Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Neuroscience BSc

The Neuroscience BSc offers you the opportunity to learn about the structure and function of the brain in one of the world's greatest centres for neuroscience. Courses in cell biology, developmental neurobiology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, pharmacology and psychology will show you how different areas of biology contribute to neuroscience.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Neuroscience BSc
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Total intake (by subject area)
60 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
7 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry and one subject from Biology, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Chemistry required at Advanced Higher plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades AA. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The multi-disciplinary structure allows you to draw on expertise across all life sciences. As you progress, lectures will increasingly be given by specialists who are actively involved in neuroscience-related research.
  • The programme puts particular emphasis on preparing you for careers that directly involve research or require a sound understanding of its methods.
  • UCL and its associated institutes now represent the greatest critical mass of neuroscience researchers in Europe, with an outstanding global reputation.
  • Co-operation with UCL's Institutes of Neurology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Child Health, and the newly established Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour offers unrivalled opportunities to access research laboratories for your final-year project.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The first year consists of introductory core courses that provide a secure foundation for future work. Taking courses alongside other students in the Faculties of Life Sciences and Brain Sciences will give you mutual insight into related disciplines. Taking further core and optional courses in your second year will prepare you for the third year, in which you will select specialised options to suit your own interests; examples include Neural Basis of Motivation and Learning; Pain; Neurobiology of Neurodegenerative Disease and Visual Neuroscience, but there are many more.

There is also an opportunity to transfer to the MSci programme at the end of year two, extending your programme to four years.

In the third year of the programme you will be able to join an existing research team in one of UCL's departments or institutes to conduct original research, guided by a supervisor.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cell Physiology and Developmental Biology
Chemistry for Biology Students
Foundations of Neurobiology
Introduction to Genetics
Introduction to Neuroscience
Mammalian Physiology

Optional courses

All first-year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Cellular Neurophysiology
Essential Molecular Biology
Human Neuroanatomy
Practical Neurobiochemistry

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits from a wide range of options, including:

One of the following:
General and Systematic Pharmacology (1.0 credits)
Introductory Pharmacology (0.5 credits)

Plus at least one of the following, and a further free option that may lie outside neuroscience:
Developmental Neurobiology (0.5 credits)
Systems Neuroscience (0.5 credits)
The Principles of Cellular Control (0.5 credits)

Final Year

Compulsory course

Individually-supervised experimental project (1.5 credits)

Optional courses

You will select 2.5 credits from a wide range of advanced-level optional courses within Neuroscience and related disciplines.

Your learning

Your teaching and learning will include lectures, tutorial, workshops and practical classes. Some courses in year one are taught in relatively small groups, while others involve large lectures shared with students on other programmes. Practical classes play an important part throughout your studies, and help to prepare you for the individual research project of your final year.


You will normally take a written examination at the end of the academic year in which you have taken each course, after obtaining up to 30% of your marks through coursework. Some introductory courses are examined by invigilated online tests throughout the year. Your final-year project will involve a written dissertation and an oral presentation.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Neuroscience BSc.


The programme trains you to be literate, numerate, and a critical thinker, which can help you gain success in fields that do not require your specific subject knowledge, as well as in neuroscience itself.

Around half of our graduates choose to pursue further studies in neuroscience or a related life science. Some join UCL's own MSc or PhD programmes, while others obtain PhD scholarships at major research centres worldwide. Some have embarked upon the study of medicine at graduate level, often with a view to becoming clinical neurologists or neurosurgeons. Others enter the teaching profession.

This BSc also equips you to enter biomedical research or related activities of many kinds in university, hospital, or drug company laboratories, at the level of research technician or laboratory assistant. Our alumni can also be found in science policy, public policy, publishing, law, accountancy, banking and other high-profile careers outside the classroom or laboratory.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Full-time student, PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Cambridge (2013)
  • Research Technician, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (2013)
  • Business Intelligence Analyst, Accenture (2013)
  • Full-time studnet, MBBS in Medicine at the University of Cambridge (2012)
  • Full-time student, Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the Institute of Education (2012)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Student view

The large number of different research groups at UCL provide a great opportunity for undertaking summer placements and experience hands-on work at the cutting edge of research. Alessandro Galloni - Neuroscience MSci (Fourth year)

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£21,320 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

The entry requirements and selection process for the Neuroscience BSc and MSci are the same. In addition to meeting the listed entry requirements, you must demonstrate in your application an understanding of what studying neuroscience entails, and why you are motivated to study it. Desirable skills include time-management abilities (perhaps shown by combining academic success with extracurricular activities), self-discipline (perhaps through involvement in sports or music) and experience of working in a team environment.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


If you apply by the main UCAS deadline and meet or are predicted to meet all of our academic and individual requirements, including being able to demonstrate a good understanding of what this specialised subject entails, you will receive an offer of a place, either conditional or unconditional.

If we offer you a place and you live in the UK during term, we shall invite you to one of our open days to meet staff and students and learn more about UCL and our Neuroscience programmes before you decide whether or not you wish to accept our offer. If you live outside the UK you will not be invited automatically but you are welcome to enquire about visiting on one of these days.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students