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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Biological Psychology 1
Module Code PSYC211
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Joanne Kenney
Semester 2: Joanne Kenney
Autumn: Joanne Kenney
Module TeachersStella Vlachou
Joanne Kenney
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
Completion of online activities and repeat formal examination.

To introduce students to the biological basis of human behaviour and explain theories of biological influences on behaviour.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the major theories and perspectives of biological psychology
2. Assess the strengths and limitations of using biological systems to explain human behaviour
3. Explain the contribution of genetics to human behaviour
4. Explain the impact of evolutionary theories on biopsychology
5. Identify and explain ethical issues in using humans and animals in biopsychological research
6. Describe how the central, autonomic nervous and endocrine systems are involved in psychological processes
7. Define the biopsychosocial bases for a range of substance abuse, mood and psychiatric disorders

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20No Description
Seminars5No Description
Independent Study98Review and Learning of Lecture and Seminar Materials; Engagement with and Completion of Online Activities.
Directed learning2Final Exam
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to brain and behaviour

Genetics, environment, physiological and evolutionary psychology

Anatomy, structure and organisation of the nervous System

Neural conduction and synaptic transmission

Research Methods and Ethics of biopsychology: an introduction

Biopsychology of Motivation (e.g., Sleep, dreaming and circadian rhythms; Drug addiction and reward)

Biopsychology of Psychological/Psychiatric Disorders (e.g., Schizophrenia, Depression, Mania, Anxiety, etc.)

Biopsychology of Emotion, Stress and Health

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Completion of online activityCompletion of online activities30%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • John P. J. Pinel, S. Barnes: 2017, Biopsychology, 10th, Pearson Education, Boston, MA, 9781292158471
  • Bryan Kolb,Ian Whishaw,G Campbell Teskey: 2019, An Introduction to Brain and Behavior, 6th, Worth Publishers, Macmillan International, New York, NY, USA, 9781319243562
  • Bob L. Garrett, G. Hough: 2017, Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioural Neuroscience, 5th, Kindle, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1544317506
  • Bob L. Garrett, G. Hough: 2018, Study Guide to Accompany Garrett & Hough's Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioural Neuroscience, 5th, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA, 9781506392479
  • David Linden: 2018, The Biology of Psychological Disorders, 2nd, Red Globe Press; Macmillan International, 9781137610416
  • James W. Kalat: 2015, Biological Psychology, 12th, Wodsworth Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA, 978130510540
  • S. Marc Breedlove, Neil V. Watson: 2013, Biological psychology: an introduction to Behavioural, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, 7th, Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, MA, 9781605351704
  • Neil R. Carlson: 2010, Physiology of behavior, 10th, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, MA, 0205666272
  • John G. Nicholls, A. R. Martin, P. A. Fuchs, D. A. Brown, M. E. Diamond, D. Weisblat: 2011, From Neuron to Brain, 5th, Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA, 0878934391
  • Dale Purves, George J. Augustine, David Fitzpatrick, William C. Hall, Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Leonard E. White (eds.): 2011, Neuroscience, 5th, Sinaeur Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA, 9780878936953
  • Andrew Wickens: 2009, Introduction to Biopsychology, 3rd, Pearson Education, Boston, MA, 9780132052962
  • Paul Aleixo (illustrations by Murray Baillon): 2008, Biological psychology: an illustrated survival guide, 1st, John Wiley and Sons, Oxford, UK, 9780470870990
  • Lisa Wise: 2010, Introduction to Psychobiology, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 0761960791
  • L. Squire, D. Berg, F. Bloom, S. du Lac, A. Ghosh: 2008, Fundamental Neuroscience, 3rd, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 978-0123740199
  • B. W. Connors, M. A. Paradiso, M. F. Bear: 2006, Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 3rd, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 978-0781760034
  • Edward O. Wilson: 2005, From so simple a beginning: Darwin's four great books (Voyage of the Beagle; The Origin of Species; The decent of Man; The experience of emotion in Man and Animals), W.W. Norton & Co., New York, NY, 0393061345
  • Richard Dawkins: 2006, The Selfish Gene, Open University Press, Berkshire, UK, 0192860925
  • F. Scott Kraly: 2009, The unwell brain: understanding the psychobiology of mental health, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, NY, 9780393705966
  • Frederick Toates: 2000, Biological Psychology: an integrative approach, Pearson Education, Boston, MA, 9780273745754
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BPDTBSc Psychology & Disruptive Technologies
BPMBSc in Psychology with Mathematics
BPYBSc (Honours) in Psychology

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