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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


NST Part II Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN)

NST Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)


Course Organisers:

Professor Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri (ans48[at] & 

Dr Clare Buckley (ceb85[at]

Development and Reproductive Biology Theme organiser:
Professor Nick Brown

Integrative Physiology Theme Organiser: 
Dr James Fraser

Neuroscience Theme Organiser: 
Professor Angela Roberts

General Enquiries:

Part II Administrator: Sophie Jones
Email part2[at]


Course Overview

The Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience is concerned with material central to the life sciences. It addresses questions about the way that cells, tissues and organs develop and function in people and animals. Physiology, Development and Neuroscience are broad but interlinked subjects with many different areas of specialisation. A good grounding in these subjects opens the way to a wide variety of careers: these range from those where you use your knowledge directly, to those in which the understanding you will acquire of complex organisms is put to work less directly, such as in managing equally complex human organisations. 

The knowledge and skills gained on this Part II course will provide a valuable basis for the practice of human and veterinary clinical medicine, where a critical understanding of scientific advances is essential in designing and evaluating new treatments. Many parts of the course concentrate on important research areas where recent discoveries have changed our perception of disease and have posed new questions to be answered. The modules are organised into three themes, allowing you to spend the whole of your third year studying in depth Development & Reproductive Biology, Integrative Physiology or Neuroscience. Alternatively, those seeking a broader overview can select to follow a more general course, combining modules across these themes.

Teaching of the course involves most members of staff of the Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience and is supplemented by invited specialists from across the University and from the Babraham Institute, Cancer Research UK, Gurdon Institute, the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Addenbrookes and Papworth hospitals.

You will probably already have an overview of some or all of physiology, development and neuroscience from your Part I courses and we will therefore build upon these basics by offering an in depth course in which we will not attempt to cover the whole of these subjects. We offer teaching on topics of current interest that we discuss to a much higher level than in Part I. This means that you can devote your time to those areas you find particularly interesting. While we expect that the majority will have done the Part IA and IB courses in physiology, neurobiology or developmental and/or reproductive biology, we will also welcome those who have done only one of these courses, as well as those who approach physiology, development and neuroscience from other directions, such as biochemistry, genetics or animal biology.
PDN also runs a standalone BBS minor module: 137 - Surgical and Radiological Anatomy (SaRA). The course introduces students to areas of anatomy that are especially relevant in preparing students for safe surgical and radiological practice. Further information can be found on the Faculty of Biology BBS Minor subject webpage:

Part II Brochure 2024-25

All those applying to Part II PDN must complete the internal application form, as well as the NST Part II Allocation form