NEUR30010 Principles of Nervous System Development

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module forms part of the core curriculum for the BSc degree in Neuroscience. The course introduces the development of the nervous system at a molecular, cellular and systems level along with core underlying principles. We outline the anatomical growth and division of the brain and its driving forces such as gene expression, developmental signalling and cell population expansion, and consider questions such as neural induction, polarity/segmentation, differentiation, cell migration, axon growth/guidance, target selection, synapse formation/maturation and neuronal maintenance. Also, general properties of inter- and intra- cellular signaling and communication relevant to neurons will be outlined. The course also contains a number of practicals, where students will be introduced to brain anatomy as well as a 2-day animal development practial where students will follow the development of frog embryos from fertilisation to neurulation.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: (1) Explain the anatomical development of the nervous system from flies to man. (2) Describe fundamental molecular and cellular processes underling nervous system and brain development. (3) Explain in detail the development and connectivity of systems such as the cortex. (4) Possess a good understanding of cellular signaling and communication processes relevant to neurons. (5) Acquire laboratory skills in the anatomy and development of the central nervous system. (6) Acquire skills in the writing up of practical reports in a clear and scientific manner.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Conversation Class




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures; home essay; 1 day lab practical on zebrafish development 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students must have taken NEUR20050 or equivalent

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Principles of nervous system (BMOL20040), Nervous System Development (NEUR20040)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Exit Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Practical write-ups and mid term MCQ examination Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Mon 12:00 - 12:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 27 Thurs 09:00 - 16:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 26 Wed 09:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Wed 11:00 - 11:50