Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

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

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview

This unit describes how complex phenomenological and behavioural dysfunctions, such as schizophrenia, major affective disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, are produced by abnormalities of brain function. The lectures go into detail on system, cellular, molecular and genetic mechanisms of selected psychiatric and neurologic disorders and the therapeutic mechanisms of action of medications for those disorders.
6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1OnlineOnline Restricted
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Neuroscience; Human Science and Neuroscience major sequences
  • Level 3 elective
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the cellular, molecular and/or genetic principles relevant to pharmacological therapeutic issues of selected psychiatric and neurologic disorders; (2) explain the basic characteristics of drug–central nervous system (CNS) interactions and apply them to major affective disorders, schizophrenia, addiction and anxiety disorders; (3) explain the principles behind stereotaxic surgery, and the Ungerstedt Unilateral 6-OHDA lesion model of Parkinson's disease. ; (4) predict levels of dopamine depletion in striatum for individual animals based on behavioural effects after challenges with a presynaptic dopamine releasing agent and a postsynaptic acting direct receptor agonist from a data set supplied. ; and (5) organise and display complex results of multiple individuals in a clear and systematic fashion..
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) exams and (2) research report of affiliated graphs depicting data. 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 Alex Tang
Unit rules
PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells or PHYL2245 Physiology of Cells or IMED2002 Blood and Drugs or PHAR2220 Human Pharmacology or equivalent units
Advisable prior study:
Level 1 psychology PSYC1101; PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology
Contact hours
Lectures: 3 x 45 min per week;
  • 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.