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Cognitive & Neural Systems MScR

Course Description

Research profile

The scientific goal of the Centre of Cognitive and Neural Systems (CCNS) is to understand information processing by the central and peripheral nervous systems, at several different levels of analysis, from cognitive psychology through cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging, behavioural neuroscience and neuropharmacology, and extending to theoretical models of neuronal networks.

Members of the CCNS are divided into different research groups with a focus on:

-human cognitive neuroscience (including ageing)
-the neurobiology of learning, memory and plasticity (focusing on hippocampus and cortex)
-the processing of nociceptive somatosensory information, cerebrovascular physiology and pharmacology
-the consequences of drug action, including drugs of abuse

Although the CCNS is hosted by the School of Biomedical Sciences, its membership is drawn from several different Schools across all three Colleges.

Training and support

There are typically between 10 and 15 PhD students in the CCNS.

During their studies, postgraduate students are assigned a personal thesis committee, which monitors progress.

Students attend seminars and the generic skills training programme provided by the Life Sciences Graduate Programme.

Postgraduates can often act as demonstrators for undergraduate teaching.

Students are strongly encouraged to present their findings at national and international conferences and to publish their findings in international journals during their postgraduate training.


The CCNS is based at the Central Campus, and has excellent facilities for cognitive and systems neuroscience, including human cognitive neuroscience and functional MRI facilities, rodent surgical facilities, testing rooms for water mazes, event arenas, single unit recording in freely moving rodents, in vivo and in vitro (slice) electrophysiological recording, histology, confocal microscopy and wet-lab facilities.

We also offer expertise and facilities for functional imaging in animals and excellent genetic models of CNS diseases. Molecular and cellular analysis of cell death and plasticity underpin in vivo investigating.

Visit the Cognitive & Neural Systems MScR page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement for our research programmes is an undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK). For some non-UK applicants the entry requirement is a Masters degree. Please check the entry requirements by country.

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