MSc Translational Neuroscience

University of Sheffield    School of Medicine and Population Health

Full time September MSc 1 year full-time Award winner
Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26) Psychology (31)

FindAMasters summary

The MSc Translational Neuroscience programme at the University of Sheffield offers an exciting opportunity to delve into the latest advancements in neuroscience and their impact on patients. Led by Dr Julie Simpson, this course equips you with extensive laboratory training to tackle major healthcare challenges like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and motor neurone disease. You'll explore topics such as neurobiology, molecular biology, and the structure and function of the human brain. The programme emphasizes practical skills development, including microscopy, neuroimaging, and molecular pathology. As a student, you'll have the chance to work on groundbreaking research projects alongside leading experts in the field. This programme is perfect for those aspiring to pursue a career in neuroscience research.

About the course

Designed for students interested in gaining the practical, lab-based skills necessary to understand neurological diseases at the molecular and cellular level and how to apply this knowledge to benefit patients.

Lead academic: Dr Julie Simpson

This course gives you the opportunity to explore the latest advances in neuroscience and their impact on patients. It includes extensive laboratory training so you can help tackle major healthcare challenges including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's and motor neurone disease.

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

You'll need a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a relevant science subject (eg Neuroscience, Psychology, Biomedical Science or Medicine).

A 2:2 degree may be acceptable depending on an interview and assessment of your previous experience in areas related to the course.

We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

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Student Profiles

Hannah Berntsson

“The course combined classroom learning with practical laboratory sessions, and it felt very rewarding to apply what you learnt in the classroom to a practical research project.”

Hannah began her MSc Translational Neuroscience in September 2017 and already loved Sheffield as a city, making her keen to live and study here. She explains, “I chose to study at Sheffield because the University's Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) is a leading centre for neuroscience research, so it seemed like the place to go to do a masters in Translational Neuroscience.

“Neuroscience is a fascinating subject to me, so I loved studying for my masters. I studied for my undergraduate degree in psychology before coming to Sheffield and I had absolutely no experience in the lab, so the practical side was definitely a challenge, but all the staff and students at SITraN were more than happy to help and I always had the support I needed to succeed.

“I learnt a lot about the underlying mechanisms of diseases within neuroscience and the key techniques researchers use to understand the diseases and to test and develop treatments. SITraNs focus on translational research has definitely helped me in pursuing a career in clinical research.”

After her masters, Hannah went on to work as a research administrator for the Directorate of Neurosciences at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, where she assisted in the set-up of clinical trials within neurosciences. Hannah has now joined the University of Sheffield's Clinical Trial Research Unit (CTRU) as a research assistant, providing support to clinical trial managers in the set-up, ongoing conduct and close-down of clinical trials.

She explains, “I hope to pursue a career in trial management and I'd love to move into the management of early phase clinical trials.
“The University of Sheffield is a wonderful place to study. My own course was engaging, challenging and rewarding. There is plenty of support available to help with your studies and to assist in securing work experience, further study or employment after your course, which is how I was able to secure my first job after completing my masters.”

Alejandro Lorente Pons

Originally from the town of Seville, Spain, Alejandro had already lived a third of his life in the UK. Alejandro wasn’t able to find a neuroscience masters that was so well-focused on the translation between basic science and clinical advancements, which is what made him choose to study in Sheffield.

He explains, “When I was younger, I wanted to dedicate my life to research in neurological disorders from the molecular point of view, and that’s why I studied an undergraduate in Biochemistry and then the MSc in Translational Neuroscience, and eventually my PhD in neuroscience.

“I originally wanted to become a clinical doctor because I thought that was the only pathway I could follow to research diseases. I later learned that there were career options other than medicine to study how the human body works and after getting in a research environment during my PhD,as well as learning the details of how research works and what an academic researcher’s daily life is like, I decided to take a different career route.”

Alejandro intends to follow an academic teaching pathway in Higher Education, in the fields of biomedical sciences and neuroscience. He adds, “I did enjoy research, but it is teaching that I am the most passionate about. I’ve just left a job as a Teaching Associate in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, to start my role as a Teaching Fellow in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Salford, and I will look for ways to progress into a lectureship within the university.

“When I meet third-year students who want to begin an MSc or a PhD, I let them know about all the effort that it takes to complete a thesis.. I also tell them that even though some researchers do stay in the lab until late every day and weekends, it is also important to take care of yourself and enjoy free time after work to look after their mental health and build relationships with people outside of the course; getting involved in student societies helped me a lot with this!”

Tobias Moll

Originally from a small village on the east coast of England, Tobias has enjoyed science from a young age, but did not envisage a career in research until he started university.

Tobias began his masters in 2015 - he says, “The Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) boasts some of finest researchers in their respective fields. It also has strong links with other academic institutions and industrial partners both nationally and worldwide, and I had an incredible student experience with the bonus of having the Peak District right on its doorstep.

“The most enjoyable aspect of studying in Sheffield is the collaborative effort shared by students and senior academics. This creates a real sense of community, which makes difficult challenges far less daunting. As a result, I have met some amazing people and formed lifelong friendships along the way. Overall, it has been extremely rewarding to work at a university that is consistently operating at the forefront of global research and innovation.

“In the latter stage of my masters, students were required to complete a 20-week lab-based research project. I found this research project particularly enjoyable as it provided me with the fundamental practical skills required for a career in research, whilst enabling me to contribute novel findings to the scientific field with the possibility of publishing further down the line.

“I was also the recipient of the Jonathan Stone Prize and the Department of Neuroscience Award for attaining the highest overall marks on the course and the research project, respectively. These awards were indispensable to my future PhD applications and I secured a PhD position at the same institute the following year.”

Tobias has recently submitted his PhD thesis and is due to start a postdoctoral research position at Sheffield. He adds, “After my postdoc, I will look to expand my skills and knowledge base by securing a position at a research centre abroad, after which I would like to return to the UK and begin climbing the academic career ladder with the aim of setting up my own lab group.

“My advice to anyone looking to complete a masters would be to fully engage with the course and network with members of the faculty from day one. The world is becoming increasingly competitive year upon year, and having a network of experienced and supportive academics to help guide you through the early stages of your career is extremely ben


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