Neuroscience (MRes) 2018 entry

The MRes in Neuroscience is designed to provide advanced training in neuroscience research. Students conduct a year-long research project and learn relevant techniques and skills through course work. Research projects are carried out in a single laboratory over the full length of the programme, thereby giving students a unique opportunity to pursue research questions in depth. The overall aim is to help students acquire the skills needed to succeed as independent research scientists.

Postgraduate applications for 2018 entry will open on 5 October 2017.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Research (MRes)

Course dates

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 31 August 2019

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Neuroscience MRes page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (typically 2.1 or higher) in a science-related subject (e.g. neuroscience, chemistry, physics, biology, psychology, computer science). Candidates with other suitable and equivalent qualifications such as relevant work experience or research accomplishments will also be considered.

If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Postgraduate applications for 2018 entry will open on 5 October 2017.

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £8,500
Overseas: £20,980

Application deadline

Review of applications will take place on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes. Applications may be accepted after June 1 if places are still available, but applicants should contact the programme administrator first for advice.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • personal statement, including rationale for working with particular advisor(s) (500 words maximum)
  • two letters of recommendation
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a potential advisor within the School before applying, and to provide a letter of support from this person (see contact information for all participating faculty).
  • English language requirements certificate (if applicable).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MRes in Neuroscience is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Highlights

  • Intensive week-long introductory module prepares students for the course before the start of Semester 1.
  • The course includes a streamlined taught component
  • Students have the opportunity to conduct a year-long project in a single laboratory.

Teaching format

The course begins with a week-long intensive module which continues during Semester 1 with a weekly seminar series. Over two semesters, students will also complete two additional Honours-level modules.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals and guided independent study. The modules are assessed principally by written work and oral presentations.

During Semester 1 and 2, and during the summer months, students will conduct an original research project culminating in a written thesis, which forms the main component of assessed work.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.

  • Research Design in Neuroscience: intensive week-long module provides an introduction to designing and carrying out neuroscience research at the postgraduate level.
  • Techniques and Skills in Neuroscience Research: examines state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques through critical analysis of primary literature.

Students choose two optional modules (optional modules may vary from year to year; see the University’s position on curriculum development). Examples of optional modules include:

  • Advanced Microscopy and Image Analysis: introduction to advanced imaging techniques, such as Confocal, Super-resolution, TIRF and Electron Microscopy.
  • Behavioural Neuroscience: allows students to access current research in the area of behavioural neuroscience. Possible topics include motivation, learning and attention. 
  • Biology and Behaviour of Social Insects: examines and compares the biology of the four main groups of social insects: termites, ants, wasps and bees.
  • Evolution and Human Behaviour: introduces and critically evaluate the main evolutionary approaches currently being used, including socio-biology, evolutionary psychology, behavioural ecology and gene-culture co-evolution.
  • Evolutionary Developmental Biology: aims to cover some of the main, current themes in evolutionary developmental biology.
  • Introduction to Neuroscience: primarily for students who have not studied neuroscience previously, this module covers basic biochemical, cellular and behavioural aspects of the nervous system in health and disease.
  • Mechanisms of Behaviour: Integrating Psychological and Neuroscience Perspectives: explores some of the many physiological and neural systems that modulate patterns of behaviour in a range of species, including humans.
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Trafficking: considers how molecules control the movement of substances through the secretory pathway, but will focus on how cells regulate the release of contents.
  • Motoneurons: From Physiology to Pathology: provides an in-depth knowledge of key aspects of neuronal function and potential dysfunction by focusing on motoneurons.
  • Neurodegeneration and Aging: develops a detailed understanding of molecular neuroscience at the biochemical and molecular level.
  • Neuroethology: focuses mainly on behaviours arising from the interactions between predators and their prey.
  • Neuromodulation: explores the diverse range of neuromodulatory mechanisms and outlines their importance in information processing in the nervous system.
    Neural Basis of Episodic Memory: examines how the brain enables us to remember information from our personal experience.
  • Neuroethology: studies the neural control of natural animal behaviour from a biological comparative perspective.
  • Research Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience: Tremendous progress in technology allows now to observe the brain in action to understand the physical bases of behaviour. This module showcases this state of the art approach.
  • Synaptic Transmission: covers recent progress in understanding the morphology and ultrastructure of synapses, neurotransmitter corelease and recycling mechanisms, retrograde signalling, synaptic plasticity, the role of glial cells and the development of neurotransmission
  • Vision: from Neurons to Awareness: develops an advanced understanding of the psychological processes involved in visual perception.

Students will spend one year conducting an original research project culminating in a data-based thesis of not more than 15,000 words. The thesis will describe the research results obtained from the year-long research project and must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the thesis requirement for the MRes, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PG Cert instead of an MRes.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2018 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue

Conferences and events

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience hosts a weekly seminar programme in the Old Library of the Psychology Building. These seminars include public lectures, open school discussions and papers presented by a variety of guest lecturers from the UK and abroad. Following the seminar, a wine reception is held in the staff common room.

The School also hosts an annual Jeeves Lecture as part of its seminar programme. The lectures are given by eminent psychologists and neuroscientists. Staff, students and members of the public are welcome at this lecture.

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the MRes

Research degrees

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.

The School of Psychology and Neuroscience offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The PhD comprises three years of full-time study and the submission of an 80,000-word thesis.

The Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council offers studentships for PhD research in health, biological and related sciences covering up to four years of funding and, in some cases, accommodation fees.

PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience

Careers

A large number of Psychology and Neuroscience postgraduates have gained postdoctoral and lecturing positions in universities across the world. The School provides opportunities for students to gain academic experience by being involved in tutorials, laboratory classes and through conducting independent research.

In addition to pursuing careers in academia, postgraduates within the School have gone on to pursue careers in a variety of fields including industry, education and medicine.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and provides resources specific for neuroscientists, including guidance on career options and opportunities to connect to neuroscience alumni through university’s social networking programme: Saint Connect

Contact information

School of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of St Andrews
St Mary's Quad
South Street
St Andrews
KY16 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 1334 462157
Email: psych@st-andrews.ac.uk

Psychology and Neuroscience website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).