Anatomy BSc/MSci

Diseases of the Nervous System 4Y option BIOL4038

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine neurodegenerative, genetic, viral and other central nervous system disease processes.


This option is assigned to S1 option block. There is normally one 3-hour session on Fridays. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (70%) and in-course assessment consisting of answering a series of questions on a research paper (30%); students will be given the paper in advance of the assignment.

Main Assessment In: April/May

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

The course aims to encourage critical analysis of the environmental and genetic factors that lead to diseases of the human nervous system. A range of nervous system diseases with differing aetiologies will be studied (for example, neurodegenerative diseases of ageing, psychiatric diseases, infections of the nervous system, etc.). 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ Discuss the aetiology of different nervous system diseases, giving appropriate examples; 

■ Discuss the molecular basis of several neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases; 

■ Integrate information on how certain brain diseases are caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and the environment; 

■ Discuss how infectious agents are involved in certain nervous system diseases; 

■ Evaluate current and potential future treatment strategies for the different nervous system diseases.

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