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Unit of study_

NEUR4001: Advanced Seminars in Neuroscience

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Research in neuroscience has made tremendous advances in our understanding of the nervous system and its function in health and disease, however we are still far from fully understanding the form and function of the billions of neurons and the trillions of synapses that make up the brain and spinal cord. This unit is designed to introduce you to cutting edge issues in neuroscience Topics will include imaging pain, emotions, cortical development and plasticity, colour vision, addiction and stress, memory and cognitive processing, neuropsychiatric conditions and neurodegenerative disorders. This unit of study will use small group lectures, seminar groups and short research-based projects to engage students in authentic enquiry. You will be encouraged to explore several specific areas of neuroscience research and develop analytic skills and thinking about the processes and methods of doing neuroscience and engage you in debate and discussion, rather than learn facts. You will shape opinion by listening to the ideas of others and improve your skills and insights into problem solving. You will present your views and ideas, listen to those of others and through this appreciate divergent thinking.

Unit details and rules

Unit code NEUR4001
Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
NEUR3004 or NEUR3904
Prerequisites
? 
144 credit points of units of study, including a minimum of 24 credit points at the 3000- or 4000-level
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

Advanced knowledge of the structure and function of multicellular organisms, or a background in bioengineering or biophysics or biodesign

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator John Kwok, john.kwok@sydney.edu.au
Tutor(s) Carol Dobson-Stone, carol.dobson-stone@sydney.edu.au
Nicolas Dzamko, nicolas.dzamko@sydney.edu.au
Dean Southwood, dean.southwood@sydney.edu.au
Tom Kavanagh, tomas.kavanagh@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment In-semester test
Written assessment based on readings and discussions in Seminars
30% Week 06
Due date: 11 Sep 2022 at 23:59
Take-home short release
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO10
Participation Seminar Participation
Preparation for seminars, and increasing capacity for independent inquiry
20% Week 13 Weekly
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment In-semester test
Assessment which includes a research proposal based on sub-specialities
50% Week 13
Due date: 06 Nov 2022 at 23:59
Take-home extended release
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO10 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

There will be 2 in-semester written assessments. (1) A written response to two questions, each based on the readings and discussions in the Seminar series. (2) Two research proposals addressing a question or issue raised in each of the seminar sessions.

Performance and participation in the seminr groups will be assessed using the rubric published on the canvas site

Assessment criteria

Result name

Mark range

Description

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.

Distinction

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

Credit

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.

Pass

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.

Fail

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 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 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 02 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 03 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 04 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 05 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 06 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 07 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 08 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 09 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 10 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 11 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 12 Specialist Topic #1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Specialist Topic #2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 13 Review and Assessment Prepartion Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10

Attendance and class requirements

Students are expected to attend in person, two (2h) seminars per week

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.

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. Gain an in depth understanding of a subfield of neuroscience research
  • LO2. Develop an awareness of the process of performing scientific research and how this contributes to our knowledge
  • LO3. Develop your critical evaluation skills
  • LO4. Develop your capacity to integrate information from a variety of sources
  • LO5. Gain an awareness of ethical issues which need to be considered in the conduct of scientific research
  • LO6. Develop your written communication skills
  • LO7. Develop your ability to perform effective searches of online databases
  • LO8. Show an ability to think creatively about a research problem
  • LO9. Develop your ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with others from a range of backgrounds
  • LO10. Develop your ability to defend your point of view based on evidence

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
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

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

This is the second time the unit has run and there were no substantive issues raised in feedback from last year.

Disclaimer

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.