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MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience

Course Description

The programme is a one-year Masters course with both taught and research components. Students selected onto the course will follow the structured MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience research training. The aims of this one-year, full-time research training course are as follows:

- to give the student experience of research work;
- to expose them to a variety of laboratory environments and the balance of self sufficiency and team work needed in a researcher;
- to introduce them to the basic skills of experimental design, project management, time management etc. needed in research;
- to familiarise the student with the practicalities of laboratory research, imparting an understanding of the nature of bench research, of record keeping and data handling and of good laboratory practice;
- to introduce them to basic analytical techniques needed to understand and contextualise their research;
- to familiarise them with basic scientific writing and presentation skills.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpdmpbtn

Course detail

The additional objectives that are specific to this programme will be:

- to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds into neuroscience by providing a taught module with a basic overview of neuroscience;
- provide students thorough training in neuroscience methods, data analysis and statistics techniques;
- give students the necessary basic but broad understanding of neuroscience to prepare them for future PhD studies;
- provide students with adequate experience in neuroscience research to enable them to make an informed choice of PhD project if they so wish.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Masters course, students drawn from a diverse range of subject backgrounds are all expected to have:

- developed a broad understanding of modern research techniques, and thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to research in topics related to Neuroscience;
- been exposed to a number of theoretical approaches to brain science and trained in critical thinking in the area;
- acquired specific expertise in neuroscience research methods and statistics;
- demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field;
- acquired knowledge of a broad range of interdisciplinary research areas and supervisors to inform their choice of PhD projects if applicable;
- undertaken training in generic and transferable research skills including the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies.


The course offers both taught and research components including:

A project rotation in a laboratory of the student’s choice, among the projects offered by Cambridge Neuroscience Principal Investigators. The write up for the project will be formally assessed.

Supervisors will be drawn from Principal Investigators listed on the Cambridge Neuroscience web site: http://www.neuroscience.cam.ac.uk/directory/faculty.php. For projects in external organisations (industry-based), the student would have an additional academic University based supervisor in addition to the industry-based supervisor.

Students will be expected to choose from three out of 5-7 research training modules offered from modules and may be shared by other courses. These modules may vary from year to year.

In addition to the research project and research training modules, the students will receive a total of >20 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops on the five main themes of Cambridge Neuroscience.

Students taking this degree will be members of the University’s Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) who offer a wide variety of Generic Skills Training.


Students wishing to progress to the PhD after completing this MPhil course must apply via the Graduate Admissions Office. They will be required to pass the MPhil degree at a sufficient level to satisfy the Departmental Graduate Education Committee of the Department they are applying to and that they have the skills and ability to achieve the higher degree.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. For this programme, applicants should already have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class honours or equivalent in any subject relevant to the programme (including Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Medicine, Statistics, Epidemiology, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and related subjects).

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