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Course overview

Curious about how your brain works?  Would you like to understand neurological diseases such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s? 

On this course, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, you'll study the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system, as well as neurological diseases and disorders, in order to help further the field and healthcare.

Disciplines studied will include:

  • behaviour
  • cellular and molecular biology
  • genetics
  • pharmacology
  • physiology
  • neuroanatomy

Through optional modules and research projects, you can tailor the course to focus on the specific areas of neuroscience that interest you. You’ll be taught by scientists with varying specialities which helps broaden your understanding of neuroscience.

BSc or MSci?

MSci degrees are undergraduate-level courses which last for four years and have an integrated masters qualification. They are the equivalent to a bachelors degree plus a masters level qualification. These courses usually provide additional industry and/or research experience to enhance your future prospects. An MSci is excellent preparation for further study such as a PhD.

If you choose to study an MSci, your student loan will cover tuition fees and living costs for the additional year too (home/EU students only). If you are unsure on whether to choose an MSci or BSc, we recommend you choose the MSci to secure your funding. Transfer to the BSc is possible.

Find out more about MSci Neuroscience.

Why choose this course?

  • Study in one of the UK’s top teaching hospitals on a course with a strong clinical and pharmacological bias
  • Gain substantial laboratory experience from year one
  • Contribute to real research during your final year project
  • Be taught by experts recognised internationally for their research

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer AAB
IB score 34 (including two science subjects, either biology or chemistry, at Higher Level)

MSci Progression requirements

MSci students should have a minimum of 55% in the first year of studies in order to continue on the (Neuroscience) MSci programme.

A Levels

Two science subjects, one of which must be biology/human biology and/or chemistry. Second science subject can be from biology, chemistry, electronics, geography, geology, human biology, maths, physics or psychology.

A pass is normally required in science practical tests, where these are assessed separately. Due to the uncertainty of practical tests taking place, this will not be required for 2021 applicants.

GCSE

GCSE English language and maths at grade 4 are also required.

Foundation progression options

Neuroscience is one of the progression pathways for our Science with a Foundation Year course. Requirements for progression are:

  • Foundation Biological Science - 55%
  • Foundation Chemistry - 55%
  • Overall pass - 40%

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Practical classes

How you will be assessed

Exams happen twice a year at the end of each semester. 

Find out more about our teaching on our school website.

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Examinations
  • Lab reports
  • Presentation

Modules

From the first term, you will study neuroscience specific topics.

You’ll also join other life sciences students in modules covering the physiology of the major body systems in humans and the basics of genes, molecules and cells.

Optional modules provide further study in another biologically related subject or something transferable such as languages. 

Core modules

Fundamentals of Neuroscience
This module will give you a good grounding in the basic principles of the nervous system of humans and other animals. Topics will include neuroanatomy, cellular neuroscience, neuropharmacology, sensory systems, neuroendocrinology, memory, behavioural neuroscience and diseases of the nervous system. These will be delivered through weekly lectures and practical classes.
Core Skills in Neuroscience

Through lectures, workshops and tutorials this module will enable you to develop core skills in statistics, pharmacology, neuroscience methodology, scientific writing, data handling and analysis, experimental design and scientific presentations. This module is designed to develop your problem solving scientific skills. An important aspect of this module is the small-group tutorials which allow you to get to know the member of staff who will be your tutor for the duration of your studies.

Human physiology

In this module, you will be introduced to the physiology of the major systems eg cardiovascular, nervous, and musculoskeletal, mostly in man, including some aspects of drug action. This module will allow you to understand your biochemical and genetics knowledge in the context of the intact organism. This module includes lectures and laboratory classes.

Genes, Molecules and Cells
This module combines lectures and laboratory classes and introduces you to the structure and function of significant molecules in cells, and the important metabolic processes which occur inside them. You will study, amongst other topics, protein and enzyme structure and function, the biosynthesis of cell components, and the role of cell membranes in barrier and transport processes. You'll examine how information in DNA is used to determine the structure of gene products. Topics include DNA structure, transcription and translation and mutation and recombinant DNA technology.

Optional modules

You must choose 20 credits of additional modules. These can either be from within the School of Life Sciences or from other schools in the University (inclduing languages and psychology).

Options from within the School of Life Sciences are:

Life on Earth
Life on Earth provides an introduction to the fundamental characteristics and properties of the myriad of organisms which inhabit our planet, from viruses, bacteria and Archaea, to plants and animals. In weekly lectures, and regular laboratory practical classes, you will consider how living organisms are classified, how they are related genetically and phylogenetically, and basic aspects of their structure and function.
Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour
Starting with Darwin’s theory of evolution, you will learn how natural selection and other evolutionary forces have shaped the ways in which organisms interact with each other and their environment. In addition to lectures, practical classes will give you hands-on experience with a range of ecological and behavioural concepts in the laboratory and the field.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Building on your knowledge from year one, you’ll undertake a series of practical laboratory classes that will conclude with a laboratory report.

Small group teaching of around six students provides support in developing skills such as presenting data and critically appraising scientific papers.

Further optional modules are available.

Core modules

Higher Skills in Neurscience
This module builds upon and employs the core skills introduced in the first year. In particular it focuses on developing your skills to design and conduct laboratory based research using a variety of neuroscience techniques. Moreover, we will develop your ability to work in a team and communicate your ideas and findings to different audiences using a variety of media. Alongside lectures, practicals and workshops, small-group tutorials are an essential component of this module to help you develop your own research and communication skills. 
Structural and Developmental Neuroscience
This module enables students to understand how the nervous system develops, is organised and processes information. The module will describe the basic neuroanatomy of brain systems, major structures of the mammalian brain, what they do,  and explain how these and the nervous system develops. Moreover it includes topics such as the evolution of the nervous system and how this differs between invertebrate and vertebrates, stem cells and neurogenesis.
Neurons and Glia

This module will provide you with an understanding of the mechanisms behind electrical conduction in neurones. You will learn about the generation of the membrane potential and its essential role in signaling within the nervous system. You will develop an appreciation of the role of ion channels in the generation of trans-membrane currents and how myelin can accelerate signal conduction. You will also learn about the important supporting roles that astrocytes and glial cells play in the nervous system in order to ensure its efficient functioning.

Neurobiology of Disease

This module will teach you the underlying neurophysiology and pathology associated with several common CNS disorders and the neuropharmacology of currently available medication. You will learn about the neurotransmitters and pathways involved in normal brain function and how changes in these contribute to abnormal function. You will also decipher the pharmacological mechanisms of drugs used to treat these CNS disorders. You will cover numerous human diseases including those with great significance such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism.

Optional modules

You must choose 20 credits of additional modules. These can either be from within the School of Life Sciences or from other schools in the University.

Options from the School of Life Sciences include:

Animal Behaviour and Physiology

A comprehensive introduction to the study of animal behaviour, from the physiological and genetic bases of behaviour to its development through learning and its adaptive significance in the natural environment. Through practical classes, you will learn about the physiological basis of fundamental behaviours. Using examples from across the animal kingdom, you will learn how predictive modelling, experimental and observational approaches integrate to explain how and why animals behave as they do.

Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics

This module will provide an in-depth analysis of drug action, and its application to the design and use of current therapeutics. You will learn to define what drugs are, the different ways they act at the cellular and molecular level, and the pharmacokinetic principles underlying drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. You will explore examples in cardiovascular and respiratory disease, diabetes and obesity, CNS disorders, cancer and infectious disease. Overall, you will develop a deep understanding of what the discipline of pharmacology represents, and its application to both basic biological research and current and future medical advances.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Your final year includes a number of more specialised neuroscience modules which currently include pain, molecular neuroscience and other advanced topics pertinent to the filed.

By being optional, these allow you to design your final year around your interests and aspirations.

Finally there's a research project, which may be laboratory-based.

Core 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 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.
Sensory Neuroscience
This module provides an overview of the processing of sensory information by the nervous system, examining the function of the somatosensory, chemosensory, visual and auditory systems. You will also develop your scientific research and evaluation skills. The module is delivered through lectures and seminar-based workshops.
Advanced Skills in Neuroscience

Optional modules

Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Considers 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 will also consider the synthesis and transport of neurotransmitters and the formation and release of synaptic vesicles. This module involves one three hour session per week incorporating eight lectures and two practical sessions.
Advanced Glia
Chronbiology
Neuroimaging
Neurogenetics and epigenetics
History of Neuroscience
Clinical Neuroscience
Molecular Aspects of Brain Disease
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Core Modules

This additional year focuses on a year-long masters-level research project. A great introduction to postgraduate study, you’ll gain experience in writing a literature review and a research grant proposal. The extensive practical component involves collection and detailed analysis of completely novel data.

In an additional module, you’ll learn about research presentation skills including writing papers and preparing posters and webpages.

Advanced optional modules are available to complement your research or expose you to new ideas that will improve your scientific understanding.

Neuroscience Research Project MSci
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 experiment, questionnaire or observation, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the data in the context of previous work. 
Synoptic Module
In this module you will synthesise the material taught on your course, bringing together the various ideas, concepts, fact and systems to understand how the nervous system functions.

Optional modules

You must choose 70 credits of additional modules. The majority of which will be from the neuroscience degree programme. Some examples of possible options from within the School of Life Sciences are:

Sensory Neuroscience
This module provides an overview of the processing of sensory information by the nervous system, examining the function of the somatosensory, chemosensory, visual and auditory systems. You will also develop your scientific research and evaluation skills. The module is delivered through lectures and seminar-based workshops.
Pain

Pharmacists encounter patients experiencing pain every day. This module provides you with the sufficient background scientific knowledge to be able to understand and describe the clinical use of commonly used analgesics and targets novel analgesics. There is an element of patient involvement via workshop sessions where patients will talk to students in small groups. On completion of this module you will be able to apply scientific knowledge to basic clinical scenarios. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, e-learning packages and case studies.

Computational Neuroscience
Advanced Pharmacology
Epigenetics
Biological Rhythms
Environmental Neuroscience
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies.

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. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* 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.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Graduates from our course have developed careers in scientific research in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. Other careers have included management, scientific writing, professions allied to medicine, teaching and graduate entry medicine.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Axol Bioscience: laboratory production scientist
  • Nielsen: neurophysiologist
  • Ashfield Healthcare UK: recruitment executive
  • Public Health England: healthcare scientist
  • Cancer Research UK: clinical trial assistant

Find out more about the career options open to neuroscience graduates.

Average starting salary and career progression

96.5% of undergraduates from the School of Life Sciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK. 

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.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Royal Society of Biology

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers.The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.