Human Biology & Physiology BSc/MSci

Autonomic Nervous System 4Y option BIOL4007

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

Short Description

Students will explore the importance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in health and disease. This will include evaluating our current understanding of the ANS and the research methods used to investigate the ANS further.


There is normally one 3-hour session on Fridays, which may be split over more than one session. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (80%) and in-course assessment consisting of a presentation (20%). 

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

This course aims to encourage students to develop a deep understanding of the autonomic nervous system, to evaluate the techniques used to investigate the ANS and to provide experience in discussing and presenting current research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Discuss and critically appraise the current state of understanding of the ANS;

■ Relate the organisation and physiology of the ANS to the different processes controlled by the ANS;

■ Evaluate the research techniques used to investigate the role of the ANS in physiology and pathophysiology;

■ Produce a clear, organised presentation relating to current research in the ANS.

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.