MSc Neuroscience & Mental Health

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-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. An award-winning institution, we were named Times Higher Education University of the Year 2019 - the only university to win the award twice.

In this course, you'll:

  • study how the nervous system works from molecules and cells to functional networks and higher-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
  • learn to appreciate the role that other disciplines contribute 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 industry feedback, to fill a gap in the postgraduate market for a strong research-led neuroscience Masters degree.

You'll develop extensive knowledge and a clear understanding of the practicalities involved in research, drug discovery and development of therapeutic interventions for disorders of the nervous system.

You'll 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

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Science student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

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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 Trevor Bushell

Examining novel roles for protease-activated receptor 2 in the central nervous system and how peripheral inflammation affects CNSs function and animal behaviour.

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

Semester 1

Core Neuroscience (10 credits)

This module will cover key concepts and research techniques in fundamental neuroscience. The content of the module will enable you to critically understand core neuroscience principles and advanced research techniques used in this area.

The module 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.

Advanced Techniques in In Vivo Biology (10 credits)

This module will provide an understanding of in vivo research, including reduction in numbers and ethical issues. You'll gain exposure to the specific research techniques used in neuroscience. It will also cover cardiovascular, immunology and cancer in vivo research. Following completion of the module, you'll also achieve an accredited PIL training certificate that is necessary for Home Office Personal License.

Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Commercialisation (10 credits)

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 you with:

  • an appreciation of the intrinsic value of entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialisation activities to business
  • a set of frameworks to better understand and more successfully engage in high-tech business opportunities
  • a better appreciation and understanding of management in a complex, uncertain and interdisciplinary high-tech business environment

Semesters 1 & 2

Functions of the Nervous System (20 credits)

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.

You'll 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.

Essential Skills and Employability for Masters Students (20 credits)

This module will illustrate the many sources of scientific information available electronically. It will also show 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

Semester 2

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.

This module will explore how understanding the pathology of nervous system diseases can identify therapeutic targets, which can be used for the design of novel disease interventions. You'll also explore challenges that neuroscientists have faced in translating novel targets into clinical applications and how we are overcoming these hurdles.

The module will enable you to thoroughly understand the underlying disease principles and commonalities of different nervous system diseases. It will also encourage you to critically assess scientific literature, hypotheses and the latest neuroscientific experiments.

Disorders of the Nervous System will further enable you to gather extensive knowledge about new ways to target nervous system disorders. You'll learn novel approaches to drug discovery, pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery.

Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research (20 credits)

This module will further improve skills in scientific literacy and writing, applying techniques learned in semester 1. You'll develop skills in experimental design and complex data analysis. The module provides extensive experience in writing succinct and well-researched scientific text. You'll also come to understand the way in which scientific review papers are researched and constructed, as well as how professional fellowship and grant applications are written.

Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research (10 credits)

This module 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.)

Semester 3 (summer)

Research project (60 credits)

You'll 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 use 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's the potential for some research projects to be placements within industry, dependent on availability.

Learning and Teaching

The course will be delivered over 12 months full-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 you to access and review in your own time.


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 (2:2) 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.

Lucy Morton
This course exceeded my expectation with everything. It had engaging lectures from lecturers who are leaders in their field, interactive workshops which develop essential skills such as problem-solving, presentation skills, and scientific literature interpretation.
Lucy Morton
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Fees & funding

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course materials

You'll have to pay extra for your lab coat and safety goggles. All recommended textbooks are available in the library (and some freely available as online resources). However you may wish to purchase your own copies.

Other costs

There are returnable deposits for entry keycards and lockers (depending on your project location within Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences).

International students

If you are an international student, you may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

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 postgraduate students

Scottish 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 right in the very heart of Glasgow. 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.

Life in Glasgow

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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

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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 June 2022.

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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There is currently no deadline for submitting applications. However, we encourage you to apply early as we consider applications on a first come, first served basis, and may introduce an application deadline due to high demand.

Start date: Sep 2024

Neuroscience and Mental Health

Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6023