UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Studying Neuroscience at UCL

Neuroscience investigates the workings of the nervous system and the brain. It is a broad area of study, covering subjects ranging from genetics and cellular biology to cognition and social interaction. At UCL, you will learn from some of the world's most influential academics in the field.

Understand the Building Blocks of the Brain and Nervous System

Why study neuroscience?

Neuroscience is a very broad and exciting field that is studied at many different levels, from genetics and single cells, to human cognition, behaviour and social interactions. Knowledge at all levels is required to understand healthy brain function and to develop treatments for neurological and mental health disorders. In order that we can enable students to learn about the whole field of neuroscience, UCL offers two different undergraduate programmes in neuroscience. A Neuroscience BSc in the Faculty of Life Sciences and a Human Neuroscience BSc in the Faculty of Brain Sciences. The programmes are very different. They are focused on different fields of neuroscience with different entry requirements that reflect the knowledge required to study neuroscience in the two distinct fields.

With training in neuroscience, you could work on research projects looking at how memories are formed, how brain cell activity shapes behaviour, how your senses perceive the world, or how the brain controls movement, speech and language. Or you could choose to research the causes and novel treatments for conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, stroke or epilepsy. You will become familiar with cutting-edge techniques such as optogenetics, two-photon microscopy, fMRI and many more.

Studying neuroscience will open up a wide range of career options. It will also give you invaluable transferable skills. For example, you will be trained in solving complex problems and gain an in-depth understanding of data collection and analysis, hypothesis testing, visualisation, critical reading and reasoning.

Why study neuroscience at UCL?

At UCL, our students benefit from pioneering research, best-in-class academics and clinicians, cutting-edge facilities, world-renowned partner hospitals and institutions, and our location in the world’s most global city. This unique combination makes UCL one of the best places in the world to study and help you advance in neuroscience, health, industry or academia. Our research transforms lives as we work to overcome some of the world’s biggest problems in brain health.

  • Top-ranked university – we are top in the UK for research power in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, with more than 90% of our research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (UK Research Excellence Framework 2021). UCL is consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2010-2024). UCL is named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

  • Research-led teaching – by studying with us, you will have the opportunity to join one of the largest and most highly rated neuroscience research communities in the world.

  • World-class facilities – you will gain hands-on experience, putting your education into practice, through our partnerships with the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, the Francis Crick Insitute, the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) and Google Deep MindYou will also gain valuable patient knowledge and experience through our strong clinical partnerships with UCLH and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgey, the UK's largest dedicated neurological and neurosurgical hospital. 

  • Home to innovators and disruptors  we’re looking for students who like to challenge and push boundaries. Join us in our pursuit of scientific discovery and learn to solve real-world problems in brain health.

  • Student life  the UCL Neuroscience Society is one of the largest student-led scientific societies in the UK. It hosts a mix of debates, talks and lectures as well as social activities.

  • Location – our central London location gives access to one of the world’s most vibrant, cosmopolitan, and influential cities, ranked as the best city in the world for university students (QS Best Student Cities 2023).

Undergraduate neuroscience programmes 

UCL laboratory

Neuroscience BSc/MSci

The Neuroscience BSc/MSci looks at the nervous system from a biological perspective. You will delve into the workings of our genes, brain cells, synapses, connections and circuits. This can help shed light on what may happen when there are problems. You will learn how a few early embryonic cells develop into an intricately organised nervous system that controls an entire organism; how the brain learns and forms memories; how drugs act on the brain; how molecular switches can be designed to turn on and off brain regions that control fear, hunger or sleep.

The Neuroscience BSc/MSci covers neurobiology, neuroanatomy and development, neuropharmacology and neurophysiology with a strong emphasis on experimental laboratory work. The Neuroscience MSci offers a fourth year of study, largely centred on a research project of your choice and a wide selection of Master’s level modules. You can apply directly for the MSci programme or switch from the BSc to the MSci at the end of Year 2.


Below is a list of the compulsory modules in Years 1 and 2.

  • Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Foundations of Neurobiology
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Cells and Development
  • Chemistry for Biology Students
  • Introductory Mammalian Physiology
  • Human Neuroanatomy
  • Essential Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology for Neuroscientists
  • Cellular Neurophysiology
  • Pharmacology

Optional modules offered in Year 2 include:

  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Perception
  • Integrative Cell Biology (Cell Signalling and Regulation)
  • Linear Algebra for Data Science

Entry requirements

  • AAA at A level (or equivalent) including Chemistry, and one from either Biology, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.

Apply now

neuroscience lab

Human Neuroscience BSc

The Human Neuroscience BSc looks at the human brain and nervous system. You will learn about how the human brain enables us to perceive the world, how we move, our mental health, how we communicate and how we interact with each other.

You will learn about the human brain by understanding what happens when things go wrong with the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s Disease, dementia, aphasia, depression and schizophrenia. In addition, you will learn about the different methods and techniques that have been developed to help us study the human brain.

The Human Neuroscience BSc will give you hands-on experience of analysing human brain data to understand broader elements of the brain and nervous system. You will have the opportunity to undertake your own research project in the field of Human Neuroscience.


Below is a list of the compulsory modules in Years 1 and 2.

  • Evidence and Enquiry in Neuroscience
  • Introduction to Neuroscience Research Methods
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Human Neurophysiology and Anatomy
  • Human Sensory Neuroscience
  • Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Introduction to Mental Health
  • Human Neuroimaging Data Analysis
  • Speech, Language and Language disorders
  • Intermediate Statistics
  • Intermediate Mental Health
  • Motor Control and Social Cognition
  • Ageing and Dementia
  • Movement and Movement Disorders
  • The Science of Bias
  • The Business of Science Innovation


Entry requirements

  • AAA at A level (or equivalent) including Biology or Psychology, and one from either Biology, Chemistry, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.

Apply now


Which programme should I study?

You should apply to study the Neuroscience BSc/MSci if you are fascinated by how the brain is formed and works. You will be interested in learning more about how brain cells and synapses form connections and circuits and how these come together to perform complex tasks and control body functions and behaviour. The Neuroscience BSc/MSci includes wet lab study that will give you the skills and experience to work in a wet (also known as experimental) lab. It also offers training in computational neuroscience.  The Neuroscience MSci offers a fourth year of study, building on the three years of the Neuroscience BSc programme, largely centred on a research project of your choice and a wide selection of Master’s level modules.

You should apply to study the Human Neuroscience BSc if you are fascinated with how the human brain and nervous system perceives the world around us and how we interact with it. You will also be interested in learning more about what happens in the brain and nervous system when something goes wrong – such as stroke or dementia. The Human Neuroscience BSc focuses on data science and developing your analytical skills.

Can I apply to both programmes?

Yes, you can apply to both programmes via UCAS.

Can I switch between the two programmes?

No, unfortunately you will not be able to switch between programmes as they have distinct modules covering different areas within neuroscience. Each programme has a different focus on the research skills that you will gain.

What are my career options?

Our programmes provide exceptional transferrable skills to pursue a wide range of careers in varied sectors.

  • Graduates from the Neuroscience BSc/MSci programme have gone on to gain places on top postgraduate Master’s and PhD programmes world-wide. Neuroscience graduates who choose to apply their knowledge to the treatment of patients have a high success rate in entering Medical School in the UK and abroad. Others apply their skills to work in public policy, law, journalism, pharmaceutical and biotech industry and finance. 100% of students from the Neuroscience BSc/MSci are in work or further studies 15 months after graduating (Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2018-2020).
  • Graduates from the Human Neuroscience BSc programme will be equipped with the analytical and data science skills for a broad range of careers in neuroscience, mental health and behavioural science. The programme will particularly take advantage of hospital links, emphasise clinical and mental health research and clinical trials, as well as bridging discovery science and health interventions.
What's the difference between psychology and neuroscience?

Psychology and neuroscience are related but different subjects.

  • Psychology is the study of behaviour and the mental processes which lead to a particular behaviour. Psychology studies these behaviours and mental processes indirectly.
  • Neuroscience is the study of the biological and chemical processes in the brain and nervous system. Neuroscience makes it possible to look more directly at what’s going on in our brains.