Unit description

Provides a historical background and introduces students to key concepts in Neuroscience including neuroplasticity and neural signalling. Examines the structure and function of the somatosensory and motor systems, the autonomic nervous system, spinal cord and brainstem regions. Provides a neural basis for understanding the visual and vestibular systems, and higher mental functions including language, emotion and memory. Students use models, computer simulations and cadaver specimens as teaching aids.

Unit content

Topic 1 Introduction to Neuroscience
Topic 2 Neural signalling
Topic 3 The somatosensory system
Topic 4 The motor system
Topic 5 The peripheral nervous system
Topic 6 The autonomic nervous system
Topic 7 The cranial nerves
Topic 8 The spinal region
Topic 9 The brainstem region
Topic 10 The vestibular and visual systems
Topic 11 Cerebrum and higher functions
Topic 12 Central nervous system: blood supply and cerebrospinal fluid

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Purves, D, Augustine, GJ, Fitzpatrick, D, Hall, WC, LaMantia, AS & White, LE, 2012, Neuroscience, 5th edn, Sinauer, Sunderland, Massachusetts. ISBN: 978-0-87893-695-3.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours/week (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 2 hour/ week (12 weeks)
Exam: practical20%
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2016 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 3

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.