• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Psychology, Physiology, Neuroscience, Biology
  • Specialisation code NEUR-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Neuroscience and Physiology Specialisation

Corequisite majors: Biochemistry or Cell & Molecular Biology or Human Biology or Psychology


Physiology is a key science underpinning health and disease: it is the study of functional life processes at all levels of biological organisation from the cellular and molecular to tissues and organs. The study of the most complex of these organs: the brain and nervous system occurs in the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience. This single organ controls body activities ranging from movement, to circulation and respiration, and to emotion, learning, and memory. The scientific study of physiology and neuroscience requires the skills of many different disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering. The specialisation in Neuroscience and Physiology exposes students to the fields of cellular and systems neuroscience and physiology through a variety of courses. Introductory courses discuss fundamental physiological processes in both health and disease. Areas of study can include human physiology, cellular physiology, and cellular biochemistry. The cellular and sensory neuroscience courses build on and expand from the physiology courses to investigate the complexity of the nervous system. The specialisation is designed to provide knowledge and conceptual understanding in neuroscience and physiology. Students will gain theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience with modern techniques, and will have the opportunity to work in research labs, be involved in scientific discussions with current researchers and will develop their ability to critically evaluate and communicate recent advances within these disciplines.

Learning Goals:

Students completing the specialisation in Neuroscience and Physiology will be able to:

  1. Build on a foundational knowledge and key concepts of cellular and systems neuroscience and physiology to further their professional and research pursuits.
  2. Integrate approaches from various science disciplines to formulate a more global understanding of complex neuroscience and physiology phenomena.
  3. Apply practical skills and theoretical understanding to the methodological approaches that underpin neuroscience and physiology.
  4. Evaluate and critically analyse primary scientific literature to extend their knowledge in the field.
  5. Combine their information literacy, oral and written communication skills to convey/explain neuroscience and physiological concepts to both science and non-science literate audiences

Other Information

In conjunction with Psychology major:  6 units of chemistry and PSYC2007 Biological Basis of Behaviour are required to meet all pre-requisite requirements for the Neuroscience and Physiology Specialisation.

For students taking BIOL3208 as part of this specialisation, the research project must be in the field of neuroscience or physiology.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this specialisation.

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Specialisation Requirements

This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL2174 Cell Physiology in Health and Disease 6

A minimum of 12 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
NEUR3101 Cellular Neuroscience 6
NEUR3112 Systems Neuroscience 6
MEDN2001 Medical Physiology and Pharmacology 6

A maximum of 6 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
BIOL3186 Human Anatomy 6
BIOL3203 Advanced Microscopy in Biosciences 6
BIOL3208 Biology Research Project 6
PSYC3016 Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience 6
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