module specification

PY7019 - Psychobiology (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Psychobiology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
176 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Lab report (2500 words)
Seen Examination 70%   2-hour seen exam
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module provides students with a systematic understanding of the theory and research relating to the role of biological mechanisms in behaviour, including an evaluation of the use of animal experiments in psychology, and a critical examination of the behavioural and environmental context of psychobiology and different levels of psychobiological analysis.


Psychobiological topics will be drawn from:  Neurochemistry and neurophysiology of nerve transmission; behavioural genetics; psychoneuroendocrinology. Psychopharmacology. Biological aspects of learning, memory, motivation and emotion, sleep and arousal. Evolutionary explanations of behaviour. Neuropsychology, cortical localisation of function, biological basis of psychological abnormalities. Sensory systems and conditions. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

A series of formal teaching sessions will encompass lectures, workshops and seminar sessions and students will also be required to carry out independent learning, generally in the form of background reading and engagement with web-based learning materials.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:
(1) have an in-depth understanding of the biological mechanisms of behaviour;
(2) critically discuss different methodologies used in biological psychology;
(3) incorporate the biological mechanisms of behaviour and related phenomena into psychological and evolutionary accounts of behaviour, drawing on relevant theory and empirical research.
(4) hands on experiences in how to conduct an experiment and write a report on it.


Chandler, C. (2015). Psychobiology. Chichester, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons

Carlson, N. R. (2012). Physiology of Behavior (11th ed.): Allyn & Bacon
Pinel, J. P. J. (2011). Biopsychology (8th ed.): Allyn & Bacon
Chandler C. (2010) The science of ADHD: A guide for parents and professionals