Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Health Neuroscience 4H PSYCH4082

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course offers a brief survey of the neural mechanisms that underlie health behaviours such as eating, drug use, and stress. Besides learning about neural mechanisms important across diverse health domains, students learn to examine a particular health behaviour in detail, not only understanding its underlying neural mechanisms, but using this understanding to develop future research. Lectures during the first 1.5 hr of each class session provide relevant background material about neural mechanisms, theories, methods, findings, and issues. During the remaining 0.5 hr of each class session, students meet in small groups to develop individual projects, receiving feedback from other students and from the instructor.


10 hours of lectures/seminars over a 5 week block

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of level 3H psychology single honours

Excluded Courses





Students will write a final project report (2000 words), based on these assignments and discussion, worth 100% of the grade.


Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course explores the neural mechanisms that underlie healthy and unhealthy behaviours. After learning about relevant neural mechanisms in health domains such as eating, drug use, and stress, students select a specific health behaviour to examine in depth. Over the course, each student develops an individual project that (1) examines relevant literature on their target health behaviour, (2) characterises its underlying neural mechanisms, along with supporting situational conditions, (3) identifies outstanding issues and directions for future research, and (4) develops a research proposal to increase understanding of relevant neural mechanisms.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

* outline important neural mechanisms that underlie a variety of healthy and unhealthy behaviours

* review important theories and theoretical distinctions, along with relevant empirical evidence

* find, evaluate, and integrate relevant literature on the neural mechanisms that underlie a target health behaviour

* characterize the neural mechanisms that underlie this behaviour

* identify outstanding issues and future directions associated with research on these mechanisms

* develop a specific research proposal to better understand these mechanisms

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.