Not available in 2019/20
PB200      Half Unit
Biological Psychology

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

To be confirmed


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


Students should have taken Foundations of Psychological Science (PB101) or Foundations of Behavioural Science (PB100).

Course content

This course offers and introductory and integrated perspective on the biological bases of behaviour. Content covered may include:

  • History and development of Biological Psychology
  • Neurophysiology and structure of the brain
  • The ways brain abnormalities and lesions can provide insight into functional specialisation (e.g., double dissociation methods).
  • Current evidence about the psychological functional anatomy of the human brain
  • Behavioural genetics and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Hormones and behaviour
  • The Major Sensory Systems
  • Learning and Memory
  • Judgement and Decision making (through neuroeconomics, neuromarketing and consumer neuroscience)
  • Language and Consciousness


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

During the course, students will complete three kinds of formative assessment:

  1. 1 mini essay (1000 words)
  2. 1 individual oral presentation to the class
  3. 1 quiz including multiple choice questions and short written answer questions

Indicative reading

  • Breedlove, S.M., & Watson, N.V. (2010). Biological psychology: An introduction to behavioural, cognitive, and clinical neuroscience. Sinauer Associates.
  • Cacioppo, J.T, Visser, P.S., & Pickett, C.L. (2012). Social neuroscience: People thinking about thinking people. A Bradford Book.
  • Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R.B., & Mangun, G.R. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience: The biology of the mind. W.W. Norton.
  • Glimcher, P. W., Camerer, C., Poldrack, R. A., & Fehr, E. (2013). Neuroeconomics: Decision making and the brain. Academic Press.
  • Kolb, B., & Wishaw, I.Q. (2014). An introduction to brain and behaviour. Worth Publishers.
  • Nettle D. (2009). Evolution and genetics for psychology. Oxford University Press.
  • Pinel, J.P.J. (2013). Biopsychology. Allyn and Bacon
  • Plomin, R., et al. (2013). Behavioral genetics. Worth Publishers.

Students will be expected to read essential readings plus additional reading from the primary literature per class. These readings will be provided in the course outline.


Essay (80%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Quiz (20%) in the LT.

20% of the total mark awarded will be in the form of a multiple choice quiz taken during the course.

Students following the BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science will be expected to submit one ‘Integration Essay’ in their second year. The integration essay will be submitted as the assessed essay for ONE of PB200, PB201, PB202, PB204 or PB205.  The integration essay will discuss a topic investigated in one course and use its approach to integrate and debate approaches from two other courses taken in Year 2. For example, if you choose to submit your integration essay in Biological Psychology (this course) you will use a topic from this course as the basis for debating the treatment of that topic by theories from two of Cognitive Psychology (PB201), Developmental Psychology (PB202), Social Psychology Groups and Inter-group relations (PB204) and Individual Differences and Why They Matter (PB205).

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills