MSc Neuroscience & Mental Health

Key facts

  • Start date: Sep 2020
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
  • Research-focused Masters degree

  • State-of-the-art facilities in Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

Study with us

Studying a Masters in Neuroscience & Mental Health at the University of Strathclyde, you'll be learning at an award-winning academic institution. A 5-star QS-rated university, we were named Times Higher Education University of the Year 2019 - the only university to win the award twice.

  • study how the nervous system works from molecules to cells to functional networks and high-order cognition

  • develop an understanding of in vivo models, plus cutting-edge techniques and technologies used in neuroscience research and drug development

  • gain the ability to conduct independent research and also to work as part of a team, with an appreciation of other disciplines’ contribution to drug discovery, development and delivery for neurological and mental health conditions
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Why this course?

The MSc Neuroscience & Mental Health has been designed, with feedback from industry, to fulfil a gap in the postgraduate market for a strong research-led neuroscience Masters degree.

The programme will allow students to build both a strong knowledge-base and a clear understanding of the practicalities involved in research, drug discovery and development of therapeutic interventions for disorders of the nervous system.

Students will have access to expertise and facilities for in vivo animal studies, such as models for different aspects of learning & memory. The course will include training in associated ethical & legal considerations.

Abstract image of a brain cell

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll learn

During this Masters course you'll:

  • develop an understanding of in vivo models, plus cutting-edge techniques and technologies used in neuroscience research and drug development
  • gain the ability to conduct independent research and also to work as part of a team, with an appreciation of other disciplines’ contribution to drug discovery, development and delivery for neurological and mental health conditions
  • gain confidence in transferable skills and be effective independent lifelong learners
  • gain insight into entrepreneurship and commercialisation within the pharmaceutical industry

Learn from leading academics

The course is taught by leading neuroscience academics from Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences, recognised as one of the leading departments of its kind in the UK. You'll therefore be taught by researchers working at the forefront of areas such as optogenetics, sensory signal processing, neuronal network interconnectivity, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and neuroimmunology.

Several modules on the course are also taught by our experts in drug development & delivery. This will give you perspectives on developing and delivering drugs to the brain.

The Institute has state-of-the-art facilities including electrophysiology, high-resolution imaging, rodent behavioural testing and in vivo optogenetic manipulation, as well as custom-built electrophysiology simulation software to support learning of the mechanisms that underpin nerve cell function.

Dr Susan Chalmers.

With one person being diagnosed with dementia every 3 minutes in the UK, plus an ageing population and no current treatment options other than symptom management, there’s a huge, increasing need for skilled graduates in this field.

Dr Susan Chalmers, course leader

Teaching staff

The following staff are all involved in the teaching and research project supervision on the MSc Neuroscience & Mental Health course (project availability may vary year-to-year).

Staff memberResearch expertise
Dr Susan Chalmers (Course coordinator) The role of mitochondria in the normal function of cells of the brain, and in protecting or contributing to neurodegeneration or dysfunction; particularly alterations in mitochondrial motility and functionality due to amyloid-β or hyperglycaemia.
Dr Shuzo Sakata

Sensory information processing by brain circuits, developing strategies for the improvement and restoration of sensory abilities, with emphasis on hearing. In vivo ensemble recording, optogenetics, and behavioural approaches to study information processing; developing tools to modulate brain functions.

The Sir Robin MacLellan Award winner, 2013

Dr Christian Wozny

The role of various types of neurons in cortical and subcortical meso- and microcircuits. State-of-art techniques such as channelrhodopsin-2-assisted circuit mapping, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry and anatomical reconstructions to investigate the balance between excitation and inhibition, and the cause and mechanisms of neuronal hyperexcitability in disease.

NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2019

Dr Morag Farquhar Addiction and reward reinforcement, the influence of nicotine on the ventral tegmental area.
Dr Hui-Rong Jiang Neuroimmunology, in vivo immunology, cytokines and immunity; investigation of novel therapeutic avenues for multiple sclerosis.

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) is a leading centre for research focused on new medicines, better medicines and better use of medicines. Recognised as one of the leading departments of its kind in the UK, you'll be taught by academics working at the forefront of research.

The Institute is home to state-of-the-art facilities providing students with a nurturing environment in which to learn.

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Course content

Core Neuroscience

The Core Neuroscience class will cover key concepts and research techniques in fundamental neuroscience. The content of the class will enable students to critically understand core neuroscience principles and advanced research techniques used in this area.

The class will also develop extensive and detailed knowledge in more specialised topics in neuroscience. Core Neuroscience provides the fundamental knowledge required to undertake the Function of the Nervous System and the Disorders of the Nervous System classes.

Functions of the Nervous System

Functions of the Nervous System will introduce general concepts of functional neuroscience (the neural processes involved in the translation of sensory data arriving in the brain into actions/outcomes) building on the Core Neuroscience module.

Students will develop a general understanding of how brains initiate actions using sensory information from external and internal environments, and how cognitive processes are involved in this. The importance of sleep, behavioural state control and the brain systems that regulate them will be examined, along with the systems involved in language.

Disorders of the Nervous System

Disorders of the Nervous System will cover various aspects of multiple brain disorders ranging from childhood disorders to diseases of the elderly.

The overall theme of this class is to show how an understanding of the pathology of nervous system diseases can identify therapeutic targets which can then be used for the design of novel disease interventions. However, the historical difficulty of translating theoretical interventions into effective treatments means that students need to also be critically aware of the potential limitations of such interventions.

To achieve this level of awareness, the class will enable students to thoroughly understand the underlying disease principles and commonalities of different nervous system diseases. It will also encourage students to critically assess scientific literature, hypotheses and the latest neuroscientific experiments.

Disorders of the Nervous System will further enable students to gather extensive knowledge about new ways to target nervous system disorders by the use of novel approaches to drug discovery, pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery, and to assess their likelihood of success in the clinic.

Advanced Techniques in In Vivo Biology

This class will provide an understanding of in vivo research, including reduction in numbers and ethical issues, as well as gaining exposure to specific research techniques used in neuroscience. It will also cover cardiovascular, immunology and cancer in vivo research. Students will also gain an accredited PIL training course certificate that is necessary for Home Office Personal License.

Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Commercialisation

This class aims to provide engineers and scientists with a better understanding of what it takes to create and grow technology-based businesses. Specifically it aims to:

  • provide students with an appreciation of the intrinsic value of entrepreneurship, innovation & commercialisation activities to business
  • provide students with a set of frameworks to better understand & more successfully engage in high-tech business opportunities
  • provide students with a better appreciation & understanding of management in a complex, uncertain & interdisciplinary high-tech business environment
Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research

This class will further improve skills in scientific literacy and writing, applying techniques learned in semester 1. Students will develop their experimental design and complex data analysis skills. Students will have extensive experience in writing succinct and well-researched scientific text, understanding the way in which scientific review papers are researched and constructed, as well as how professional fellowship and grant applications are written.

Generic Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Research Skills

This class will illustrate the many sources of scientific information available electronically, how to construct effective search protocols to find relevant information and present it using graphical means and oral presentations.

It will enable you to understand, choose and use appropriate statistical methods to aid the collection and interpretation of data in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, and associated industries.

You'll be encouraged to engage in debate on:

  • scientific hypotheses
  • regulatory affairs & research funding
  • in vivo experimentation
  • human stem cell therapies

You'll be introduced to the concepts of:

  • skills evaluation and personal effectiveness
  • time management, planning and Gannt charts
  • decision-making processes and review
  • information and data management
  • good laboratory practice
  • peer interaction, communication and networking
  • preparing a CV, career planning and applying for future positions
Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research

This class will develop your:

  • scientific knowledge
  • understanding of clinical conditions and their diagnosis
  • understanding of the major targets and issues in the field
  • ability to retrieve and collate published science
  • skills in presenting findings orally (as individuals, or as part of a collaborating team)
  • skills in producing high-quality scientific writing tailored to its destination (popular science, papers, lab reports, grant applications etc.)
Research project

Students will undertake a 10-week research project over the summer within one of our neuroscience research groups. The research specialisations of these groups currently include brain cell function and signalling; systems neuroscience; how the brain operates and becomes dysfunctional in disease; Alzheimer’s disease; cognitive and hearing disorders; multiple sclerosis; stroke and schizophrenia. We utilise techniques including:

  • behavioural studies
  • biomaterials
  • circuit mapping
  • electrophysiology
  • functional genomics
  • genetic engineering
  • imaging
  • immunomodulation
  • machine learning
  • network modelling
  • optogenetics
  • stem cells
  • tissue engineering

Additionally, there is the potential for some research projects to be placements within industry, dependent on availability.

Course structure

The Masters in Neuroscience & Mental Health follows the following structure:

Semester 1

  • Core Neuroscience (10 credits)
  • Advanced Techniques in In Vivo Biology (10 credits)
  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Commercialisation (10 credits)

Semesters 1 & 2

  • Functions of the Nervous System (20 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research (20 credits)
  • Generic Biomedical Skills (20 credits)

Semester 2

  • Disorders of the Nervous System (20 credits)
  • Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research (20 credits)

Semester 3 (summer)

  • Research project embedded within a neuroscience research group at Strathclyde (60 credits)

Learning and Teaching

The course can either be taken over 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time, in-person on-campus.

Teaching will be a mixture of:

  • lectures (primarily teacher-led with some student interaction)
  • tutorials and workshops (with small group activities that are primarily student-led, guided by teacher)
  • practical classes (including group work and presentation of results)

Class materials and suggestions for additional reading and online resources will be lodged on the class web-pages for students to access and review in their own time.

Assessment

The course will be assessed by written examinations, written reports, oral presentations and moderated peer assessments. Formative and summative approaches are taken in different aspects of the course.

The project is assessed by means of:

  • performance (20%)
  • a thesis (60%)
  • an oral presentation (20%) prepared and submitted at the end of the project time
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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second-class honours degree or international equivalent in a biological, medical or chemical discipline. Students from mathematics or engineering background may also be considered.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests in addition to IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests.

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Fees & funding

2020/21

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

£10,100

Rest of UK

£10,100

International

£22,350

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Careers

Our MSc Neuroscience & Mental Health students can go on to have careers in*:

  • academia (research and teaching)
  • clinical sciences
  • biotechnology and contract research
  • pharmaceutical industries
  • neuropsychology and psychiatry
  • regulatory affairs, policy and research administration
  • science communication, museum work and public engagement
  • publishing or the media

Neuroscientist salaries

According to Prospects:**

  • research assistants in neuroscience can earn between £25,000 and £35,000
  • starting salaries for postdoctoral researchers are between £32,000 and £45,000
  • experienced and senior neuroscientists earn salaries of £50,000 to £60,000 or more

**Income figures are intended as a guide only. Last accessed 2 March 2020.

Related fields

*In addition to the above careers, neuroscience is being applied to many other specialist fields, for example:

  • neuroethics - the social, legal and ethical consequences of advances in brain research
  • neuroeconomics - risk-taking and decision making that influence business and the economy
  • neurotechnology - combining engineering and IT with neuroscience

*Information taken from the British Neuroscience Association.

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Apply

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: full-time

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2021
Mode of Delivery: full-time

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: part-time

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2021
Mode of Delivery: part-time

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2021
Mode of Delivery: part-time

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5147

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk