module specification

PC4056 - Biological Bases of Behaviour (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Biological Bases of Behaviour
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
34 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
80 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 100%   Short Answer Questions Written Exam
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North Tuesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses on the basic principles of neuroscience and physiology related to behaviour. The model aims to provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of biological psychology. It also provides students with an understanding of, and a framework for evaluating, biopsychological concepts, theories, and research methods in their historical and cultural context. Students will learn about the use of data from both humans and animals and ethical considerations associated with this branch of psychology. The module will also allow students to engage in independent learning and acquire subject-specific and transferable skills, including the ability to provide evidence to support or refute core concepts and assumptions.


Topics will be drawn from the nervous system and the endocrine system; neuronal communications; neuroanatomy; biological research methodology; behavioural and molecular genetics; vision; the biological bases of the senses; ethics in biopsychology.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is delivered through a variety of teaching and learning methods. A combination of group and individual activities will take place within a framework of lectures, seminars and workshops and will be selectively used according to the topics in question and the students’ preferences. Supplementary guided learning via weblearn and self-managed private study will be provided where appropriate. For PDP development, students will be exposed to the full discipline of biological psychology. During this time, the different careers within the field of biological psychology will be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to discuss potential careers within the area and seek advice from the module team.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Understand and describe the nervous system and its influence on human behaviour.
2. Apply biological principals and empirical evidence to support the biological bases of different domains of behaviour.
3. Be aware of and discuss the ethical implications and societal impact of biological psychology.

Assessment strategy

A written exam consisting of short answer questions will assess students’ knowledge and understanding of the topics covered in the module. Formative assessments will be used through the module to prepare students for the summative assessment and to provide opportunities for students to reflect on their approach to learning. Students must obtain a minimum grade of 40% to pass the module.


Chandler, C. (2015). Psychobiology. Chichester, Wiley Blackwell. [core]