NEUR40070 Advanced Topics in Neural Development and Degeneration

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module forms part of the core curriculum for the BSc. Neuroscience degree. It covers advanced topics on the molecular genetics and cell biology of neuronal cell development, and developmental signaling pathways operating in the mature brain. Major topics covered include nervous system development/specification in C. elegans, neural circuit development in Drosophila, and developmental signalling in the mammalian mature brain.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students should be able to: (1) Understand broad concepts of neuronal cell specification in C. elegans, (2) Discuss the role of transription factor hierarchies and gene batteries in neuronal cell differentiation, (3) Understand neurotrophin regulation of neural circuit development and function in Drosophila, (4) Discuss regulation of sexual dimorphic neural development and behaviours in Drosophila, and (5) Understand how signalling pathways traditionally operating in the embryo get replayed in the mature mammalian brain.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is highly recommended that students have prior learning in cell and/or developmental biology and genetics

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Advanced topics in neural dev. (BMOL40070)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Exam (In-person): 1 hour written exam on a research paper relevant to the course material. n/a Graded No


Exam (In-person): Exit exam. n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
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.

Name Role
Professor Keith Murphy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Niamh O'Sullivan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer