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Masters Degrees in Neuroscience, Netherlands

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A flexible and interdisciplinary programme, which challenges you to use your specific knowledge to unravel the workings of the human brain. Read more
A flexible and interdisciplinary programme, which challenges you to use your specific knowledge to unravel the workings of the human brain.

Our brain contains many ingenious networks of millions of interconnected neurons. Together, they have a storage capacity and flexibility that far exceed modern supercomputers, or any artificial intelligent system. The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience aims at unravelling the neuro-biological and neuro-computational mechanisms of this fascinating, complex system. We study the full spectrum from molecule to man, and from experiment to advanced theory and models.

The brain, as part of the human body, may at a first glance seem the exclusive domain of Biology. However, as the communication between neurons involves neurotransmitters and electrical ionic currents, understanding these mechanisms calls for knowledge of Chemistry and Physics. Moreover, studying mechanisms of coding and encoding of neural signals, requires advanced concepts from Mathematics and Informatics. By working together, our students learn to view complex issues from all these different sides.

Choose your own angle

Neuroscience at the Science Faculty ranges from biology to physics and mathematics, and will thus appeal to students from different Master’s programmes. The programme can be readily adapted to your individual academic background – whether that is in the field of Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Computing Science. Apart from fundamental knowledge of the brain, the Neuroscience specialisation also provides you with a general background in the principles of complex systems, and of intelligent behaviour of living and artificial systems.

Why study Neuroscience at Radboud University?

- Radboud University is the only university in the Netherlands that covers the complete research field of Neuroscience, from cognition to behaviour, and from sub-cellular processes, to single cell analysis and big data.
- The specialisation is closely connected to the world-renowned Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI). You will get the chance to work with DI researchers during your internship, and build up a high profile network for your future career.
- The courses have a strong focus on research: they will cover the latest developments in brain research and technology, and train you the essential academic skills.
- You will work with students and researchers from different backgrounds in the natural sciences and become acquainted with a wide variety of research methods and scientific approaches.

Change perspective

The brain, as part of the human body, may at a first glance seem the exclusive domain of Biology. However, as the communication between neurons involves neurotransmitters and electrical ionic currents, understanding these mechanisms calls for knowledge of Chemistry and Physics. Moreover, studying mechanisms of coding and encoding of neural signals, requires advanced concepts from Mathematics and Informatics. By working together, our students learn to view complex issues from all these different sides.

Career prospects

Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience
The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience gives you the chance to work at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and build up your own network of international renowned scientists who are working on the human brain: an excellent preparation for a future career in science. Neuroscience will also provide you with general skills that are required for any other job you aspire:
- the ability to structure complex problems
- excellent social skills for working in a multidisciplinary team
- extensive experience in presentations
- academic writing skills

Our approach to this field

At Radboud University, all branches of Neuroscience are accounted for, and strongly intertwined through the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI). This unique combination of expertises is a real advantage for Neuroscience students: it gives you absolute freedom to develop your knowledge in your field of interest and a high profile network for your future career.

- Science faculty
In this specialisation at the Science faculty, you will use your background in the natural sciences to unravel neurobiological processes. When completed, you will receive a Master’s degree in Medical Biology, Molecular Life Sciences, Physics & Astronomy or Science. For highly talented students it is possible to obtain a second Master’s degree at the selective Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience of the DI, which has a more cognitive approach. This extra Master’s degree takes one additional year (60 EC) to complete.

- Themes
The Master’s specialisation in Neuroscience focuses on three of the four research themes of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour:

- Perception, Action and Control
Focus: Studying sensorimotor mechanisms, their cognitive and social components, their clinical implications, and their relevance for robotics.

Research: Researchers use theoretical analysis, psychophysical and behavioural studies, neurophysiological techniques, neuroimaging, clinical and pharmacological interventions, developmental and genetic approaches.

- Plasticity and Memory
Focus: The development and decay of the healthy and the maladaptive brain.

Research: Researchers in this field study the mechanistic underpinnings and behavioural consequences of long-term changes in neural structure and function. Genetic, molecular and cellular methods, animal models, as well as human neuroimaging and cognitive neuropsychology are used.

- Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication
Focus: Complex neural networks, ranging from the very smallest – communication between individual neurons – to the largest: communication between different brain areas and the outside world.

Research: The research groups combine the development of new techniques for measurements of connectivity and activation, with the experimental application of these techniques in studies of cognition in humans, non-human primates and rodents. Computational modelling is an important component.

- Custom approach
The specialisation programme depends on the Master’s programme that you will follow. In this way, it will perfectly fit to your current knowledge and practical skills. However, as all neuroscience research topics are interdisciplinary, you will become acquainted with other disciplines as well. This will help you to develop a common ground that is necessary to communicate in a multi-faceted (research) team.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/neuro

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The master Neuroscience and Cognition gives you insight in the principles of the field normal and pathological brain function and delivers a new generation of multidisciplinary neuroscientists. Read more
[[ Neuroscience and Cognition]]

The master Neuroscience and Cognition gives you insight in the principles of the field normal and pathological brain function and delivers a new generation of multidisciplinary neuroscientists.

The master in Neuroscience & Cognition covers the full width of research topics in the field and is taught by researchers based at Utrecht University or the University Medical Center Utrecht. A unique setting is created in Utrecht in which the participating research groups are organized in Neuroscience and Cognition Utrecht.
The emphasis of the Utrecht master in Neuroscience & Cognition is on hands-on experience, although a selection of elective courses allows for a thorough theoretical basis. Over 200 principal investigators participate in the program and offer internships and supervision. The second internship is often taken outside Utrecht, usually within an international collaboration of one of the principal investigators, allowing easy access to top institutes all over the world.
The principal researchers involved in the master program are experts in a large variety of advanced techniques. To advise and guide students there are two track coordinators. The wide range of options for internships, thesis topics and elective courses allows each student to design a personalized study path matching individual interests, abilities and ambition.

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This programme involves studying the interaction between and within groups of neurons in the brain, and how they affect our interactions with the outside world. Read more
This programme involves studying the interaction between and within groups of neurons in the brain, and how they affect our interactions with the outside world.

The brain is no longer considered a passive response device but rather as a network in which we consider ongoing activity before, during, and after a stimulus. The specialisation Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication deals with brain networks; ranging from the smallest scale, the communication between individual neurons, to the largest scale, communication between different brain areas. Using advanced mathematical tools, this specialisation prepares students for cutting-edge neuroscience research.
Students interested in this specialisation are expected to already have a high level of mathematical skills and/or training in physics, engineering or computer science in their Bachelor’s studies.

A large majority of our graduates gain a PhD position, while other graduates find jobs in the commercial sector or at research institutes. Graduates of this specialisation may more readily find a position within a government institution or specialised companies (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry).

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cns/brain

Why study Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication at Radboud University?

- Researchers in Nijmegen combine new techniques for electrophysiological and anatomical measurements of connectivity and activation with data analysis and the experimental application of these techniques. This is done in studies of cognition in not just humans but also non-human primates and rodents.
- Exceptional students who choose this specialisation have the opportunity to do a double degree programme with either Neuroscience or Artificial Intelligence. This will take three instead of two years.
- This competitive programme provides a sound balance of theory and practice. Our selective approach guarantees excellence, especially during the research training period.

Career prospects

If you have successfully completed the Master’s programme in Brain networks and neuronal communication, you will be able to conduct independent neuroimaging and neurobiological research. You will have ample knowledge of the anatomical and neurophysiological aspects of networks in the human brain and the techniques for the computational analysis and modeling of brain networks. This will enable you to conduct independent research into the neurofunctional architecture of key cognitive functions, such as perception, attention, memory, language, planning and targeted actions and develop technologies to measure, characterise and model networks at the whole brain and/or the local cortical circuit level. With this educational background you should be able to find a position with one of the research institutes in the Netherlands or abroad, government institutions or specialised companies (e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry).

Our approach to this field

Research in the field of cognitive neuroscience is one of the spearheads in the research policy of Radboud University. Here, in Nijmegen, hundreds of scientists from various faculties and top institutes have joined forces to unravel the workings of the human brain, step by step . They work together closely, exchange expertise and share state-of-the-art research equipment.

Nijmegen is one of the foremost centres of cognitive neuroscience in the world. We have a high admission threshold to ensure that all of our students are highly motivated and have the ability to work at an advanced level. Top scientists screen all applications to make sure the new students meet our stringent entry criteria and can maintain the current standards of excellence. Once admitted to the programme, you can expect to be trained as a multidisciplinary scientist in the following two years. The research you will undertake addresses crossdisciplinary challenges. The teachers and supervisors you will meet are all experts in their own disciplines. We hope that with this programme, you will outperform your teachers by being able to combine knowledge from different domains. Alongside language processing and perceptuomotor systems, you may also help improve brain/computer interfaces, a hot topic with applications in medicine and information technology. Apart from being very exciting, it is also logical that various disciplines are merging. After all, everything that happens in the brain is interconnected. In Nijmegen we develop sophisticated cognitive models which we test by means of state-of-the-art imaging techniques, thanks to which you can participate in cutting-edge research that will hopefully lead to new insights into the way the human brain and mind work. Finally, we offer our best CNS students excellent career opportunities in challenging PhD projects.

- Unique multi-disciplinary Master’s programme
Are you also interested in the human brain? Would you like to conduct research into the workings of the brain and join an enthusiastic, international group of top researchers? The Radboud University offers a multi-faculty Master’s programme in Cognitive Neuroscience. The programme takes two years and is of a scientific orientation. There is a strong emphasis on experimental research. This Master’s programme is unique in Europe.
The Master’s programme in Cognitive Neuroscience is primarily focused on training you as a researcher because research institutes and businesses around the world desperately need highly qualified and motivated young researchers. Moreover, since cognitive neuroscience is a rather young discipline, much in this field has not yet been explored. There are many challenging questions that need to be answered. So there is plenty of room for new discoveries!

This competitive programme provides a sound balance of theory and practice. We enrol about 50 students per year. Our selective approach guarantees excellence, especially during the research training period.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cns/brain

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The main focus of this Research Master is to train students to become independent researchers. For this purpose, a large proportion of the programme is devoted to two research projects in which the students are embedded in successful research groups to conduct their own research. Read more
The main focus of this Research Master is to train students to become independent researchers. For this purpose, a large proportion of the programme is devoted to two research projects in which the students are embedded in successful research groups to conduct their own research.

The programme offers three tracks:
- Animal and Human Behaviour (B-track);
- Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Modelling (C-track);
- Molecular and Clinical Neuroscience (N-track).

You will become an expert in one of these fields. However, because of the integrated courses and links between these tracks you will also get a unique and truly multi-disciplinary training. The BCN Research Master is one of the the best Neuroscience MSc programmes of the Netherlands (Keuzegids Masters 2015/Dutch Higher Education Guide 2015).

Admission to the programme is highly selective and based on the applicants academic credentials as well as motivation. Every application is screened by the Admissions Board.

Why in Groningen?

- Excellent research facilities including University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), NeuroImaging Center and Centre for Life Sciences
- More than 75% enrolment in PhD projects after graduation
- Integrated teaching by top researchers from three faculties in small groups

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programme, you can work as a researcher, both in the academic world and other fields. Because of their multi-disciplinary training, graduates of this degree positively distinguish themselves: you can easily grasp the bigger picture and are able to familiarize yourself with new fields and methodologies quickly.

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Targeted action. there is more to it than you think. How do you pick out your own glass of beer out of all the other glasses on the bar? How do you find your way in a building? How do you walk from one room to the other - and how do you do that with your eyes closed?. Read more

Master's specialisation in Perception, Action and Control

Targeted action: there is more to it than you think
How do you pick out your own glass of beer out of all the other glasses on the bar? How do you find your way in a building? How do you walk from one room to the other - and how do you do that with your eyes closed?
How do you perceive colour under constantly changing lighting conditions? How does a tennis player prepare himself to return a ball which yet has to be played? And what role do eye and head movements play in this? How are we able to write?
Catching a ball, grabbing a cup, writing down a sentence: these are all targeted actions that you often perform without thinking about them. Performing perceptuomotor tasks as a team such as in sports, understanding the actions of others, joint action in collaborative and competitive contexts: these are examples of hot topics in social neurocognition in which Nijmegen scientists are highly interested.
To patients who suffered a brain haemorrhage automatic actions come not so naturally any more. They find it extremely difficult to perform them. Why is that? Which neurocognitive processes play a role in these actions? That is what researchers who study perception and action want to discover.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cns/perception

General requirements:

- Bachelor's degree
The graduation date of the last attained BA/BSc degree relevant for this programme must be within five years of applying to the programme.

- English skills
The Cognitive Neuroscience Master's programme (MSc CNS) is an English programme: all courses and examinations are taught in English. For the general language requirements of the Radboud University click here. Foreign students please note that the MSc CNS programme requires the following minimum scores: TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 250 (computer-based test), 100 (internet-based test); IELTS 7.0 or higher.

- Mathematics & Physics
Students who did not follow physics in their high school curriculum and/or who have not been trained in mathematics at level B (including concepts such as matrix algebra, differentiation, integration, complex numbers), are advised before the start of the programme to work on the assignment in Chapters 1, 2, 7, 8 and 11 (three chapters on physics and two on mathematics) of R.K. Hobbie: "Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology", Springer Verlag, New York, 1997; third edition, ISBN 1-56396-458-9).

Career prospects

If you have successfully completed the specialisation Perception, Action and Control you will have ample experience in current research and analysis techniques in perception, three-dimensional motor research, psychophysiological studies, neuroimaging and electromyographical studies. You will also be able to apply formal theories on and models of perceptive functions, sensomotor functions, and complex actions in your research.
With this educational background you may find a position with one of the industrial or non-industrial research institutes in the Netherlands or abroad (e.g. traffic research, man-machine interaction, etc.). Also in health care there is an increasing demand for cognitive neuroscientists, for example, in rehabilitation centres.

Our approach to this field

Perception, Action & Control is a central research area within different faculties of Radboud University. It is aimed at the three basic components of current Cognitive Neuroscience: modelling (e.g. in physics), designing and conducting behavioural studies (e.g. in psychology) and measuring the neurobiological foundations of behaviour. The various research groups of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour that study these processes use a wide range of modern research facilities which enables them to provide natural stimuli and measure complex everyday behaviour. The close cooperation between the various disciplines also characterises the content of the courses in this specialisation.

Our research in this field

Researchers working on Perception Action and Control study sensorimotor mechanisms, their cognitive and social components, their clinical implications, and their relevance for robotics.

The PAC theme is closely integrated with the RadboudUMC themes Disorders of movementand Stress-related disorderslead by Bas Bloem and Aart Schene respectively. An overview of RadboudUMC themes can be found here https://www.radboudumc.nl/Research/Themes/Pages/default.aspx .

Research methods include theoretical analysis, psychophysical and behavioural studies, neurophysiological techniques, neuroimaging, clinical and pharmacological interventions, developmental and genetic approaches.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cns/perception

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Working at the interface of chemistry, biology and physics. New insights emerge at the point where disciplines come together and, in order to understand how things work, it is important to study them from all angles. Read more

Overview

Working at the interface of chemistry, biology and physics
New insights emerge at the point where disciplines come together and, in order to understand how things work, it is important to study them from all angles. This is the approach we have chosen in teaching Science. As a Master's student you will find yourself at the interface of biology, chemistry and physics as you work to discover the secrets behind man, molecule and materials.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/science

Career prospects

Most of our graduates continue to do a PhD, either in Nijmegen or elsewhere. Our institutes have various vacancies every year. Graduates also find employment as researchers and managers in industry, in the commercial sector and in research institutes.

Our research in this field

Top research and facilities
The programme is closely linked to two internationally recognised Nijmegen institutes:
- Institute for Molecules and Materials
- Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour.

Both have state-of the-art research facilities capable of identifying the characteristics of molecules, materials and the human brain. There are:
- the magnets in the High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML),
- the NMR and MRI facilities,
- the free electron laser
- the NanoLab.

Little wonder that these institutes and facilities attract top scientists from all over the world. As a Master's student in Natural Sciences you will find yourself in a dynamic research environment working alongside scientists who are leaders in their field.

- Great freedom and personal tutor
The programme offers you considerable freedom to follow your own interests. At the beginning of the programme you will select one study area from the three options available: physical chemistry, biophysics or chemical biology. Within this area you can choose from several specialisations ranging from material science to neural networks and from neurobiology to organic chemistry and nanoscience.
You will complete your main internship within one of the Nijmegen research groups. Here you will have a personal supervisor, with whom you decide on your subjects and research programme. Your second internship will be with a different research group or related to your variant.

- The Nijmegen approach
The first thing you will notice as you enter our Faculty of Science is the open atmosphere. This is reflected by the light and transparent building and the open minded spirit of the working, exploring and studying people that you will meet there. No wonder students from all over the world have been attracted to Nijmegen. You study in small groups, in direct and open contact with members of the staff. In addition, Nijmegen has excellent student facilities, such as high-tech laboratories, libraries and study ‘landscapes'.

Studying by the ‘Nijmegen approach' is a way of living. We will equip you with tools which are valuable for the rest of your life. You will be challenged to become aware of your intrinsic motivation. In other words, what is your passion in life? With this question in mind we will guide you to translate your passion into a personal Master's programme.

- Quality Label
This programme was recently rated number three in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2014 (Guide to Master's programmes)

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/science

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