Fact file - 2014 entry
Type and duration:3 year UG
A level offer: AAB
Required subjects: two science subjects including biology and/or chemistry plus one other (not general studies or critical thinking)
IB score: 34 (three subjects at Higher Level including two sciences, one of which must be biology or chemistry)
Available part time: no
Course places: 35-40 combined with B141, B1C7 and B1B2
Campus: University Park Campus
Neuroscience is the study of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system in terms of its normal function and dysfunction associated with central nervous system disorders. As such, neuroscience encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including behaviour, genetics, and cellular and molecular biology, as well as physiology.
You will study the fundamental aspects of human physiology and pharmacology and the essentials of cellular processes including genetic mechanisms and biochemical metabolism. In addition, you are introduced to various areas of neuroscience research and will acquire skills in oral and written presentation.
This year will consolidate the main areas and approaches to neuroscience, enabling you to gain specific training in practical techniques. The main areas covered are neuroanatomy and neurodevelopment, excitable tissues, molecular pharmacology, physiology and pharmacology of the central and autonomic nervous systems, neuronal signalling, computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics, behavioural neuroscience, neurotoxicology, neuropathology and neuroendocrinology.
Your final year includes a number of more specialised neuroscience modules such as The Neurobiology of Pain, Molecular Biology of Receptors and Brain Disease, Sensory and Clinical Neuroscience. However, major emphasis is placed on a research project, which may be laboratory-based.
A levels: AAB, including two science subjects including biology and/or chemistry plus one other (not general studies or critical thinking) at A level
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 87 (minimum 19 with 20 in speaking)
Pearson Test of English Academic 62 (minimum 55)
For details please see alternative qualifications page
Foundation year - a foundation year is available for some of our courses
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Fundamentals of Neuroscience
This module introduces the gross structure of the brain and peripheral nervous system, major cell types of the nervous system, and control of blood flow to the brain. In addition, there will be an introduction to neurotransmission and diseases of the brain including multiple sclerosis. Material will be taught through a series of seminars, lectures and computer based workshops.
Human Physiology and Pharmacology
This module provides a broad overview of how the human body functions, and how classes of medicinal drugs can act on specific systems. It covers aspects of nervous system function which complement the Fundamentals of Neuroscience module, and also the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems, and lung function. This module consists of 3 hours of lectures each week.
Cell structure and metabolism
This module will introduce structure and function of cells and cell organelles, protein and enzyme structure and function, the processes of energy transduction from macromolecules, biosynthesis of cell components, and the role of cell membranes in barrier and transport processes. Weekly practical classes will teach you accurate assay of biochemical molecules, separation techniques, the function of mitochondria in biological oxidation, properties of proteins and enzymes, enzyme purification, and solution of biochemical problems.
Genes and Cellular Control
This module will examine how information in DNA is used to determine the structure of gene products. Topics covered will include: DNA structure, transcription and translation, mutations and the agents causing them, inheritance in bacteria and viruses, the integration of metabolic activity and an assessment of how these phenomena control growth and development. This module consists of 3 hours of lectures each week.
This module reviews neuronal signalling and information processing, neural networks, and computer modelling. The approach will be based on experimental studies to illustrate basic neurophysiological mechanisms. It will investigate how processing of information by individual nerve cells leads to aspects of integrative neuroscience, and consider how these properties aid our understanding of the neurobiological basis of behaviour.
Basic molecular pharmacology
This module will cover the basic mechanisms involved in drug action; receptors, signal transduction, cell mediators, drug distribution and delivery, toxicology and genetic factors and will provide a basic understanding of drug action and receptor mechanisms.
The ageing brain
This module provides an understanding of brain ageing from both the physiological and behavioural perspectives. You’ll be given an overview of the major evolutionary and physiological theories attempting to explain why and how cells age, centred on research methods used to study ageing. It will illustrate how models, from cellular to whole organism, can help our understanding of brain ageing. Importantly, this module discusses the distinction between normal and pathological ageing.
This module will encourage you to think about the brain in a functional way, and consider what behaviours are associated with particular brain pathologies. The module will review: how we produce and understand language; how we recognise things in our environment; how we commit things to memory and recall them when we need to; how we organise our behaviour; how we control pain and emotions and how and why we sleep.
This module will examine the structure and function of hypothalamic and neuroendocrine systems which regulate physiology and behaviour and thereby control growth, reproduction, metabolism, energy intake and expenditure, and biological rhythms. The module also covers the important role of hormones in feedback control systems of the central nervous system and the behavioural consequences of the release of these hormones.
Autonomic Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology
This module will examine the physiology and pharmacology of the autonomic and other peripheral nervous systems including neuropeptides; co-existence of neurotransmitters; purines and the effect of drugs on the salivary glands; smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscle; gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems; and the eye. It will also consider mechanisms by which the autonomic nervous system controls peripheral functions in synergism with hormonal mechanisms.
Molecular and Developmental Biology
This module will consider how the brain develops and connects, how the connections function, are maintained and repaired, how information is stored in the form of memory, and how our knowledge of neurobiology can be applied. This module involves spending 3 hours per week within practicals and having a 3 hour lecture once per week.
Typical Final Year Modules
Neuroscience Research Project
The research project is a year-long module. Preparatory work including a literature review and familiarisation with laboratory techniques and protocols occurs in the Autumn semester, with the bulk of the practical work in the Spring semester. You will choose the topic of your project from a list of suggestions and will finalise the experimental plan this after consultation with your supervisor. Each project will involve collection of data by means such as experiment, questionnaire or observation, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the data in the context of previous work.
This module is concerned with gaining detailed understanding and interpretation of clinically relevant information and diagnostic data used in the assessment of physiological and psychological function of the peripheral and central nervous systems in the normal individual and in disease. The module will also be concerned with the assessment of drug action in humans and the design and planning of drug trials of new drugs developed for the treatment of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disease.
This module will instil an appreciation of current and future directions of research in neuroscience, and develop skills in communication of science. You will use current scientific papers from major neuroscience journals to practice and develop skills in reviewing scientific articles, and in formulating and researching questions and producing written and oral presentations, as well as working as part of a team.
Molecular aspects of brain disease
This module will develop an understanding of the present state of knowledge of the genetics and molecular aspects of central nervous system diseases with full discussion of the practical and ethical implications of the new genetic information. The module will concentrate on gene mapping techniques and molecular biology, and how these improve understanding of the molecular basis of neuronal cell death, autoimmune disease, and neuronal dysfunction in mental illness. The disorders to be considered will include schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke and trauma.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
This module will consider ion channels at the molecular level, with topics including the structure and function of different ion channel groups and their modulation by drugs, pesticides and natural toxins. You’ll also consider the synthesis and transport of neurotransmitters and the formation and release of synaptic vesicles. To study for this module you will have a 4 hour lecture once per week.
This module will study mental processes, including the ways in which we gain information from the world, how that information is represented and transformed as knowledge, how it is sorted and how it is used to direct our attention and behaviour. This is our ability to perceive, comprehend, attend, store and retrieve information gained from the world. You’ll have 2 hours of lectures per week.
Psychology of addiction
The aim of the module is to provide a broad understanding of the behavioural and biological mechanisms underlying drug and behavioural addictions. The three key aims of the course are to introduce popular drugs of abuse, to compare disruptive behavioural addictions, and to identify common themes of addiction and the underlying mechanisms.
This module provides an introduction to the basic biology and genetics of micro-organisms, their impact on human health and the environment, and their use in biotechnology. You will spend around 3 hours per week in lectures and 3 hours per week in laboratory practicals.
Genetics ecology and evolution
This module considers the genetics, evolution, and ecology of living organisms, extending from the basics of genetics, through evolutionary genetics and molecular evolution, to behaviour and population and community ecology. Around 3 hours per week will be spent within lectures studying this module.
Neuropsychology and applied neuroimaging
This course examines the deficits seen in individuals who have suffered brain damage. Students will learn about the impairments of language, memory, perception, attention, motor control, executive control and emotion. This course evaluates both the clinical and theoretical aspects of these syndromes. In particular, this course will evaluate the implications regarding how the healthy brain functions.
You will graduate with a broad understanding of neuroscience and will have undertaken a research project investigating a particular topic in depth; you will have a wide range of transferable skills in presentation, communication, IT, analysis and presentation of data, and independent study. For graduate destinations see 'Skills and careers' for MSci Neuroscience.
Average starting salary and career progression
In 2012, 92.2% of first-degree graduates in the School of Biomedical Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £18,500 with the highest being £26,000.*
* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates 2011/12.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
Scholarships and bursaries
The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.
There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.
To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.
* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.
The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.