Taught course

Basic and Translational Neuroscience

University of Cambridge · Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK Good II.i Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

For this programme, applicants should already have or expect to obtain at least an upper second-class honours or equivalent in any subject relevant to the programme (including neuroscience, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, medicine, statistics, epidemiology, physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and related subjects).

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience is a stand-alone postgraduate course in neuroscience offering both taught and research components. This one-year neuroscience programme is aimed particularly at those who want to prepare for later studies at PhD level, clinicians and others who want graduate-level research training but for whom a full PhD might not be required or appropriate, and graduates who plan a career in translational neuroscience, including careers in the pharmaceutical industry.

This course offers both taught and research components including a project rotation, research training modules, lectures, seminars and workshops, and the opportunity to undertake a wide variety of generic skills training. Students may participate in a symposium where they will have the opportunity to present their research.

Students selected onto the course will follow the structured MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience research training. The aims of this one-year, full-time research training course are as follows:

to give the student experience of research work;

to expose them to a variety of laboratory environments and the balance of self-sufficiency and teamwork needed in a researcher;

to introduce them to the basic skills of experimental design, project management, time management etc. needed in research;

to familiarise the student with the practicalities of laboratory research, imparting an understanding of the nature of bench research, of record keeping and data handling, and of good laboratory practice;

to introduce them to basic analytical techniques needed to understand and contextualise their research;

to familiarise them with basic scientific writing and presentation skills.

The additional objectives that are specific to this programme will be:

to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds into neuroscience by providing a taught module with a basic overview of neuroscience;

to provide students with thorough training in neuroscience methods, data analysis and statistics techniques;

to give students the necessary basic yet broad understanding of neuroscience to prepare them for future PhD studies; and

to provide students with adequate experience in neuroscience research to enable them to make an informed choice of PhD project if they so wish.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the master's course, students drawn from a diverse range of subject backgrounds are all expected to have:

developed a broad understanding of modern research techniques, and thorough knowledge of the literature applicable to research in topics related to neuroscience;

been exposed to a number of theoretical approaches to brain science and trained in critical thinking in the area;

acquired specific expertise in neuroscience research methods and statistics;

demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field;

acquired knowledge of a broad range of interdisciplinary research areas and supervisors to inform their choice of PhD projects if applicable; and

undertaken training in generic and transferable research skills including the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies.

Information for international students

Language Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 6.5

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.0

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 100


Score: Grade A & B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185 plus a Language Centre assessment)


Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 with no element lower than 185).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details