Basic and Translational Neuroscience

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 30.3 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 49.5 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jun 21, 2024
6 place StudyQA ranking:3185 Duration:1 year

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The programme is a one-year Masters course with both taught and research components. Students selected onto the course will follow the structured MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience research training. The aims of this one-year, full-time research training course are as follows:

  • to give the student experience of research work;
  • to expose them to a variety of laboratory environments and the balance of self sufficiency and team work needed in a researcher;
  • to introduce them to the basic skills of experimental design, project management, time management etc. needed in research;
  • to familiarise the student with the practicalities of laboratory research, imparting an understanding of the nature of bench research, of record keeping and data handling and of good laboratory practice;
  • to introduce them to basic analytical techniques needed to understand and contextualise their research;
  • to familiarise them with basic scientific writing and presentation skills.

The additional objectives that are specific to this programme will be:

  • to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds into neuroscience by providing a taught module with a basic overview of neuroscience;
  • provide students thorough training in neuroscience methods, data analysis and statistics techniques;
  • give students the necessary basic but broad understanding of neuroscience to prepare them for future PhD studies;
  • provide students with adequate experience in neuroscience research to enable them to make an informed choice of PhD project if they so wish.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Masters course, students drawn from a diverse range of subject backgrounds are all expected to have:

  • developed a broad understanding of modern research techniques, and thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to research in topics related to Neuroscience;
  • been exposed to a number of theoretical approaches to brain science and trained in critical thinking in the area;
  • acquired specific expertise in neuroscience research methods and statistics;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field;
  • acquired knowledge of a broad range of interdisciplinary research areas and supervisors to inform their choice of PhD projects if applicable;
  • undertaken training in generic and transferable research skills including the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies.


Students wishing to progress to the PhD after completing this MPhil course must apply via the Graduate Admissions Office.  They will be required to pass the MPhil degree at a sufficient level to satisfy the Departmental Graduate Education Committee of the Department they are applying to and that they have the skills and ability to achieve the higher degree.

The course offers both taught and research components including:

A project rotation in a laboratory of the student’s choice, among the projects offered by Cambridge Neuroscience Principal Investigators. The write up for the project will be formally assessed.

Supervisors will be drawn from Principal Investigators listed on the Cambridge Neuroscience web site: For projects in external organisations (industry-based), the student would have an additional academic University based supervisor in addition to the industry-based supervisor. 

Students will be expected to choose from three out of 5-7 research training modules offered from modules and may be shared by other courses.  These modules may vary from year to year. 

In addition to the research project and research training modules, the students will receive a total of >20 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops on the five main themes of Cambridge Neuroscience.

Students taking this degree will be members of the University’s Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) who offer a wide variety of Generic Skills Training.

One to one supervision

The Programme Director will be appointed as Principal Supervisor for all students for the duration of the Masters year; project supervisors drawn from the principal investigators or senior research staff within their groups will also be assigned for the research projects. The Principal Supervisor assisted by the Programme Co-ordinator will provide individual guidance and general support and meet the students at least once a term (i.e. at least 3 times during the MPhil course).

Seminars & classes

Interdisciplinary seminars and journal clubs (minimum attendance 1/week)


Neuroscience lectures  >20h during the Michaelmas and Lent Terms


Research training modules – must complete 3 out of 5-7 modules offered.


Students will participate in a symposium where they will have the opportunity for presenting their research. Students will be encouraged to join cognate learned Societies such to give presentations arising from their projects at relevant conferences.


Students can expect to receive an online feedback report each term.  Feedback is provided by the Principal Supervisor and Programme Co-ordinator.  



 A report on the research project, approved or prescribed by the Degree Committee, not exceeding 10,000 words in length, including tables, figure legends, and appendices, but excluding bibliography.


One essay, not exceeding 5,000 words in length, on a topic approved by the Degree Committee of the Faculty of Biology. With the permission of the Degree Committee, the essay may be by a research proposal for a prospective Ph.D. project;

Written examination

An MCQ paper on Research methods and statistics critical appraisal;


The examination shall include an oral examination on the work submitted by the candidate under(a)–(c) above and on the general field of knowledge within which such work falls.

  • Magistr (Master's Degree) at Pass level. Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of good or 4/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 4/5 Bologna Bachelor's from other institutions with an overall grade of 5/5, Excellent
  • Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of Excellent or 5/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 5/5
  • IELTS (Academic) 7.5
  • TOEFL Internet Score 110
  • £50 application fee
  • First Academic Reference
  • Second Academic Reference
  • Transcript
  • CV/Resumé 
  • Personal Reference. This is only required if you are applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
  • Global Education
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
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