• Class Number 2783
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof John Bekkers
    • AsPr Brian Billups
    • Prof Ehsan Arabzadeh
    • Prof Gregory Stuart
    • Prof John Bekkers
    • Dr Nathalie Dehorter
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

The course provides in-depth exposure to the cellular mechanisms utilised by neurons. 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 appropriate insights will be provided into disease states such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Students will be given the opportunity to 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:

  1. Understand advanced concepts in cellular and molecular neuroscience, and describe recent advances within the field;
  2. Integrate principles from multiple science disciplines to understand information transfer within the brain;
  3. Explain some of the current neuroscience technologies and illustrate how these can be used to study cellular neuroscience;
  4. Apply critical thinking to understanding the mechanisms involved in specific neurological diseases;
  5. Obtain and analyse information and data relating to cellular neuroscience;
  6. Critically evaluate at a graduate level a recent publication in the field of cellular neuroscience, drawing upon the relevant published literature.

Research-Led Teaching

This course teaches the fundamentals of cellular neuroscience while also introducing students to the latest developments in the field. The lecturers are teaching in their fields of research expertise and will use many examples from recent research. In addition, the library project (Critique article) provides students with opportunities to read about and critically evaluate new discoveries. Attendance at Journal Club presentations and seminars will also expose students to the latest neuroscience research at ANU.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

Non-programmable calculators are allowed in the examination.

Resources will be discussed in the first lecture (Introduction to course) and will be made available as required on the course Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on submitted work in Turnitin
  • Feedback to whole class
  • Verbal and written feedback to individuals when requested

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Please note, that where there are multiple assessment tasks of the same type, e.g weekly quizzes, a date range is used in the Assessment Summary. The first date is the approximate due date of the first task, the return date is the approximate return date for the final task. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures: Weeks 1-12 Approx 3 lectures per week, delivered in person Final exam
2 Practical classes: Weeks 2, 4, 6, 9 Lab report feedback and mark
3 Library project (Critique article): Weeks 7-9 Article feedback and mark
4 Brief summaries of Journal Club and/or Departmental seminars attended: Weeks 1-12 Course requirement but not marked

Tutorial Registration

Register for tutorials via Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Laboratory reports (x4) 40 % 19/03/2019 04/06/2019 1,2,4,5
Library project (Critique article) 10 % 09/05/2019 23/05/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
End of Semester exam 50 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4
Attendance of Departmental journal clubs and/or seminars 0 % 31/05/2019 21/06/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


There is a 2.5 h end-of-semester examination which will include both short- and long-answer questions and will test fundamental knowledge of basic aspects of cellular neuroscience as well as more advanced understanding of the concepts.

Value (indicative): 50%. Students will vote on the actual percentage near the beginning of the course. Students must pass the exam to pass the course.

Check Official ANU exam timetable for dates, times and location.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 19/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Laboratory reports (x4)

Attend 4 out of 4 laboratory sessions and submit a report on each session.

Value (indicative): 40%. Students will vote on the actual percentage near the beginning of the course.

Presentation requirements: As detailed in the Laboratory Handbook and in the briefing lecture before each laboratory session.

Due: 15 days after laboratory sessions 1, 2 and 4; 22 days after laboratory session 3.

Estimated return date: 2-3 weeks after submission.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 09/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Library project (Critique article)

Write a Critique article for one of the papers available on the Wattle site. A sample is available on Wattle.

Value (indicative): 10%. Students will vote on the actual percentage near the beginning of the course.

Presentation requirements: As specified in the Guidelines available on Wattle.

Estimated return date: 2-3 weeks after submission.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

End of Semester exam

There is a 2.5 h end-of-semester examination which will include both short- and long-answer questions and will test fundamental knowledge of basic aspects of cellular neuroscience as well as more advanced understanding of the concepts.

Value (indicative): 50%. Students will vote on the actual percentage near the beginning of the course. Students must pass the exam to pass the course.

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Attendance of Departmental journal clubs and/or seminars

Attend at least six journal clubs and/or seminars in the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience and submit brief summaries of the presentations attended.

Value: Course requirement but not marked.

Due: 31 May 2019

Estimated return date: Acknowledged 1-2 days after submission.

Students must satisfy this requirement in order to pass the course.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Student assignments will be returned online.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not available.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof John Bekkers

Research Interests

How olfactory information is represented in the brain; cellular and circuit mechanisms of epilepsy.

Prof John Bekkers

Monday 14:00 15:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Thursday 14:00 15:00
AsPr Brian Billups

Research Interests

AsPr Brian Billups

Prof Ehsan Arabzadeh

Research Interests

Prof Ehsan Arabzadeh

Prof Gregory Stuart

Research Interests

Prof Gregory Stuart

Prof John Bekkers

Research Interests

Prof John Bekkers

Monday 14:00 15:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Thursday 14:00 15:00
Dr Nathalie Dehorter

Research Interests

Dr Nathalie Dehorter

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions