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    Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration

    School of Medicine and Population Health, Faculty of Health

    A flexible way to study the fundamental biology of the human nervous system, the mechanisms behind a range of illnesses, and the treatments that patients receive.
    MSc Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration

    Course description

    Lead academic: Dr Jon Wood

    This part-time, online course enables you to fit your studies around your other commitments, while you develop a comprehensive understanding of neuroscience and neurodegenerative disease. It covers the fundamental biology of the human nervous system, the mechanisms behind a range of illnesses, and the treatments that patients receive.

    You will start with neuroanatomy, and study the human brain and spinal cord in detail. You will then learn about motor neurone disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and multiple sclerosis – how they occur, how they affect patients, and how they are studied by researchers. As you progress, you will focus more on the complex molecular and cellular mechanisms behind neurodegeneration, and how discoveries in the laboratory are translated into treatments.

    In your final year, there is a choice of modules that focus on neuroscience research. You can learn about research practices on our Professional and Research Skills module, and conduct a literature review by examining the published research on a neuroscience topic. Alternatively, you can complete your own research project by, for example, analysing data or evaluating a clinical intervention.

    Do you have a question? Talk to us

    Book a 15-minute online meeting with our course lead to find out more information and ask further questions.

    Book an appointment with Dr Jon Wood


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Rather than comprising a piecemeal assortment of small modules, the course mainly consists of large coherent modules containing themes of content that are developed over the course of each module.

    Each year of the course is worth 60 credits, which equates to 600 hours of study (including preparation of assessed coursework). Your studies will be split over 40 weeks of the academic year, so you should expect to devote around 15 hours per week to study over these 40 weeks.

    Introduction to Neurodegeneration

    This module comprises an integrated set of online learning activities designed to provide an introduction to the clinical signs and pathological basis of common neurodegenerative disorders, and opportunities to enhance students' analytical and presentational skills through individual and collaborative study. It constitutes a stand-alone Postgraduate Certificate, as well as the foundation for further Postgraduate Diploma and Master's options. Students will learn about the clinical signs, pathological basis and genetics of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and motor neurone diseases, as well as multiple sclerosis. Tutor support will guide acquisition of knowledge and enhance student's abilities in critical analysis and presentational skills.

    60 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's 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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    3 years part-time


    All of your teaching will take place online. You will learn through short video lectures and demonstrations, tutorials, interactive activities, quizzes, collaborative group work and discussion forums.


    You will be assessed, primarily, through written assignments and coursework, including posters and presentations you will deliver by video.

    Your career

    This course is great preparation for a career in neuroscience research. Many University of Sheffield graduates go on to complete a PhD and work at top universities and research institutes. Others work as researchers in the pharmaceutical industry or the NHS.

    The course can provide clinicians with useful knowledge and skills to pursue a speciality such as neurology. It can also offer broader professional development for doctors and other healthcare professionals – particularly neurologists and geriatricians.

    A woman with short pink hair smiles at the camera. She wears a grey cardigan and black top. There is a brick wall and hedges in the background.

    The learning content on the course can be done at your own pace and this flexibility is so helpful

    Katie Raine MSc Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration

    Katie from Essex is a graduate from our MSc in Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration. She explains how studying part time from home helped her balance her work, study and family life, while allowing her to pursue a dream career in dementia scientific research.

    Entry requirements

    You'll need at least a 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a relevant science, engineering or medical subject.

    A 2:2 degree may be acceptable depending on an interview and assessment of your previous experience in areas related to the course.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    Helen Hickson


    +44 114 222 2296

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.