Exchange studies

Syllabus for Advanced Neurobiology

Avancerad neurobiologi med hjärnans sjukdomar

A revised version of the syllabus is available.

  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 3NR600
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biomedicine A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2010-07-29
  • Established by: The Educational Board of Medicine/Chair
  • Revised: 2015-09-21
  • Revised by: The Master Programmes Board of the Faculty of Medicine
  • Applies from: week 39, 2015
  • Entry requirements: 180 credits from Bachelor's programmes in biomedicine, pharmacy or biology, or international educations that provides knowledge of cell and molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology and neurobiology. English proficiency corresponding to English B in the Swedish school system.
  • Responsible department: Department of Neuroscience

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student shall be able to:

- describe and analyse the importance of basic neurophysiology and neuronal network activity for brain function and normal neuronal development and when disturbed, what problems may arise and why.
- analyse, compare and contrast what strategies are available and suitable to detect, cure or delay disease, as well as promote recovery from certain diseases of central nervous system (CNS) origin such as declined cognition, mental illness, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), sensory disorders, stress and brain tumour as well as those where the enteric nervous system is involved as in diabetes.
- analyse the development of CNS diseases in the community from a health perspective, as well as describe the pathogenesis and disease panorama for common diseases.
- describe how to carry out research using proper scientific principles including research ethics.

- describe and perform common techniques in neurobiology, including brain tissue preparation from rodents, confocal imaging and electrophysiological recordings.
- describe and perform some neurophysiological and neuropharmacological techniques such as patch-clamp recordings (whole cell, single channel) to study neuronal activity, pharmacology and synaptic transmission.
- demonstrate knowledge of methodologies for preclinical and clinical studies of traumatic brain injury.
- demonstrate the ability of critical reading, analysing and discussing scientific literature individually.
- understand the theoretical background of performed practical tasks and selected topics in a literature review project, and be able to summarise and present this in writing and orally, as well as to give constructive feedback to peer's work.

- search for and assort relevant literature, as well as be able to critically interpret and assess this literature both orally and in writing.
- demonstrate an understanding of a scientific approach, how to evaluate scientific investigations, how ethical considerations are applied on research and how scientific results are communicated.
- reflect on and discuss bioethical aspects of neurobiological research.



The course describes the biology and function of the brain and covers areas ranging from molecules to the behaviour of the individual in health and disease. The course is divided into six themes: the molecules, cells, networks and plasticity, the brain-gut axis, sensory systems, traumatic brain injury, mental illness and brain tumours.

The theoretical session including lectures and journal clubs covers studies of molecules, proteins and cells that control the basic physiology of the nervous systems. The student will be taken on a journey from the genes to the ever more complex organisation of the nervous system, to cognition, behaviour and sometimes disease. The student will learn how the system responds to a new experience, damage or an overdose and how the nervous system is able to repair and cope with its experiences.

The laboratory session contains computer simulation labs, practical labs and lab demonstrations.

Training in critical reading and discussing scientific publications, as well as scientific writing and oral presentation in the literature review project.

You will also develop insights into subjects that are important for science like bioethics, research ethics, how to apply for ethical permits and equality between the sexes, through a lecture series shared with other Master programs at the Faculty of Medicine.


The teaching is organised based on guidelines for the students' working conditions at Uppsala University (Dnr UFV 2009/902) and given in the form of lectures, journal clubs, literature review projects (written report and oral seminar) and laboratory sessions and reports. There will be a particular focus on stimulating independent thinking and problem-solving abilities.
JOURNAL CLUBS are presentations and discussions of theme-related scientific publications in groups (maximum 10 students in each group) in the presence of tutors.
LITERATURE REVIEW PROJECT: each group consisting of two students will select one interesting topic within the neurobiology field, write a short written review, give an oral presentation in the final seminar and receive the feedback from peers and the course leaders.
LABORATORY SESSIONS constitute an important part of the course connected to theoretical sessions and are performed individually or in groups and concluded with written laboratory reports.

The course elements, including course introduction, journal clubs, labs, the literature review report and oral presentation, are compulsory.


The final grade in the course is based on the following assessment components:
i) Active participation in the compulsory parts including laboratory sessions, journal clubs and literature review seminar.
ii) Approved group literature review reports and individually written lab reports.
iii) Approved individually written exam with multiple-choice questions.
iv) Approved individually written take-home exam.
v) Approved written essay on ethical aspects of a subject taken from the lectures of the seminar series shared with other Master programs.

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.