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Explore the human brain, for CPD or as a gateway to further study

This program of three online courses introduces the key concepts of the human brain, before exploring the effects that Parkinson’s disease and drugs have on it.

The Good Brain, Bad Brain program is suitable for anyone who wants to know more about the brain: you may be doing your A-levels and considering a neuroscience-related degree; or you may already be working in healthcare and want to learn more as part of your continuing professional development (CPD).

Either way, the courses provide a flexible way to learn - they are accessible for free on desktop, tablet or mobile and delivered in bite-sized chunks.

And when you complete all three courses and buy a Certificate of Achievement for each, you will earn a FutureLearn Award as proof of completing the program of study.


To get an award you will need to upgrade all courses on this program, then qualify for a Certificate of Achievement on each course. To qualify you need to do at least 90% of each course and score an average of 70% or above on any tests.

Once you have qualified for a Certificate of Achievement on every course you will receive a FutureLearn Award.

This program will require 8 weeks of learning and cost a total of $222.

Learn with experts in neuroscience and pharmacology

The Good Brain, Bad Brain program has been developed by the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. On each course, you’ll learn with Alison Cooper - a senior lecturer, specialising in neuroscience and pharmacology.

Learning outcomes

The Good Brain, Bad Brain program is suitable for anyone who wants to know more about the brain. By the end, you will be able to:

  • describe the key features of the cells that make up the human nervous system that allow them to carry out their function;
  • explain how the arrangement of these cells within the human brain relates to brain function;
  • describe the defining symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and explain how the pathology seen in Parkinson’s disease leads to these symptoms;
  • explain the rationale behind the currently used treatments for Parkinson’s disease;
  • appreciate the need for new therapies and what our increasing understanding of the neurobiology is telling us about what possible new therapies there might be;
  • and describe the stages of drug discovery and development, from scientists having the first idea to it being used in clinical treatment.

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