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Unit of study_

BIOS2171: Human Neuroscience in Health and Disease

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This intermediate unit of study will introduce the human nervous system and its function, in the context of neuroscience in the healthy human and that associated with human disease. The unit will teach human neuroanatomy and neurophysiology with a focus on the control of human movement disorders associated with dysfunction of the human nervous system will be introduced. This knowledge will be expanded using case studies of specific disorders of, or affecting, the nervous system, including disorders of increasing prevalence. The unit is designed to equip students to pursue advanced studies in clinical neuroscience or to pursue studies in a professional degree program in medicine or other health professions. Material will be presented in lectures, tutorial and practical classes. Active learning approaches including case-based, on-line and individual learning will be used.

Unit details and rules

Unit code BIOS2171
Academic unit
Credit points 6
BIOS1171 or BIOS1166 or ANAT2010 or ANAT2910
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kay Double,
Lecturer(s) Alan Freeman,
David Mor,
Kay Double,
Damian Holsinger,
Tutor(s) Victor Kwasi,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final Exam
Written exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Participation Online tasks and participation
Online tasks and participation
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Quizzes
Online quizzes
11% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
In-semester test (Record+) Type B in-semester exam Mid-semester exam
Written exam
20% Week 07
Due date: 12 Oct 2020 at 10:00
50 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Individual learning project
Concept map
12% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Online task Quizzes
Online quizzes
7% Weekly n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?
Type B in-semester exam = Type B in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Mid-semester examination: Students will be examined on all content presented in the lectures, tutorials, and practical classes in weeks 1 to 5 inclusive.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Mastery of topics showing extensive integration and ability to transfer knowledge to novel contexts; treatment of tasks shows an advanced synthesis of ideas; demonstration of initiative, complex understanding and analysis; work is very well presented; all criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to an outstanding level.


75 - 84

Excellent achievement, consistent evidence of deep understanding and application of knowledge in medical science; treatment of tasks shows advanced understanding of topics; demonstration of initiative, complex understanding and analysis; work is well-presented; all criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to a superior level.


65 - 74

Confident in explaining medical science processes, with evidence of solid understanding and achievement; occasional lapses indicative of unresolved issues; treatment of tasks shows a good understanding of topic; work is well-presented with a minimum of errors; all criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to a high level.


50 - 64

Satisfactory level of engagement with and understanding of topic; some inconsistencies in understanding and knowledge of medical science; work is adequately presented, with some errors or omissions, most criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to an adequate level.


0 - 49

Unsatisfactory achievement and engagement with the medical science discipline; inadequate understanding or fundamental misunderstanding of topics; most criteria and learning outcomes not clearly or adequately addressed or achieved; lack of effort/involvement in the unit.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Basic structure of the nervous system 1 Tutorial (2 hr) LO1
1. Basic structure of the nervous system; 2. Basic structure of the nervous system 2 Lecture (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Spinal cord and cranial nerves Tutorial (2 hr) LO1
1. Spinal cord and cranial nerves; 2. Individual project information Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO5
Week 03 Communication within the nervous system Tutorial (2 hr) LO2
1. Communication within the nervous system 1; 2. Communication within the nervous system 2 Lecture (3 hr) LO2
Week 04 Cerebral hemispheres and blood supply Tutorial (2 hr) LO1
1. Cerebral hemispheres anatomy and blood supply 1; 2. Cerebral hemispheres anatomy and blood supply 2 Lecture (3 hr) LO1
Week 05 Sensory pathways and somatosensation Practical (2 hr) LO4
1. Sensory pathways and somatosensation 1; 2. Sensory pathways and somatosensation 2 Lecture (3 hr) LO4
Week 06 Pain and spinal cord injury Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO4
1. Pain; 2. The vestibular system; 3. Reflexes 1 Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 08 Reflexes Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO3
1. Reflexes 2; 2. The motor unit Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 10 Neuroanatomy Practical (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Posture Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 11 Stroke Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
1. Corticospinal pathways; 2. Basal nuclei 1 Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 12 Basal nuclei Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
1. Basal nuclei 2; 2. Cerebellum 1 Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 13 Autonomic nervous system Tutorial (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Cerebellum 2 and autonomic nervous system Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

The University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014 states: 
55 (2) A student enrolled in a unit of study must comply with the requirements set out in the faculty resolutions, award course resolutions or unit of study outline about undertaking the unit of study, including on matters such as: (a) attendance at and participation in lectures, seminars and tutorials; and (b) participation in practical work.
The Faculty of Science resolutions states:
9(1). Students are expected to attend a minimum of 80% of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Associate Dean.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Crossman, A. R. & Neary, D. (2010). Neuroanatomy: An illustrated colour text. 5th edition. Churchill Livingstone.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand the basic structure of the central and peripheral nervous systems, including the autonomic nervous system, and associated vascular systems.
  • LO2. Understand basic concepts underlying electrical and chemical communication in the nervous system.
  • LO3. Understand the principles of movement control including upper and lower motor neurons, reflexes, postural control and major movement pathways within the brain and spinal cord.
  • LO4. Understand the anatomy and physiology of sensory pathways, somatosensation, pain and vestibular function.
  • LO5. Understand the pathophysiology of selected disorders of the nervous system, with an emphasis on movement dysfunction.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the first time this Unit has been offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.