UCL Biosciences

1st Year Students 2015

Will you be starting a new undergraduate course in UCL Biosciences this September?

For further information, including induction week timetables and joining instructions, please see our Undergraduate Induction Week webpages.

BSc/MSci Neuroscience (B140/B141)


What is Neuroscience?

This programme spans several disciplines to encompass the structure, function and development of the brain and nervous system.

  • In cell biology it focuses on the special features of neurons and related cells.
  • In developmental biology it tracks factors that determine when a cell becomes a neuron, and what sort (there are many different types), as well as how neurons make numerous highly organised connections (synapses) with other neurons.
  • In physiology it studies how a neuron uses electrical impulses to send signals over long distances, and uses chemical transmitters at synapses to send signals to other neurons.
  • In pharmacology it looks at how drugs can interfere with transmitter action to alter the flow of information in the nervous system.

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 a career that directly involves research or requires a sound understanding of it.
  • UCL and its associated institutes now represent the greatest critical mass of neuroscience researchers in Europe, with a worldwide reputation.
  • Co-operation with UCL's Institutes of Neurology, Ophthalmology and Child Health offers unrivalled opportunities to access research laboratories for your final-year project.

Degree Features

  • The first year consists mainly of introductory core courses that provide the foundation for future work, but there are also some optional courses available. Taking some courses 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 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 Learning and Motivation; Pain; Neurobiology of Degenerative Disease and Visual Neuroscience, but there are many more.
  • There is also an opportunity to transfer between programmes at the end of year 2.
  • If you choose the MSci option, 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.

Entry Requirements

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

The Admissions Process
  • Once you have submitted your application to UCAS, we will receive a copy of your UCAS form for consideration.
  • Your application will initially be assessed based on your grade predictions (or achieved grades if you have already completed your exams) as they relate to our entry requirements and your personal statement.  
  • If we would like to consider your application further, a decision will then be made on your application, using your personal statement and reference.
  • Finally, if we wish to make you an offer, you will be invited to a post-application open day.  Open day attendance is optional but we strongly recommend you to visit to see the facilities and find out more from current students and staff.

Open Days
  • Open days will include UCL and subject talks, a research talk given by a lecturer at UCL, refreshments and tours with current UCL students and an opportunity to talk to members of staff who will answer any questions you may have.  Please note, attendance at the open day does not form part of our admissions selection process and is optional.
  • If you are yet to apply for our programme and would like to visit UCL, you can attend the annual UCL Open Day.  The next Open Day will take place on Friday 3rd July, Saturday 4th July and Saturday 12th September.

Funding and Scholarships
  • For further information on the UCL Scholarships and Funding available for undergraduate students, please see the UCL Fees and Finance page

 Contact Us
  • We hope that this site has provided you with all of the necessary information you may need if you are considering to apply for our programme.  Don't forget to check out our FAQs page on the next tab above.  However, if you would still like further advice, please do not hesitate to contact the Division of Biosciences Admissions Office:

Contact: Marcella Baterip

Email: biosciences-admissions@ucl.ac.uk, m.baterip@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44(0)207 679 7169

Modules for Year 1

  • BIOC1001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology A
  • CHEM1602 Chemistry for Biology Students

Modules for Year 2

  • NEUR2001 Molecular Biology for Neuroscientists


One course from:

  • PHAR2002 General and Systematic Pharmacology

and one or two courses from:

  • CELL2007 The Principles Of Cellular Control
  • PHOL2003 Animal & Human Physiology: Integrative Physiology
  • PSYC2207 Attention, Perception and Action
  • MATH6105 Mathematics for Science 1
  • MATH6103 Differential and Integral Calculus

(only one module is to be selected from the two MATH modules)

Plus one optional further 0.5 course unit from a wide range of options.

Modules for Year 3

  • NEUR3904 Advanced Library Project in Neuroscience (MSci Students must take this module)

OR (if you are BSc Student)

  • NEUR3903 Extended Experimental Project in Neuroscience

Plus a range of optional modules to make 4 course units in total

Modules for Year 4 (MSci Students only)

  • Advanced Research Project

Plus a range of optional modules to make 4 course units in total

These FAQs are specifically for the Neuroscience programme.  Please see Division of Biosciences Admissions FAQs for answers to general admissions queries.

1. How will I be taught?

A wide variety of teaching methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory work. Each module will have its own set of teaching methods.

2. How will I be assessed?

A mixture of coursework, exams and practical work form the basis of assessment. The weighting varies depending on which modules you choose.

3. Is it possible to take modules in other departments?

It is possible to choose modules in other departments. You will receive advice from your personal and degree programme tutors on which modules are best for your chosen degree path.

4. What support is available during the Neuroscience degree?

All kinds of support are available to students, whether it academic, financial, welfare or career advice. You will also have a personal tutor and a dedicated teaching administrator throughout each year of your degree who will provide guidance.

5. Is there a recommended reading list?

Yes. This will be sent to students in the summer before the academic year in question.

6. What careers are suitable for Neuroscience graduates?

After their degrees, our graduates enter a diversity of careers. Many go on to do MSc or PhD degrees or Anatomy/Neuroscience research-related jobs. However, our graduates have professions as diverse as: Law; Medicine; Finance; Journalism

7. How many places have you on offer?

The Neuroscience degree has approximately 35 places available each year.

8. How competitive are places for the Biochemistry course?

Competition for places is very strong, but all applications received before the deadline will be assessed by the same set of entry criteria. Only the best will be shortlisted so it is vital your personal statement and references are strong and demonstrate your strengths and character.

9. What work experience must I include on my application?

There is no absolute requirement for Neuroscience but any science related work experience included in your personal statement will be seen as very positive.

10. I would like to visit UCL and talk to the admissions tutor, when can I do that?

Information on our annual Open Day can be found on the UCL website. The UCL study information centre can provide information and a self-guided tour brochure.  It may be possible to arrange an appointment if you are unable to attend the open day. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information: biosciences-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

As part of the admission cycle we invite all short-listed UK students to an open day including a tour, meeting students and discussions with the admissions tutor.

11. I did not get the required grades to be admitted to your course, will you reconsider my application if I resit my examinations?

Re-sit applications are considered on an individual basis. 

12. I am applying to four medical schools and my personal statement reflects this. Do I need to supply a separate statement to cover my fifth choice for Neuroscience? 

You may be asked to submit a separate personal statement once we have received your application through UCAS.

13. Can I transfer to Medicine? 

Unfortunately you are unable to transfer to Medicine during the course.  If you finish the BSc degree and achieve a 2:1 or higher, you are normally eligible to apply for graduate-entry Medicine programmes around the UK (please check individual institutions for this).