Singapore University of Social Sciences

Biological Influences on Human Behaviour

Biological Influences on Human Behaviour (SWK203)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


Building on the students’ knowledge from the course Human Growth and Lifespan Development, this course gives students further understanding of human biology and how it relates to human behaviour. The topics covered include anatomy, physiology, genetics, and biology and its relationship to health and illness.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system
  • Neurons
  • Spinal cord and structures of human brain
  • Resting potential and action potential
  • Synaptic transmission processes and neurotransmitters
  • Mendelian genetics and process of chromosomes reproduction
  • Nature and nurture debate
  • Bronfenbrenner Bioecological Model
  • Phases of neurodevelopment
  • Effects of experience on the early development
  • Autism. Importance of early intervention
  • Schizophrenia
  • Affective disorders
  • Addiction as a disease and its biological basis
  • Addiction to alochol and psychogenic drugs, gambling and internet
  • Risk factors and prevention strategies
  • The neuroendocrine system and the process of sexual development
  • Exceptional cases in human sexual development
  • Sexual orientation

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the neurological, genetic and hormonal mechanisms that shape human behaviour.
  • Demonstrate that human behaviours are often a result of the influence from multiple factors.
  • Examine the biological influences on human behaviour and recommend social services that can be implemented to reduce social problems
  • Explain the biological theories of mental illness and the treatment methods for mental illness and apply the knowledge to social work.
  • Apply critical thinking to examine human behaviours from different perspectives and suggest implications on social work practice.
  • Analyze finding and present a conclusion from literature.
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