Brain and Behaviour

Module summary

Module code: PSYC1060
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Education, Health and Human Sci
Department: Human Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Harry Farmer


Pre and co requisites

Normally an introductory module in Psychology at level 4


This module examines a broad range of topics recommended aimed at explaining the biological basis of behaviour. It also examines the historical and conceptual issues surrounding approaches, methods and paradigms when considering these topics. The student will have the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of a range of topics in the field of Biopsychology, including how the nervous system is structured, functions and communicates with the body, how hormones influence behaviour, emotional behaviour, evolutionary aspects of behaviour, behavioural genetics, spatial cognition, regulation of feeding and sleep/arousal.
Furthermore, this module aims to enable the student to apply their knowledge and understanding of Biopsychology to real world issues and situations.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the structure and function of the nervous system and the processes underlying neurotransmission.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of explanations of behaviour from a biopsychological perspective.
3. Analyse and critically evaluate theories, models and empirical evidence in Biopsychology, and discuss their implications for applied psychology.
4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of historical and conceptual bases of approaches, methods and paradigms addressed in the different topics examined on this module.

Indicative content

Biological bases of behaviour: structure and functioning of the central nervous system, neurobiology, principles of psychopharmacology. Behaviourism; associative learning; biological basis of learning; evolutionary aspects of behaviour; behavioural genetics; hormones and behaviour; biological basis of spatial cognition; feeding; addiction and reward; sleep and arousal; biopsychology of emotion.
Historical and conceptual issues: historical emergence/influences of and key claims within major approaches to biopsychology; scientific paradigms; ethical considerations.

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures, seminars, group discussions, multiple choice quizzes and self-study supported by library facilities, electronic databases and materials posted in the module shell on the online learning platform.


Take-home Test - 100% weighting; LO - 1, 2, 3, 4. Numeric grading; Pass mark - 40% Outine details: Questions will cover the range of topics covered in the module.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Exercises and discussions in seminars with feedback and guidance. There will be opportunities to discuss the student’s progress in the seminar sessions.