UCL-IoE merger

UCL and the Institute of Education merged on December 2, 2014. Learn about the study options available to you.


Admissions Tutor

Professor Paola Pedarzani

Email: biosciences-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Admissions Administrator

Ms Heather Gardiner

Email: biosciences-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7169

More Information

Subject area:


Faculty overview:

Faculty of Life Sciences

Department website:

Division of Biosciences

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

70% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Neuroscience BSc

UCAS code: B140

This BSc spans several disciplines to encompass the structure, function and development of the brain and nervous system. You will be able to take courses in cell biology, developmental neurobiology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, pharmacology and psychology, and see how the overlapping disciplines combine to create neuroscientific knowledge.

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA
Subjects 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.
GCSEs 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

Points 38
Subjects 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.

Other qualifications

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

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International applicants

International qualifications

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

Select country above, equivalent grades appear here.

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: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. 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 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.

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.

Your learning

Your teaching and learning will include lectures, tutorials 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.

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).

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
Human Neuroanatomy
Molecular Biology

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.

Further details on 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 (2010-2012) of this programme include:

  • Research Assistant, UCL Institute of Neurology (2012)
  • Full-time student, Postgraduate Certificate in Education at UCL Institute of Education (2012)
  • Full-time student, PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego (2011)
  • Full-time student, MBChB Medicine at the University of Warwick (2011)
  • Laboratory Assistant, Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (2010)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

Your application

The entry requirements and selection process for the Neuroscience BSc and MSci are the same. Besides 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.


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.

Video: applying to UCL through UCAS

Fees and funding

UK & EU fee

£9,000 (2014/15)

Overseas fee

£20,100 (2014/15)

General funding notes

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

Playlist: funding for UK/EU and overseas students

Undergraduate playlist

Video channels

Page last modified on 26 feb 14 08:05