Module Details

PS411-7-SP-CO: Brain And Behaviour

Year: 2016/17
Department: Psychology
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Nick Cooper
Teaching Staff: Dr Nick Cooper, Dr Steffan Kennett, Dr Vincenzo Romei & Dr Gethin Hughes
Contact details: email:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The module is co-ordinated by Dr Nick Cooper, to whom queries should be addressed.

The aim of the module is to provide an appreciation of the physiological mechanisms that underlie human behaviour. The brain is an extremely complex organ, and many areas of interest to psychologists are as yet, beyond the reductionist approach adopted here. However, it is hoped that the module will at least establish the possibility that even our deepest thoughts and feelings arise from a combination of electrical and chemical interactions.

The lectures will be taught by Dr Steffan Kennett, Dr Helge Gillmeister and Dr Geoff Cole. PS411 will be supported by additional tutorial classes, which will introduce the use of Powerpoint Presentations.

PS411 is assessed by an oral PowerPoint presentation (10%), and a timed essay (15%) and a final end-of-year essay-based summer examination (75%).

Socrate and International students:
These students have different assessments and must check with the department what the requirements are.

Learning and Teaching Methods

The PS411 module will have an oral PowerPoint presentation and coursework essay of 2500 words. Full details will be made available in the module handout. The Module will provide seminars to support your study.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


PS411 is assessed by an oral PowerPoint presentation (10%), a 3000-word coursework essay (15%) and a final end-of-year essay-based summer examination (75%).

Other details

Lectures: Lectures form the bulk of teaching in Year II, with weekly lectures on all modules. All lectures are 2 hours in duration. Two-hour lectures will normally have a short break at the halfway point. With the consent of the lecturer, you may ask questions during lectures if any point is unclear, but please remember that lecture time is limited, and there may not be time to resolve questions during the lecture itself. Please note also that use of mobile phones or audience conversations during a lecture, even if whispered, can be very distracting both to the lecturer and other students and should not occur under any circumstances. Be ready to receive a request from a lecturer to be silent if you do start conversations, and expect requests to become more pointed if you are a persistent offender. Promptness at a lecture, which starts on the hour, is essential so that you can collect handouts and take a seat without disrupting the class. If you are unavoidably late, please take a seat quickly and quietly, and be as unobtrusive as possible. If you are persistently late, consider altering your travel arrangements.

Tutorials: Tutorials are available for all second-year modules. For undergraduates these tutorials are not compulsory. Instead, they may be arranged at times of mutual convenience. In order to indicate that you have an interest in attending a tutorial, simply e-mail the module organiser to request a meeting time and date. Tutorials work best if there is a group of interested students, so it is a good idea to request that a tutorial be arranged if you know of a few others who would be willing to come along and participate. Individuals who wish to discuss issues related to the module may simply arrange an appointment. Please note that there is actually a high staff/student contact in computer workshops, laboratory classes and essay-focussed seminars, and many quick questions associated with lectures can be dealt with in these sessions.

Other information

Compulsory for:
Year 2 BA Psychology, Year 2 BSc Psychology

Correct as at 18-04-16. SC


  • Essential Reading:
  • 1. Carlson, N.R. (2013). Physiology of behavior. (11th edition). London: Pearson.
  • 2. Garrett, B. (2015). Brain and behavior. (4th edition). Belmont, CA: Thompson Learning, Inc.
  • 3. Kolb, B., Whishaw, I.Q. & Teskey, C.G. (2016). An introduction to Brain and Behavior. (5th edition). New York: Worth Publishers.
  • 4. Watson, N.V. & Breedlove, S.M. (2016). Thje Mind's Macine: Foundations of Brain and Behavior. (2nd edition). Sunderland MA: Sinauer Associates Inc.

Further information