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Masters Degrees (Neurotransmitter)

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The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. Read more
The Institute for Neuroscience has clinicians and scientists working together to understand the brain and behaviour. From the basic biology of neurons through to complex processes of perception and decision-making behaviour, we address how the mind, brain, and body work together and translate this knowledge into clinical applications for patient benefit.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following research areas:

Motor systems development, plasticity and function

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies of normal and abnormal development and plasticity of the motor system. We run functional studies and computer modelling of motor system activity throughout the neuraxis. We also research the development and assessment of novel therapies for motor disorders/lesions including stem cell and brain-machine interface.

Visual system development, plasticity and repair]]
We research the development and assessment of novel neuro-technological approaches to retinal dystrophy repair including brain-machine interface and stem cells. We use in vitro approaches to look at retinal development and visual system wiring.

[[Neural computation and network systems
We conduct experimental and theoretical (computational) studies aimed at understanding how neurones throughout the brain interact in localised networks to compute complex tasks. Our research looks at the role of network activity in a wide range of neurological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

Auditory neuroscience

We conduct clinical and preclinical studies aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms involved in detection, discrimination and perception of sound. We are interested in how these mechanisms are affected in individuals with brain disorders, including dementia, autism and stroke.

Pain

Our research focuses on:
-Understanding mechanisms underlying pain, analgesia, and anaesthesia
-The development of methods to assess pain and to alleviate pain in animals and humans

Psychobiology

We conduct studies in laboratory animals, healthy volunteers and patient populations investigating the mechanisms underlying mood, anxiety and addiction disorders and their treatment. Allied research looks at normal neuropsychology, and the physiology and pharmacology of neurotransmitter and endocrine systems implicated in psychiatric disorders.

Neurotoxicology

Our research focuses on delineating the effects and understanding the mechanisms of action of established and putative neurotoxins, including environmental and endogenous chemicals, and naturally occurring toxins.

Forensic psychiatry and clinical psychology

Our research covers:
-The assessment, treatment and management of sex offender risk
-Development and assessment of cognitive models
-Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatment for bipolar disorder, psychosis, anxiety and developmental disorders
-Developmental disorders of perception and cognition

Systems and computational neuroscience

We conduct theoretical (computational) and experimental studies aimed at understanding the neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology of vision, visual attention and episodic memory.

Behaviour and evolution

Many research groups take an evolutionary and comparative approach to the study of brain and/or behaviour, comparing brain function and behaviour among such disparate groups as insects, birds and mammals, and studying the ecological and evolutionary functions of behaviour. Much of our work is at the forefront of the fields of neuroethology, behavioural ecology and comparative cognition, and has important implications for the study and practice of animal welfare.

Visual perception and human cognition

We research:
-Colour and depth perception - perception of natural scenes
-Psychophysics and attention - memory
-Word learning in children
-Body image dysfunction
-Visual social cognition and face processing
-Advertising and consumer behaviour

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

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The MRes in Neuroscience is designed to provide advanced training in neuroscience research. Students conduct a year-long research project and learn relevant techniques and skills through course work. Read more
The MRes in Neuroscience is designed to provide advanced training in neuroscience research. Students conduct a year-long research project and learn relevant techniques and skills through course work. The overall aim is to give students the necessary skill set to succeed as independent research scientists.

Course information

The MRes in Neuroscience is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Highlights

- Intensive week-long introductory module prepares students for the course before the start of Semester 1.
- The course includes a streamlined taught component.
- Students have the opportunity to conduct a year-long project in a single laboratory.

Teaching format

The course begins with a week-long intensive module which continues during Semester 1 with a weekly seminar series. Over two semesters, students will also complete two additional Honours-level modules.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals and guided independent study. The modules are assessed principally by written work and oral presentations.

During Semester 1 and 2, and during the summer months, students will conduct an original research project culminating in a written thesis, which forms the main component of assessed work.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development - http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/taught-programmes/neuroscience/#d.en.556406

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue (https://portal.st-andrews.ac.uk/catalogue/) which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.

Compulsory modules

- Research Design in Neuroscience: intensive week-long module provides an introduction to designing and carrying out neuroscience research at the postgraduate level.
- Techniques and Skills in Neuroscience Research: examines state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques through critical analysis of primary literature.

Optional modules

Students choose two optional modules (optional modules may vary from year to year; see the University’s position on curriculum development (http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/taught-programmes/neuroscience/#d.en.556406)). Examples of optional modules include:

- Neurodegeneration and Aging: develops a detailed understanding of molecular neuroscience at the biochemical and molecular level.
- Motoneurons: From Physiology to Pathology: provides an in-depth knowledge of key aspects of neuronal function and potential dysfunction by focusing on motoneurons.
- Behavioural Neuroscience: allows students to access current research in the area of behavioural neuroscience. Possible topics include motivation, learning and attention.
- Vision: from Neurons to Awareness: develops an advanced understanding of the psychological processes involved in visual perception.
- Neural Basis of Episodic Memory: examines how the brain enables us to remember information from our personal experience.
- Neuromodulation: explores the diverse range of neuromodulatory mechanisms and outlines their importance in information processing in the nervous system.
- Synaptic Transmission: covers recent progress in understanding the morphology and ultrastructure of synapses, neurotransmitter corelease and recycling mechanisms, retrograde signalling, synaptic plasticity, the role of glial cells and the development of neurotransmission.
- Mechanisms of Behaviour: Integrating Psychological and Neuroscience Perspectives: explores some of the many physiological and neural systems that modulate patterns of behaviour in a range of species, including humans.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to take new modules in the academic year 2017-2018. The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2017 entry. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Research project and thesis

Students will spend one year conducting an original research project culminating in a data-based thesis of not more than 15,000 words. The thesis will describe the research results obtained from the year-long research project and must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the thesis requirement for the MRes, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PG Cert instead of an MRes.

After the MRes

Research degrees:

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The PhD comprises three years of full-time study and the submission of an 80,000-word thesis.

The Medical Research Council (http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/scholarships/research-council/mrc/) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/scholarships/research-council/bbsrc/) offers studentships for PhD research in health, biological and related sciences covering up to four years of funding and, in some cases, accommodation fees.

Careers:

A large number of Psychology and Neuroscience postgraduates have gained postdoctoral and lecturing positions in universities across the world. The School provides opportunities for students to gain academic experience by being involved in tutorials, laboratory classes and through conducting independent research.

In addition to pursuing careers in academia, postgraduates within the School have gone on to pursue careers in a variety of fields including industry, education and medicine.

The Careers Centre (http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/careers/) offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and provides resources specific for neuroscience students (https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/careers/students/careerdecisions/usingmydegree/neuroscience/).

Contact

School of Psychology and Neuroscience
St Mary's Quad
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JP

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2157
Email:

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