This course provides specialist expertise in core neuroinformatics (such as computing and biology) focusing on the development of research skills. It equips you with the skills to contribute to biologically realistic simulations of neural activity and developments. These are rapidly becoming the key focus of neuroinformatics research.
Newcastle is among the pioneers of neuroinformatics in the UK and hosted the £4m EPSRC-funded CARMEN project for managing and processing electrophysiology data. We are currently involved in a £10m EPSRC/Wellcome Trust-funded project. This is on implantable devices for epilepsy patients. We use computer simulations to inform about the stimulation location and protocol.
As the amount of data in the neurosciences increases, new tools for data storage and management are needed. These tools include cloud computing and workflows, as well as better descriptions of neuroscience data. Available data can inform computer simulations of neural dynamics and development. Parallel computing and new algorithms are needed in order to run large-scale simulations. There is high demand within academia as well as within industry involving healthcare informatics, brain-inspired computing, and brain-inspired hardware architectures.
The course is designed for students who have a good degree in the biological sciences (including medicine) or the physical sciences (computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering).
You will gain foundational skills in bioinformatics together with specialist skills such as computing programming, mathematics and molecular biology with a significant focus on the development of research skills.
We provide a unique, multidisciplinary experience that is essential for understanding neuroinformatics. The course draws together the highly-rated teaching and research expertise of our Schools of Computing Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Biology, Cell and Molecular Biosciences and The Institute of Neuroscience. We also have strong links with the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF).
Research is a large component of this course. The emphasis is on delivering the research training you will need in the future to effectively meet the demands of industry and academia. Newcastle's research in life sciences, computing and mathematics is internationally recognised.
The teaching staff are successful researchers in their field and publish regularly in highly-ranked systems neuroinformatics journals. Find out more about the neuroinformatics community at Newcastle University
Graduates of this course may want to apply for PhD studies at the School of Computing Science. In the past, all graduates have continued their career as PhD students either at Newcastle University
Our experienced and friendly staff are on hand to help you. You gain the experience of working in a team in an environment with the help, support and friendship of fellow students.
Your five month research project gives you real research experience in neuroinformatics. You will have the opportunity to work closely with a leading research team in the School and there are opportunities to work on industry lead projects. You will have one-to-one supervision from an experienced member of the faculty, supported with supervision from associated senior researchers and industry partners as required.
The project can be carried out:
-With a research group at Newcastle University
-With an industrial sponsor
-With a research institute
-At your place of work
The course is based in the School of Computing Science and taught jointly with the School of Mathematics and Statistics and the School of Biology, and the institutes of Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Genetic Medicine and Neuroscience.
We cater for students with a range of backgrounds, including Life Sciences, Computing Science, Mathematics and Engineering. Half of the course is taught and the remainder is dedicated to a research project. Our course structure is highly flexible. You can tailor your degree to your own skills and interests.
Semester one contains modules to build the basic grounding in, and understanding of, neuroinformatics theory and applications, together with necessary computational and numeric understanding to undertake more specialist modules next semester. Training in mathematics and statistics is also provided. Some of these modules are examined in January at the end of semester one.
Semester two begins with two modules that focus heavily on introducing subject-specific research skills. These two modules run sequentially, in a short but intensive mode that allows you time to focus on a single topic in depth. In the first semester two module, you will focus on learning about modelling of biochemical systems - essential material for understanding neural systems at a molecular level. The second module is selected from a number of options. There are up to four modules to choose from, allowing you to tailor the research training component of your degree to your preferences.
We have a policy of seeking British Computer Society (BCS) accreditation for all of our degrees, so you can be assured that you will graduate with a degree that meets the standards set out by the IT industry. Studying a BCS-accredited degree provides the foundation for professional membership of the BCS on graduation and is the first step to becoming a chartered IT professional.
The School of Computing Science at Newcastle University
is an accredited and a recognised Partner in the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science discipline, or an MBBS degree with high grades. Practical laboratory work experience is desirable, although not essential.