• Offered by John Curtin School of Medical Research
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Neuroscience

The course provides in-depth exposure to the cellular mechanisms utilised by neurones in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Emphasis will be put on the following areas: the role of different classes of ion channels in affecting neuronal excitability, the mechanisms involved in electrical and chemical transmission, how transmitted signals are integrated by the neurons and across networks, and how different forms of synaptic plasticity may underlie learning and memory. Where possible insights will be provided into disease states such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Students will visit research laboratories at the John Curtin School of Medical Research to gain an exposure to research topics pursued by their lecturers. In addition, there will be a short library-based project critiquing an original research article.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students should

  • Understand advanced concepts in cellular and molecular neuroscience, and describe recent advances within the field; (LO1)
  • Integrate principles from multiple science disciplines to understand information transfer within the brain; (LO2)
  • Explain some of the current neuroscience technologies and illustrate how these can be used to study cellular neuroscience; (LO3)
  • Apply critical thinking to understanding the mechanisms involved in specific neurological diseases; (LO4)
  • Obtain and analyse information and data relating to cellular neuroscience; (LO5)
  • Locate and evaluate current scientific literature and discuss the important findings of these papers in writing. (LO5)

Indicative Assessment

Undergraduate assessment:

  • Lab reports (40%) LO1, 2, 4, 5
  • Summary article (10%) LO1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Final exam (50%) LO1, 2, 3, 4


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Three lectures per week, a number of two-hour laboratory sessions including laboratory visits, tutorials, plus a critique of a scientific paper.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed BIOL2174 or completed PSYC2007 and 12 units of 1000 level Psychology (PSYC) or Biology (BIOL) courses. Incompatible with NEUR6101.

Prescribed Texts

Recommended texts (choice of two):

Byrne, JH & Roberts, JL (2009), From Molecules to Networks. An Introduction of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (2nd ed), Academic press, ISBN 978-0-12-374132-5.

Purves, D. et al. (2008), Neuroscience (4th ed), Sinauer Assoc. ISBN 978-0-87893-697-7.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4092
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $5454
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2797 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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