Brain and Mind Sciences

Unit outlines will be available through Find a unit outline two weeks before the first day of teaching for 1000-level and 5000-level units, or one week before the first day of teaching for all other units.
 

Brain and Mind Sciences

Master of Brain and Mind Sciences

Students must complete 48 credit points, including:
(a) 18 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) 30 credit points of elective units of study including at least one capstone unit of study.

Graduate Diploma in Brain and Mind Sciences

Students must complete 36 credit points, including:
(a) 12 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) 24 credit points of elective units of study.

Graduate Certificate in Brain and Mind Sciences

Students must complete 24 credit points, including:
(a) 12 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) 12 credit points of elective units of study.

Core - Master of Brain and Mind Sciences, Graduate Diploma in Brain and Mind Sciences, Graduate Certificate in Brain and Mind Sciences

BMRI5002 Fundamental Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Duncan Thomas Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assumed knowledge: Cell biology up to first year level Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This core unit of study will introduce the main concepts of neurobiology starting with cell physiology, synaptic plasticity, neurodevelopment and neuroanatomy. The modularity of the brain and connective pathways will then be examined with a focus of the functional anatomy of sensory processing, motor systems, learning, memory and emotions. Immunology and neuropathology will also be studied with insights into how genetics and interaction with glial cells underlie these processes. Examples will be given of how brain disorders emerge from disruption to these fundamental processes.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5004 Translational and Clinical Neuroscience

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Shantel Duffy Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study introduces the principal disorders of mental health and current methods for diagnosing and understanding them. Disorders of development, mood, personality and cognitive decline will be introduced from the perspective of the clinical staging and in the context of other diagnostic criteria. The unit will also describe fundamental principles of clinicopathology and provides and overview of the latest technologies and techniques being utilised at the Brain and Mind Centre to identify early diagnostic biomarkers for disease. Through biomarker identification and development, windows for therapeutic intervention that can prevent or delay progression from earlier to later stages of a disorder can be defined, and the effectiveness of early intervention strategies can be evaluated.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units

Core - Master of Brain and Mind Sciences only

BMRI5020 Research Inquiry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Eryn Werry Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Prohibitions: PUBH5010 or CEPI5100 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
Doctors and researchers depend on the latest scientific literature published week by week in countless different journals, but not every study can be trusted. Scientific studies are fraught with complications that can threaten their reliability, or the extent to which their results can be applied very widely. This unit will help you develop the skills necessary to critically appraise the research literature and identify sources of bias and confounding. Students will learn how cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, cohort studies and clinical trials are more or less vulnerable to these problems. Similarly, students will look at the basic design of laboratory research, and what are the different types of questions that can be asked from studies on humans, rats or brain tissue. All classes will be based on published examples of research literature and students will learn how to navigate different methods and data types. This unit will give students the confidence to read widely across the mental health field, and judge for yourself which findings can be relied upon to inform future research or medical practice.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units

Electives

BMRI5010 Brain and Mind Disorders (Child/Youth)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Raphael Chan Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study will address key neurobiological, psychological and environmental contributions and their interactions on child and adolescent brain development from a clinical perspective. Students will be introduced to neurodevelopmental disorders affecting infants, children and youth, including Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and a range of emergent mental disorders such as Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Sleep Disorders and Somatic Symptom Disorders. The aetiology, phenomenology and treatment of these mental disorders are considered in the context of developmental continuities and brain maturational processes throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence. Finally, students will understand the principles of pharmacological, psychological and family management of these disorders, including models of service delivery in child and youth mental health. The unit of study will be conducted as a series of two-hour seminars presented by senior clinicians and researchers in the field from the Brain and Mind Centre, Headspace Camperdown, and expert guest lecturers from other services/institutions.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5013 Neuropsychopharmacology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Eryn Werry Session: Semester 1 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This elective unit will focus on neuropsychopharmacology as a tool for characterizing brain pathways and as a treatment for brain disorders. Students will be introduced to basic principles of pharmacology governing drug binding and metabolism that underlie the rationale for drug design. Links between brain circuitry and phenomenology of various brain disorders including chronic pain, anxiety and dementia will be examined to provide a rationale for chosen drug targets. Students will also examine the relationship between dosage, specificity and negative side effects of such drugs. There will be the opportunity critically to examine current directions in neuropharmacology research, the role of the pharmaceutical industry and potential new pathways for future drug design.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5001 Neuroethics

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Adam Piovarchy Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study synthesizes and critically scruitinizes our models and concepts of brain and mind through a neuroethics lens. Neuroethics is sub­field of bioethics that is concerned with the ethical, legal and social impact of the neurosciences. Beginning with a series of lectures on the historical development of modern neuroscience, students will learn about (1) the beliefs, experiments and discoveries that have led us to recognise how the brain contributes to the human experience in unique ways, and (2) the philosophical and ethical debates that have arisen as a result of progress in neuroscience. Throughout this unit, students will examine how advances in neuroscience have shaped how we conduct research, treat clinical conditions, make individual and collective decisions, and live together as a society. During the class discussions and assessments, students will grapple with the issues that arise when we intervene in the brain and how those interventions modify our concepts of health, illness, identity and morality. The scope of these issues is enormous and speaks to the importance of students developing a clear framework to contextualize developments in neuroscience within the scientific, ethical, cultural, social and legal environments in which they arise.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5006 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Adam Guastella Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for a range of psychological disorders, with strong foundations in cognitive science and now increasingly in neuroscience. This unit provides a solid foundation in the theoretical and clinical underpinnings of the therapy, with a specific focus on the neuroscience of CBT as applied to various conditions. It demonstrates techniques of CBT, including case assessment, formulation, and therapy components. Students will develop a neurobiological understanding of CBT interventions and examine practice through case examination and group exercises.
Textbooks
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BMRI5007 Neuropsychology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Haley LaMonica Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study will enable students to understand the basic principles of brain behaviour relationships that underpin assessment of brain disorders across the age span. A wide range of neuropsychological syndromes, neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders will be examined. The unit of study will enable you to develop skills in integrating medical, psychological and social information into neuropsychological assessment through case based learning. At the end of the unit of study you will have an awareness of the 'state of the art' in neuropsychological intervention/rehabilitation strategies for people with acquired brain impairment.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5012 Brain Ageing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Eryn Werry and Dr Jacqueline Huber Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study provides an introduction to two important aspects of brain and mind ageing science, neurodegenerative disorders and opportunities for neuroplasticity and human flourishing. Students will learn about the clinical presentation and pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Psychogeriatrics and late-life depression will also be covered, and counterbalanced with new insights about what determines successful ageing and how we can use lifestyle interventions to keep people's brains and minds fit and well throughout late life. This unit will use case studies to reinforce learning, focusing on common neuropsychological assessment methods and research methods. Students will also be introduced to the social and ethical aspects of brain and mind ageing.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5017 Genetics of Brain and Mind Disorders

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Professor Marina Kennerson Session: Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study provides a comprehensive introduction to the research methods that can be used in the identification and characterisation of genetic variants underlying neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding genetic variants in the context of genomic medicine is essential for patient management and predicting disease outcomes. This unit will provide students with and overview of bench to bedside genomic medicine. Students will be taught skills to identify causative and susceptibility gene variants from next generation sequencing data and shown bioinformatics tools to analyse variants. The variant information will then be considered in a diagnostic setting through the clinical application of genetic counselling for patient management and well­being. The first part of the unit will focus on the statistical methods to quantify the contribution of genetic factors to complex genetic disorders in the population. The principles of genetic association will be discussed, using examples of cognitive traits and neurodegenerative disorders. The course will then discuss concepts of pedigree analysis for Mendelian neurodegenerative diseases with practical excercises in identifying candidate variants using filtering strategies of next generation sequencing data. The final part of the course will introduce a suite of bioinformatics tools and resources to generate a research report. This report will form an introduction to the genetic counselling practices required for clinical interpretation and use of information for patient­ centred genomic healthcare delivery. This is a capstone unit of study that will require students to develop over the semester a scholarly piece of work using advanced bioinformatics skills and interpreting the information for a clinical setting. Over the assessments in this unit, students will identify genetic variants associated with a complex neurodegeneration disorder, map and identify possible causative genes for a Mendelian neurodegenerative disease, examine the suitability of DNA variants identified as disease candidates using bioinformatics tools, and interpret the clinical implications for the patient and their family.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5027 Leadership and Policy in Mental Health 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Louise Nash Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit is designed to provide participants with an introduction to the key constructs of leadership, leadership development and change management with specific reference to mental health reform in Australia. The unit will provide an overview of concepts and models of leadership and change management and an opportunity to apply these to a personal leadership development plan to embark on a service-level reform initiative. In this unit participants will gain an understanding of, their own leadership attributes and developmental needs and an insight into the development of strategy, organisational level policy and governance for achieving change. These elements will provide the foundations for self-development as a leader and the development of service level change/reform initiatives.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5023 Research Activity 1

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Carol Dobson-Stone Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Corequisites: BMRI5024 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study requires students to develop over the semester, an original piece of research and provides a capstone experience for those wishing to go on to further postgraduate research. This practical project is based in a research group at the Brain and Mind Centre or affiliates which deal in areas of clinical, epidemiological and fundamental neuroscience research. The 12 credit points combined of BMRI5023/BMRII5024 carry the expectation of around 3 days per week availability towards the given research project. Students will learn a variety of skills for acquisition, analysis and presentation of data. This is a capstone unit of study requiring a great deal of independence and the production of an original piece of research scholarship. Students can also expect ample support and guidance from their supervisors and research team and are expected to integrate into their research team's environment.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
BMRI5024 Research Activity 2

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Carol Dobson-Stone Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Corequisites: BMRI5023 Assessment: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Practical field work: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units
This unit of study requires students to develop over the semester an original piece of research and provides a capstone experience for those wishing to go on to further postgraduate research. This practical project is based in a research group at the Brain and Mind Centre or affiliates which deal in areas of clinical, epidemiological and fundamental neuroscience research. The 12 credit points combined of BMRI5023/BMRI5024 carry the expectation of around 3 days per week availability towards the given research project. Students will learn a variety of skills for acquisition, anlysis and presentation of data. This is a capstone unit of study requiring a great deal of independence and the production of an original piece of research scholarship. Students can also expect ample support and guidance from their supervisors and research team and are expected to integrate into their research team's enviroment.
Textbooks
Refer to the unit of study outline https://www.sydney.edu.au/units