Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

Neuroscience MSci

The Neuroscience MSci offers an extra year on top of the Neuroscience BSc, to extend your specialised knowledge of brain function and conduct original neuroscience research. Entry requirements for both programmes are the same and you decide in year two whether to follow the three-year BSc or the four-year MSci.

Key information

UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
Applications per place
7 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
68 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to Neuroscience subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
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 Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA. 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

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

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a twelve-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

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 multidisciplinary 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 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.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences.

  • 83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules 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 modules that provide a secure foundation for future work. Taking modules with other students in the Faculties of Life Sciences and Brain Sciences will give you mutual insight into related disciplines. Taking further core and optional modules in your second year will prepare you for the third and fourth years, 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 BSc programme at the end of year two, completing your degree in three years.

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


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

All first-year modules are compulsory.

Compulsory modules

Cellular Neurophysiology
Essential Molecular Biology
Human Neuroanatomy
Molecular Biology for Neuroscientists

Optional modules

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)
Mathematics for Science 1 (0.5 credits) / Differential and Integral Calculus (0.5 credits)
Perception, Attention and Action
The Principles of Cellular Control (0.5 credits)
Systems Neuroscience

Compulsory module

Individually-supervised literature-based project (1.0 credits)

Optional modules

You will select 3.0 credits from a wide range of advanced-level optional modules within Neuroscience and related disciplines.

Compulsory module

Individually-supervised Master's-level experimental project (currently 2.0 credits)

Optional modules

Currently, students select 2.0 credits from a wide range of Master's-level optional modules within Neuroscience and other related disciplines. The programme that MSci students follow in their final year is under review, and in future is expected to place additional emphasis on the experimental project and on modules supporting experimental design, experimental methods and data analysis.

Your learning

Your teaching and learning will include lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. Some modules 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 module, after obtaining up to 30% of your marks through coursework. Some introductory modules 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 MSci.


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 one of UCL?s own MSc or PhD programmes, while others obtain PhD scholarships at major research centres worldwide. Among other potential advantages, the MSci programme is intended to make it easier for graduates to enter future PhD programmes at European centres of research excellence.

Some other possibilities are mentioned in the Neuroscience BSc Prospectus entry.


The first cohort of students admitted to this programme has just graduated in 2015, therefore no information about their career destinations is yet available. Career destinations of graduates (2012-2014) from the Neuroscience BSc include:

  • Full-time student, PhD in Neurobiology at University of Cambridge
  • Full-time student, MA in Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Business Intelligence Analyst, Accenture
  • Full-time student, MBBS in Medicine at the University of Cambridge
  • Full-time student, PhD in Neuroscience at Harvard University, USA

*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 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

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.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2016/17 academic year.

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

Fees for students entering UCL in September 2017 (i.e. for the 2017/2018 academic year) will be set in the summer of 2016 and published on the UCL Current Students website. Fees advertised by UCL are for the first year of the programme. UK/EU undergraduate fees are capped, but fees for other students may be subject to increase in future years of study by between 3-5%.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

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 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 (through involvement in sports or music, for instance) 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 2017


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

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