|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
What do biologists and psychologists understand by the concepts of brain and consciousness? How do we study the brain, its structure and development? What is schizophrenia? This course presents an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the brain and to the behavioural and psychological sciences. It focuses on humans, and where possible considers implications for human health of factors affecting behaviour and the nervous system. Much of our understanding of the nervous system derives from animal research, so this is also described. The emphasis is on observation and experiment, and you’ll carry out some investigations yourself.
We strongly advise that you read the entry advice very carefully before registering for this course.
Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.
No current presentation - see Future availability
|This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2013.|
You will learn how to formulate hypotheses; plan and carry out investigations; and manipulate the resulting data. You will also be expected to carry out an investigation of your own. The course develops your written presentation skills, and your ability to understand and interpret current findings in biological psychology.
The course will enable you to:
The course is presented in six books, some accompanied by CD material. A Study Guide and Glossary provides guidance on studying the study materials.
Book 1 From Cells to Consciousness begins with an introduction to the course, explaining both its approach and its scope. This leads into an examination of nervous systems, in particular the human nervous system, its organisation and the various different types of cell within it. There is then a discussion of the phenomenon of consciousness.
Book 2 Beyond Reasonable Doubt is a guide to designing experiments in the behavioural sciences. More specifically, it provides a background to the experiments that are undertaken in the investigative strand of the course.
Book 3 Exploring the Brain starts with some basic cell biology. It then proceeds with a survey of the many techniques used to study nervous systems and the brain. It ends with a study of how genes and the environment, nature and nurture, work together in the development of the human nervous system, in particular during the period from conception to birth, to make each of us unique.
Book 4 From Neurons to Behaviour begins by examining how the cells in the nervous system communicate with each other; and how networks of such cells receive, process and communicate information. This leads in to an examination of how information is processed in the human nervous system and in the control of movement.
Book 5 Learning and Language is in two parts. The first is an examination of the neurobiological basis of learning and memory. This includes a discussion of how both are affected by the external and the internal environment. The second part of the book addresses the linked topics of hearing, speech and language.
Book 6 Emotions and Mind begins with a discussion of the topics of motivation and emotion: what are they and what is their neurobiological basis? This leads on to a study of schizophrenia; its biology, its causes, and its treatment. The course ends with a brief return to the phenomenon of consciousness, which was first discussed in Book 1.
This is a Level 2 course and to study it successfully you need to have the study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, obtained either through Level 1 study with the OU, or by doing equivalent work at another university. We strongly advise you to study one of our key introductory Level 1 courses, such as Exploring science (S104) or Introducing the social sciences (DD101) before progressing to Level 2 study.
As this is an interdisciplinary course, it is likely to present a challenge to all its students. The first half of the course is more 'biological' while the second half is more 'psychological'. Students from a non-science background may find the biological content of the course demanding, while those from a science background may find the psychological approach unfamiliar.
It is not essential to have a scientific background to study this course, although clearly some knowledge of basic biology would be very useful.
You are also strongly recommended not to start your Level 2 study with this course. It would be helpful to have studied another Level 2 course first such as Exploring psychology (DSE212), Child development (ED209), Human biology (SK277) or Biology: uniformity and diversity (S204).
It is essential that you establish whether or not your background and experience give you a sound basis on which to tackle the course, since students who are appropriately prepared have the best chance of completing their studies successfully. The Science Faculty has produced a booklet Are You Ready For SD226? to help you to decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the course or whether you need a little extra preparation. This can be viewed as an interactive program for PC or printed as a PDF from the Science Faculty website. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.
SD226 requires students to interpret diagrams, graphs and tables, analyse and present data in an appropriate way, and write accounts and experimental reports. Students who feel they may not have the necessary study skills are strongly advised to read relevant sections in The Sciences Good Study Guide (1997) by A. Northedge, J. Thomas, A. Lane and A. Peasgood before they start the course.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.
The printed study material is available on audio in DAISY Digital Talking Book format. It has not been possible to describe the diagrams contained in the books in audio, but some figure descriptions are available in MS Word format on the website. Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the study material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific materials, diagrammatic or foreign language material may be particularly difficult to read in this way. The printed study materials are also available in a comb-bound format. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.
This course includes significant use of a personal computer including the study of a number of interactive activities on CD-ROMs which are essential to the course and some disabled students may require the support of an assistant to complete these. The course also includes use of a website and tools such as online conferencing. If you use specialist software or hardware to assist you in operating a computer or the internet and have any concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to talk to the Student Registration & Enquiry Service about support which can be given to meet your needs.
If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:
Course books, study text and other printed materials, CD-ROMs, a website.
You will need a computer with internet access to study this course. It includes online activities – you can access using a web browser – and some course software provided on disk.
You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.
You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.
The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.
You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.
The end-of-module assignment (EMA) that takes the place of an examination must be submitted online.
This course may help you to gain recognition from a professional body. Download Recognition leaflets 3.1 British Psychological Society and 3.8 Scientific Institutions for more information.
The details given here are for the course that starts in February 2013 when it will be available for the last time.
Students who studied this course also studied at some time:
We regret that we are currently unable to accept registrations for this course. Where the course is to be presented again in the future, relevant registration information will be displayed on this page as soon as it becomes available.
“The books make interesting reading, but the course isn't very well executed. The TMAs only cover a portion of the ...”
“Thank you for your comments, we are pleased that you found the books interesting reading but we have to disagree ...”
“An interesting course but the jargon completely threw me and it was hard to follow as I kept having to ...”
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read Distance learning explained.
|About this course:|
|Course work includes:|
|3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)|
|No residential school|
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