Research course

MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology

Institution
King's College London · Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine
Qualifications
MPhil/PhD

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours, or a postgraduate degree in Molecular or Cellular Biology, with some previous experience of developmental and/or neurobiology. The successful candidates will be of the calibre expected of MRC and Wellcome Research students.
  • A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit.

Months of entry

Anytime

Course content

The human brain is by far the most complex structure on Earth. Consider that it contains a thousand billion neurons, of a thousand or more different, individual types, and that each neuron is wired up to as many as five hundred other neurons; this allows the possibility for a really vast number of alternative wiring configurations - more, it has been estimated, than there are molecules in the universe. Yet the elaborate pattern of connectional networks between neurons that constitutes the machinery for sensation, movement, emotion and thought, is remarkably similar between individuals. Indeed, the basic plan of the brain - the layout of its command and control centres and all but the smallest details of its wiring diagram - appears to be virtually identical between individual humans and recognisably similar between human and mouse.

Furthermore, this 'ground plan' of the brain is genetically determined, or 'hard wired', leaving only the fine details of network construction to be influenced by the electrical activity of circuits and environmental experience. Such is the complexity of the brain's construction, however, that neurobiologists are still far from a complete structural and functional understanding of its basic operations, such as those we have in common with chickens and mice, let alone even beginning to understand the nature of the higher functions - such as thought and consciousness - of which possibly only the human brain is capable.

It is our goal to further the understanding of this structure through our current research programmes, which are:

  • Building brains: animal models and tissue engineering
  • Assembly and Plasticity of Neural Circuits
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    48-72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Postgraduate Admissions
Email
pg-healthadmissions@kcl.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 7848 8393