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Neuroscience - MSc

Course Description

We are conscious, we sense, we feel and we act because of our brains. The brain coordinates and is affected by bodily functions, and it integrates the information about the outside world conveyed by our senses – it is the most central player in the physiology of the whole body. Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that studies the brain and the entire nervous system at different levels of organisation, from genes and molecules to nerve cells and networks; and beyond. The focus of a neuroscientist’s research may lie in understanding the neurobiological bases of behaviour, analysing the functional roles of a single molecule, or developing new treatments for neurological disorders or sensory deficits.

The Master’s Programme in Neuroscience provides you with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in a scientifically vibrant international environment. You will be taught by scientists who will provide you with a wide spectrum of opportunities for practical training and for becoming integrated into the stimulating neuroscience community. When you graduate, you will have mastered the essentials of neuroscience and have deeper knowledge and skills in the subfields of your choice. The Programme prepares you for PhD studies and a research career, or for a career in the private or public sector.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

Training is arranged in modules and consists of lecture courses, hands-on laboratory courses, seminars and book exams. Group work, reports and presentations help you to develop critical thinking and communication skills that are essential for a successful career within Academia and in jobs in the public and private sectors. Compulsory studies provide you with a broad general knowledge of the field, whereas optional studies will offer you freedom to focus on topics of interest to you. You can choose lecture or laboratory courses for example in molecular and cellular neuroscience, developmental neurobiology, sensory biology, regeneration biology, systems neuroscience, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, brain disorders, etc. You can also expand your knowledge by taking courses from other Master’s Programmes.

Selection of the Major

With optional study modules you can refine your specialisation within the field of neuroscience and broaden your knowledge in other disciplines. Discussing the options with your teachers and study advisors during the first months of your studies will help you to identify the various opportunities and prepare your personal study plan. You can revise your plan, if necessary, as your studies progress.

Programme Structure

You undertake modules amounting to the value of 120 credits (ECTS) according to your personal study plan. The Master’s Degree consists of:
-60 credits of advanced studies, including a research project (Master’s thesis, 30 credits).
-60 credits of other studies chosen from the Programme or from other Programmes (e.g. Genetics and Molecular Biosciences, Translational Medicine, or Psychology).

The curriculum of the Programme enables you to complete 90 credits in 12 months of full-time studying and utilising study opportunities during the summer months, but not including your Master’s thesis research project. However, we recommend that you complete the Programme in 2 years as this will give you more flexibility for your optional studies. You can include career planning or extracurricular activities in your personal study plan.

In order to qualify as a biology teacher, you will need to have 60 credits of pedagogical studies in your degree. This applies only to Finnish or Swedish speaking students.

Career Prospects

Basic research and biomedical research are career paths that offer many opportunities. After completing a Master’s degree in Neuroscience, you will be eligible for Doctoral Programmes at the University of Helsinki (e.g. Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind) or worldwide for other Doctoral Programmes in neuroscience, biosciences or biomedicine.

In addition to Academia, neuroscientists work as specialists in many fields, such as the pharmaceutical industry, education, biotechnology, public policy, science writing and publishing.

A Master’s degree in Neuroscience is a popular choice among Finnish and Swedish speaking students studying towards biology teacher qualification.


Neuroscience research at the University of Helsinki is conducted at the highest international level. The research groups participate in international collaborative networks, which is also reflected in teaching and research training. A large number of international exchange students and degree students pursue their studies in neuroscience, and many international scholars participate in teaching.

As a student here you are encouraged to seek exchange or postgraduate positions in international partner universities and companies.

The Master’s Programme in Neuroscience is part of the Network of European Schools in Neuroscience, NENS, which provides further opportunities for exchange programmes and networking within European universities.

Visit the Neuroscience - MSc page on the University of Helsinki website for more details!

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Entry Requirements

For the latest admission requirements, see the website: View Website

Last Updated

06 October 2016

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