Neuroscience MSc

London, Bloomsbury

Our brain and its workings define who we are. Neuroscience is discovering how the nervous system functions in health and disease from the molecular to the behavioural level. It is a vibrant area of science with regular exciting new breakthroughs, but there is still much to be discovered. Ranked ninth in the 2023 QS Rankings for Life and Medical Sciences, UCL is one of the leading neuroscience institutions in Europe. Students will benefit greatly from the vast reservoir of expertise available.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences, life sciences or related subject area, or a medical degree (MBBS), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with an appropriate professional qualification and relevant work experience may also apply.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme is designed to give students a broad overview and experience of contemporary neuroscience research: from the intricate workings of an ion channel; to the wonder of how all the cellular machinery results in the higher brain functions that make us who we are. The modules are devised for students who want to build on a basic understanding of neuroscience, most often from a broader biological background or those that have a high-level insight from psychology and cognitive science but also attracts those from diverse backgrounds: from physics to philosophy. A large, challenging project will give you the experience of being embedded in and contributing to an active research laboratory and enable the development of many skills: project planning, data analysis, computer literacy, technical writing, presentation, critical appraisal and time management.

Who this course is for

The programme aims to prepare graduate students primarily for PhD study and a career in research. It also provides an excellent training for related careers such as scientific journalism and in areas requiring critical appraisal of complex data.

What this course will give you

The UCL Division of Biosciences is one of the largest and most active research environments for basic biological research in the UK, and UCL has one of the largest, most dynamic and exceptional neuroscience communities in the world.

UCL has over 450 principal investigators covering all aspects of neuroscience.

This MSc provides students with a broad knowledge of neuroscience, together with deep knowledge and hands-on experience in the area of their research project.

The foundation of your career

The MSc Neuroscience provides an introduction to a career in neuroscience. Around 80% of our students progress to a PhD and then onto careers in academia, industry and other allied biomedical professions. The remainder go into careers in the fields of healthcare, education and commercial scientific research.


The majority (more than 80%) of our graduates take up PhD positions in neuroscience research, including some who stay on at UCL.


Students will be able to take part in activities at the UCL Division of Biosciences and across the wider UCL community. There may also be opportunities to attend conferences.

Teaching and learning

Knowledge in neuroscience will be facilitated through lectures, tutorial-style journal club groups, and self-directed learning using published articles, web-based information sources and databases and completion of taught module assessments. The research project and preparation of the dissertation develop writing skills, self-directed learning and critical analysis of research literature.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and a laboratory project. Student performance is evaluated through formal examination, coursework, and the research project.

This 180-credit programme requires 1800 hours of study spread over the academic year.

The taught modules (90 credits) typically provide 10-15% contact hours during terms 1 and 2. This would be in lectures and small-group classes. The remaining self-directed study time would involve preparation, revision and the production of materials for assessment.

For the 90-credit research project, the project is 2-3 days until Easter and then almost full-time until the dissertation submission in late August. Overall the project typically comprises 10-15% direct contact time. Each project is supervised by one or more experienced laboratory members, and the direct contact hours will vary with the nature and phase of the project. In the beginning, there will be more supervisory contact and as your independence increases this will reduce. The contact is likely to take the form of research group discussions, meetings with group leaders, impromptu discussions with other experienced laboratory members, direct one-to-one training in laboratory techniques, and the preparation of presentations and posters. Towards the end, contact hours will increase to support your preparation and writing of the dissertation. For students taking the part-time programme, the project hours will be similar but they can be spread more flexibly during year 2.


In terms one and two you will study core and optional taught modules covering synaptic, developmental, systems, sensory, neurodegenerative and cognitive neuroscience. The ‘Journal Club Module’, is small-group based, critical analysis of published papers and runs in parallel with the lecture modules. The research project runs throughout the whole year, part-time until Easter and then almost full time until the dissertation submission in the second half of August. The project is assessed in September.

Part-time students generally take all the taught modules in the first year and do the project in the second year. Attendance for part-time students is approximately two days per week.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Neuroscience.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £22,700 £11,350
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500 £18,750

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Students will not face any additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Previous students have benefitted from the DeepMind Scholarship. Information regarding this scholarship will be posted on the following page:

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • What particularly attracts you to study this programme at UCL
  • How your academic, personal and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • Where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.