MSc Translational Neuroscience course structure information

The course consists of taught, self-directed and supervised modules. The taught modules consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and practical laboratory classes.  In the self-directed literature review module, you'll participate in journal clubs and undertake a literature-based essay. In the supervised research project module, you will undertake a 20-week research project under supervision from laboratory staff.

During the Autumn term, you'll take four taught modules. In the Spring, you'll take 3 taught modules. The course concludes with a 20-week laboratory project. All taught modules are worth 15 credits, whilst the research project is worth 75 credits.

All taught modules are worth 15 credits.

Molecular Neuroscience

Covers the current experimental strategies being used in molecular neuroscience, eg methods to study genetic inheritance and molecular biology techniques, from the fundamental through to state of the art.

Teaching combines lectures with carefully guided, complementary small group practical laboratory training in basic and advanced molecular biology techniques. Computer based and problem solving classes explore basic bioinformatic approaches, such as sequence analysis, searching databases for gene, protein, expression and functional data and primer design.

CNS Structure and Function

Provides a detailed background of the structure and function of the central nervous system (CNS), including how the nervous system develops, with more in-depth focus on the communication systems and signalling pathways used between and by cells in the CNS.  

Pathology and Modelling of Neurodegeneration

Relates neurological disease to pathological findings and the genetic basis of disease. Introduces cellular and animal models of monogenic disorders.

Ethics and Public Awareness of Science

Introduces an outline of the legislative limitations and ethical influences on biomedical science, how these are influenced by public attitudes and the scientific community.

Literature Review and Critical Analysis of Science

Involves an in-depth survey of the current literature in order to prepare a written essay on a research topic. A series of tutorials and seminars will run alongside to develop the student´s ability to read and understand scientific literature.

Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Disease

Explores the cellular and molecular causes of neurodegeneration in the major neurological diseases. Explains how hypotheses can be tested in model systems and utilised to develop new therapeutic strategies.

Applied Neuroimaging, Neurophysiology & Psychiatry

Provides an overview of clinical neuroimaging techniques, neurophysiology and an introduction to psychiatry. Topics include: schizophrenia, neuropsychological testing, the neural and molecular bases of psychiatric disorders, psychiatric genetics and animal models of psychiatric disorders.

You'll apply appropriate laboratory based techniques to test a specific scientific hypothesis and write up the research in a scientific manner. You'll record, interpret and discuss your results and the implications of your findings.

You'll also be expected to participate in journal clubs, seminars and lab meetings within the host Department, to complement their laboratory experience.

Previous MSc Research Projects

  • Investigation of the mechanism of action of a novel therapeutic drug in motor neuron disease
  • Molecular analysis of neurodegeneration in a zebrafish model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Characterization of a CHMP2B mutant animal model: A model of neurodegeneration?
  • New therapies for Motor Neurone Disease - Development of a High Throughput Screening Assay
  • The role of impaired calcium signalling in astrocytes in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer-type pathology in the ageing brain
  • Neurodevelopmental functions of a schizophrenia susceptibility gene
  • Zebrafish as a new animal model for Parkinson´s Disease
  • Role of PTEN in axonal growth and motor neuron survival in spinal muscular atrophy

See full course information on our Prospectus

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 14 January 2020

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