Neuroscience MSci

London, Bloomsbury
Neuroscience MSci (2024)

The Neuroscience MSci is a four-year programme that extends the specialised knowledge provided by the Neuroscience BSc. It allows you to conduct a literature-based research project in year three, and an extended lab-based research project in year four. The MSci is designed to prepare you for a career in neuroscience research.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry and one subject from Biology, Mathematics or Physics, with no higher level score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

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.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Mathematics or Physics.

International applications

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

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

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 and circuits and investigate how the brain typically works to perform complex tasks. This can help shed light on what may happen when there are problems. You will learn, for example, 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; how computational models help us understand how the brain works at all levels; how changes in molecules and cells can lead to devastating nervous system diseases.

In contrast to other Neuroscience programmes, UCL Neuroscience undergraduates benefit from expert tuition in neuroscience-specific modules from the very beginning of their degrees. As the degree progresses, undergraduates will be given a strong grounding in contemporary neuroscience and the opportunity to curate their learning experience with an extensive array of neuroscience-specialised and non-neuroscience optional modules to choose from.  

Students can decide in year two whether they would like to follow the three-year BSc or the four-year MSci (conditional upon marks).

Final year neuroscience students put education into practice in top laboratories across the Faculties of Life Sciences and Brain Sciences, or at one of our partner institutions such as; the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, the Francis Crick Institute, the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), the Institute of Neurology, the Institute of Ophthalmology, the Institute of Child Health, and Google DeepMind.

What this course will give you

Studying neuroscience will help you to understand how nervous systems function and what goes wrong with the nervous system in neurological and mental health disorders.

The specialist training that you will receive as part of a neuroscience degree will equip you for a large range of neuroscience-related and non-neuroscience related careers. 

With training in neuroscience, you could go on to contribute to research projects dissecting 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.

Alternatively, you could choose to research novel treatments for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or epilepsy. Then again, many graduates choose to apply the skills developed during their neuroscience degrees to other fields such as medicine, journalism and finance. A degree in neuroscience opens many doors.

UCL is one of the best places in the world to study neuroscience.  Studying at UCL means that you will be joining one of the largest and most highly rated research communities in the world.  We are number 1 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).  Our department (Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology) has been home to 5 Nobel Prize winners and hundreds of important research breakthroughs.

Neuroscience students at UCL enjoy a vibrant social life, immersed in the middle of the best city in the world for students (QS Best Student Cities 2023), and have access to a wide range of UCL clubs and societies, including UCL Neuroscience Society, one of the largest student-led scientific societies in the UK, which hosts a mix of debates, talks, lectures and social activities.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MSci (Hons) in Neuroscience.


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 is 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.

The first year consists of introductory compulsory modules including two dedicated neuroscience modules exclusive for BSc and MSci Neuroscience students, all of which will provide a secure foundation for your future studies.

The second year has a strong focus on the development of research and practical skills and includes core modules covering human neuroanatomy, molecular neuroscience and cellular neurophysiology (which will help to prepare you for your third and fourth years).  At this stage, students may tailor their education by selecting from a wide range of optional modules.

The third year of the UCL Neuroscience MSci includes a literature-based research project, while in the fourth year, you will be able to join an existing research team in one of UCL’s departments or partner institutes to conduct an extended project of original research in a laboratory of your choice, with guidance from an expert supervisor. In the third and fourth years of the MSci, you will also be required to select from a large array of neuroscience-specific advanced modules to curate your learning. We provide twenty-five neuroscience-specific advanced modules, all taught by top neuroscientists. Topics covered include computational, molecular/cellular, systems, behavioural/cognitive and clinical neuroscience. Specific examples include The Neural Basis of Motivation and Learning, Foundations of Neuroinformatics, Neurobiology of Brain Injury and Disease and Sensory Systems: Biology & Disease.

MSci students will have the opportunity to transfer to the BSc programme at the end of year two, completing the degree with a lower qualification in three years instead of four.

Your learning

Teaching on UCL neuroscience undergraduate programmes is delivered in a range of formats including lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. Most neuroscience-specific modules are taught in relatively small groups, while more general modules are shared with students on other programmes, and therefore taught in larger groups.  Practical classes play an important part in your education throughout your studies and prepare you for your final year research project.

In the fourth year, your training will expand from the classroom to the research lab of your choice. There you will be trained in current research methods by Principal Investigators and postdoctoral staff, and you will have the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research.

Your contact hours and levels of self-directed study will depend on your year of study and module choices. Modules are typically comprised of one or two hours of lectures per week and may be accompanied by workshops, journal clubs and/or practical sessions. Students are typically expected to undertake 2-4 hours of self-directed study per lecture.


Each module in the neuroscience programme has its own tailored assessment structure. Some modules rely entirely on end-of-year exams, some are coursework only, and most are assessed through a mix of the two.

Exams may be held online or in person and may be open or closed-book.

Coursework comes in many forms including essays, lab reports, and presentations.

Final-year projects are assessed through a written dissertation and an oral presentation.


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.

Online - Open day

Undergraduate Virtual Open Days

UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, voted University of the Year 2024 by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. With students from over 150 different countries, UCL is a diverse global community of world leading academics and students. Join us at our Virtual Open Days and discover why UCL might be the place for you! Check out our Open Days webpages where you can find out about the programmes on offer, student services and book live Q&A sessions to get your questions answered.

The foundation of your career

Around half of our graduates choose to pursue further studies in neuroscience, or a related life science. Some join one of the UCL MSc or PhD programmes, while others obtain PhD scholarships at major research centres worldwide. Among other advantages, the MSci programme is intended to make it easier for graduates to enter PhD programmes at European centres of research excellence.

A degree in Neuroscience can open up careers in science policy, public policy, publishing, law, journalism, the diplomatic services, the Civil Service and other high-profile careers outside the classroom or laboratory.


In addition to providing extensive subject knowledge and research skills, UCL’s neuroscience programme is designed to develop data literacy and analysis skills, critical thinking and communication abilities. 

Students are also provided with opportunities to acquire a range of specialist skills including computer programming and foreign language proficiency.

According to the Graduate Outcomes Survey of students who graduated in 2019-2021, 85% went on to work or study.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

Students will need to purchase a lab coat (approximate cost £10 - £20).

Students may be required to purchase some reagents for a first-year chemistry practical project (approximate cost £5 - £10).

While the UCL library provides copies of all course textbooks, some students find it useful to purchase their own copies.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.


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.

Next steps

Your application

A genuine interest and curiosity in the subject of neuroscience should be evident in your application.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

If we have made you an offer, you will be invited to attend an offer-holder event. This may include talks from staff about the programme and the department. It could also include a research presentation, tours of UCL and the department, and a visit to a laboratory facility.

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).

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.