chemistry of Life 15No

Stage 2


Stage 2

90 credits of compulsory modules and 30 credits of optional modules

 

During the second year compulsory modules are dedicated to Neuroscience. Building on the solid foundation built in the first year, the Advance Methods in Neuroscience module enables you to take the next steps in developing your skills and knowledge to understand contemporary neuroscience research. The Neuropharmacology module explores the role of receptors by examining how drug-induced changes in signalling lead to changes in physiology and behaviour – with both beneficial and detrimental consequences for human health. A key part of this is exploring why some substances that were historically used as therapeutics are now used recreationally. Alongside this, the Neural Circuits module considers how the electro-chemical interconnections between cells, which are both extensive and intensive, hold a key to understanding the operation of nervous systems. This module examines in detail our current understanding of neural circuits, placing in a clear contemporary context many of the cell-types and basic principles which students encounter in the first year. Thus, they study how circuits become connected, can be studied, and may dysfunction in disease. 

Importantly, this stage of study also offers opportunities to complete modules additional optional Neuroscience or Medical Sciences modules according to your individual interests. 

You will also be enrolled in the zero credit “Academic Support and Development” module (NEU2095) as a compulsory requirement. During this module you will receive regular academic support from a tutor and continue to develop your personal development portfolio. 

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
NEU2001 Advanced Methods in Neuroscience 30No
NEU2018 Neural Circuits 15No
NEU2019 Neuropharmacology 15No

Optional Modules

Notes:

a) Students must choose at least two of, NEU2002 Brain and Behaviour, NEU2003 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience, NEU2004 Neuroanatomy

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
NEU2002 Brain and Behaviour (See note a)15No
NEU2003 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (See note a)15No
NEU2004 Neuroanatomy (See note a)15No
CSC2004 Medical Genetics 15No
CSC2005 Introduction to Pharmacology 15No
CSC2008 Immunopathology 15No
CSC2020 Coding for Medical Scientists 15No
CSC2025 Decolonising Medicine, An Introduction 15No
CSC2026 The Biology of Cancer 15No

Stage 3


Stage 3

The Professional Training Year (PTY) provides an opportunity to participate full-time in contemporary research, gaining first-hand experience of what research is really like – and genuinely enhancing your career prospects. In recent years, students in the longer-established Medical Sciences programme have completed placements in academia – within the UK and around the world – and in industry. Some of these placements are open to all UK undergraduates, whilst others draw on our professional networks or reflect students’ personal interests. Several students have published the research they complete during this period, and many have presented at national and international conferences.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
CSC3003 Professional Training Year 120Yes

Stage 4


Stage 4 

75 credits of compulsory modules and 45 credits of optional modules

The centre-piece of the final year is the Frontiers in Neuroscience module, which focuses on the neurobiology of nervous system disorders. Each of the disorders is presented by an expert in the field, giving students a chance to engage with the very latest research; speakers show first-hand how research has answered important questions about the operation of the nervous system, and ushered in new questions.

Alongside this, you can choose three additional Neuroscience or Medical Sciences modules – providing an excellent chance to explore the aspects of Neuroscience or related areas which interest you most. The content of the modules differs, but they are all centre on interactive and group teaching.

Examples available modules include:

Cognitive Neuroscience: Cognitive Neuroscience seeks to explain our mental lives by integrating observations made at a cellular level within overarching theoretical frameworks.  This module builds on the knowledge gained in the Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience module (NEU2003). You will explore the Cognitive Neuroscience of perception, attention and working memory, focussing on the visual system.  Common techniques used in this endeavour will be discussed including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), eye-tracking, psychophysics (binocular rivalry, dual-task paradigms), and psychophysiology (skin conductance). After building a firm foundation in cognitive neuroscience you will go on to consider visual disorders including neglect and hallucinations. 

Neuroendocrinology: The module examines how the brain and endocrine system coordinate to regulate physiology and behaviour. You will learn how the brain regulates hormone secretion and how, in turn, the action of these hormones in the brain regulates biological processes essential for life such as eating, drinking, reproduction and growth. You will also learn about how hormones influence related aspects of behaviour including stress, aggression, and parental nurturing.

Alongside all of this, you will complete your own independent research project. This immersive experience, which accounts for roughly one third of your time in the final year, is an important opportunity for you to make your own original contribution to our neuroscientific understanding of biological phenomena. Should you discover something, as many have before them, then we will help you to present their work at conferences and through publication.

You  will also be enrolled in the zero credit “Academic Support and Development” module (NEU3095) as a compulsory requirement. During this module you will receive regular academic support for a tutor and continue to develop your personal development portfolio. 

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
NEU3001 Neuroscience Research Project 45Yes
NEU3008 Frontiers in Neuroscience 30Yes

Optional Modules

Notes:

b) These modules can only be taken at stage 4 if they have not been taken at stage 2.

c) A maximum of 15 credits from NEU2XXX can be taken at stage 4.

d) A maximum of 15 credits can be taken from non-NEU modules at stage 4.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
NEU3003 Psychology Applied to Health 15No
NEU3023 Neuroendocrinology 15No
NEU3025 Cognitive Neuroscience 15No
NEU3030 Neuroimmunology 15No
NEU3028 Science Communication 15No
NEU3029 Pain, the Brain and Analgesia 15No
NEU2002 Brain and Behaviour (See notes b, c)15No
NEU2003 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (See notes b, c)15No
NEU2004 Neuroanatomy (See notes b, c)15No
CSC3009 Pharmacogenomics (See note d)15No
CSC3010 Rational Drug Design (See note d)15No
CSC3011 Medical Genomics (See note d)15No
CSC3031 Applied Data Science (See note d)15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Describe, with specific examples, some of the ways in which the structure and function of the human nervous system gives rise to behaviour - and disease.
2. Demonstrate competence in some of the techniques used in contemporary Neuroscience research, to the standard expected of a graduate-entry employee.
3. Critique recent and emerging priorities for research in Neuroscience
4. Defend their personal assessment of what has been the most important neuroscientific discovery of their lifetime.
5. Identify the question that Neuroscience research should prioritise answering within the next ten years.

May include: Lectures, Seminars, Small group sessions; practical laboratory classes; research placements; research project; independent study, personal tutor feedback.

ILOs 1-5 will be tested through formative and summative assessments within core and optional modules. Methods include 1) examinations, which may include multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, or essays; 2) course-work, which may include laboratory reports, reviews, dissertation reports, oral and poster presentations or supervisor judgements.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. Appreciate the principles and importance of ethics and rigour in research and scholarship.
7. Recognise the role of research in enhancing healthcare.
8. Evaluate, and be able to articulate, the role of scholarship in society

May include :Lectures, Seminars, Small group sessions; practical laboratory classes; research placements; research project; independent study, personal tutor feedback.

ILOs 6-8 will be tested through formative and summative assessments within core and optional modules. Methods include 1) examinations, which may include multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, or essays; 2) course-work, which may include laboratory reports, reviews, dissertation reports, oral and poster presentations or supervisor judgements.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Apply critical thinking to the analysis of arguments and the evaluation of evidence
10. Use numerical and graphical approaches to analyse data; undertake and interpret some statistical analyses
11. Communicate effectively with a variety of audiences
12. Develop strategies for balancing work, performance and stress
13. Reflect on different approaches to leadership and management; gain experience in their application
14. Recognise and support individual differences in abilities and attitudes; develop a realistic appreciation of their own strengths and weaknesses.

May include:  Lectures, Seminars, Small group sessions; practical laboratory classes; research placements; research project; independent study, personal tutor feedback.

ILOs 9-14 will be tested through formative and summative assessments within core and optional modules. Methods include 1) examinations, which may include multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, or essays; 2) course-work, which may include laboratory reports, reviews, dissertation reports, oral and poster presentations or supervisor judgements.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff. 

At UEMS, your performance in assessment is formally reviewed each term to ensure that any problems that you may be experiencing with your learning can be identified early. We seek to support students whose performance may be a cause for concern. If you need support you will be referred to trained staff and receive a confidential report containing recommendations on how changes to individual learning styles, techniques, assessment strategies and attitude to work may improve performance. All students are allocated an Academic Tutor who oversees your academic progress and personal and professional development. Your tutor is the first point of contact for academic support for the duration of the programme. You will change tutors each year. We offer a friendly and supportive environment from your first day with us. Our Senior Personal/Academic Tutor team can provide assistance with non-academic issues. 

Student Support: The University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health  offers its students a one-stop shop for all student queries, assessment submissions and concerns. Staff at the Information Point are able to make referrals for students to a wide-range of College and University student support services. The Information Point is based at Info at St Luke’s on St Luke’s Campus. Support staff are also available to answer student queries and to make referrals at all of our student reception points across all of our locations in the South-West. You can contact the Information Point by telephone on 01392 724837or by email info.stlukes@exeter.ac.uk 

Students who are experiencing personal or health difficulties should, in the first instance, seek advice from the Student Welfare Officer who is based in the Information Point. Appointments can be made at the Information Point reception, or by emailing info.stlukes@exeter.ac.uk 

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

10. Admissions Criteria

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Neuroscience with Professional Training Year

19. UCAS Code

B900

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits

480

ECTS credits

240

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date Date of last revision

03/03/2023