Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This interdisciplinary unit exposes students to the recent findings and emerging ideas in key areas of modern neuroscience. It covers (1) electrophysiology of neurones and glia; (2) synaptic anatomy and physiology, with reference to electrical, chemical and anatomical substrates of functional plasticity, learning and memory; (3) sensory mechanisms, encompassing the membrane biophysics of different types of receptor cells and the mechanisms of sensory encoding and signal processing, both peripherally and centrally; (4) growth and development of the mammalian nervous system, with particular attention to the mechanisms specifying cell lineage, cell number, differentiation, axon growth and the formation of appropriate synaptic connections; (5) selected aspects of integrative function of the brain including movement control, regulation of cortical excitability and higher cognitive functions; and (6) ageing and regeneration in the central nervous system—will functional repair be possible in the twenty-first century and what might be achieved with the use of neural prostheses?

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) recall and integrate key knowledge and concepts about (a) structure and function of neurons and glia; (b) synaptic physiology including plasticity; (c) peripheral sensory transduction and central aspects of sensory processing in normal and pathological states; (d) higher cognitive and motor functions in normal and pathological states; (e) growth and development of the nervous system; (f) responses of the nervous system to injury; and (g) cellular and technological strategies for repair of nervous systems and (2) research a chosen neuroscience topic in depth and deliver a seminar on that topic.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a theory examination and (2) a seminar presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Stuart Hodgetts
Unit rules
Successful completion of
two Unit(s) ANHB2217 Human Neurobiology
and Unit(s) PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
tutorials: 1 hour per week (from week 3)

Bear, M. F. et al. Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 3rd edn: Williams & Wilkins 2006

Hille, B. Ionic Channels of Excitable Membranes, 3rd edn: Sinauer 2001

Kandel, E. R. et al. Principles of Neural Science, 4th edn: McGraw-Hill 1999

Purves, D. et al. eds Neuroscience, 2nd edn: Sinauer 2001

Shepherd, G. Neurobiology, 3rd edn: OUP 1994

Zigmond, M. J. et al. Fundamental Neuroscience: Academic Press 1999


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.