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Neuroscience (M.Sc.)


Course Description

Neuroscience is a discipline concerned with the scientific study of the nervous system in health and disease. Research in the neurosciences is of considerable clinical impact considering the debilitating and costly effects of neurological and psychiatric disease. In this regard, a major goal of modern neuroscience research is to elucidate the underlying causes (genetic or environmental) of major brain diseases, and to produce more effective treatments for major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression, and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, motor neurone disease and epilepsy. Improved treatment strategies for brain disorders relies entirely on increased understanding gained from research which integrates molecular, cellular and clinical aspects of disease. In this regard it is clear that interdisciplinary approaches are necessary to understand the complex processes which underlie brain function in health and disease. This interdisciplinary philosophy is adopted in the delivery of our M.Sc. programme in Neuroscience, which is underpinned by the diverse research expertise available within Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN).

Course Content:
This one-year M.Sc. course aims to provide a multidisciplinary training in the neurosciences, in topics ranging from molecular to behavioural. The course is ideal for students wishing to extend their specialised knowledge, and for those wishing to convert from their original degree discipline. The programme will equip participants with the skills necessary to progress into a career in biomedical, pharmaceutical or neuropsychological research. Instruction for the course consists of approximately 200 contact hours over two academic Terms to include lectures, laboratory practical sessions, journal club workshops and student-based seminars. Modules are assessed by a mixture of in course assessment and written examinations.

Specialist modules covered include:
Form and Function of the Nervous System, Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology, Neuropharmacology, Drug Development, Advanced Neuroimmunology, Experimental Neuroscience, Scientific Literature Skills, Neural Engineering, Neuroimaging Technology, Current Topics in Neuroscience, Cellular Neuroscience, and Research Skills.

The third Term consists of a research project on novel aspects of Neuroscience. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience is a dynamic research environment with research spanning molecular/cellular neuroscience to clinical/translational neuroscience. Projects across these research areas may be undertaken in consultation with an expert supervisor. For students interested in a project in cellular/molecular neuroscience a range of cellular techniques such as tissue culture, immunocytochemistry, western immunobloting and immunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, Immunoassays, flow cytometry, Real-time PCR, and high performance liquid chromatography are available. In addition, some projects will involve assessing behavioural, electrophysiological and neurochemical endpoints using in vivo models of neurological and psychiatric disease. For those with an interest in experimentation on human subjects, projects will be offered utilizing techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and neurocognitive testing. A selection of national and international projects is also available, which involve collaboration with other academic institutes and pharmaceutical companies, in Ireland, UK and across Europe.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally be required to hold at least a second class honours degree in Biological Sciences, Psychology, Medicine or other disciplines within the Health Sciences.

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Recipient: Trinity College Dublin
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