Research course

Clinical Brain Sciences

University of Edinburgh · College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

Months of entry

January, April, September, October

Course content

The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS; Director Professor Siddharthan Chandran) integrates laboratory and clinical research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders.

Anchored in the Edinburgh Bioquarter at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and with bases at three other Edinburgh hospital sites, the centre subscribes to Edinburgh Medical School’s "One Health" vision: laboratory scientists, clinical academics and informaticians work alongside each other, to encourage the free-flowing exchange of ideas, the efficient use of clinical data, and joint academic/health service delivery.

CCBS is part of Edinburgh Neuroscience, an umbrella organisation that facilitates interaction among researchers, working at all levels of neuroscience from molecules through synapses and networks to cognition and behaviour. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), Edinburgh was ranked 3rd out of 82 submissions in Neuroscience and the research environment was given the maximum possible score - 100%, world-leading.

CCBS comprises 60 Principal Investigators - including 21 Chairs - of whom 70% are active NHS clinicians. The Centre’s 400+ members conduct research of international recognition and reputation: they attracted c.£40M in grant-funding over the last three years and collaborate widely, leading international clinical trials in stroke (e.g. IST-3) and dementia (e.g. EPAD), while The National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit is a World Health Organization Reference Centre for Human Prion Disease. The research generates significant and measurable impact in terms of patient health and wellbeing, NHS policy and economy, and public awareness.

Major disease-specific research strengths are:

  • Brain vascular disease including stroke (Professors Dennis, Macleod, Mead, Salman, Sudlow & Wardlaw; Drs Doubal & Whiteley)
  • Neuroimaging (Professors Wardlaw, Farrall, Marshall & Sellar; Drs Bastin, MacGillivray, Mair, Pernet, Thrippleton & Valdes-Hernandez)
  • Psychiatry, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression (Professors Lawrie, McIntosh, Owens & Thomson; Drs Johnstone, Russ & Whalley), autism and learning disability (Drs McKechanie, Stanfield & Fletcher-Watson)
  • Prion diseases (Professors Will, Ironside & Knight; Drs Green, Head & Molesworth)
  • Neurodegenerative diseases: multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, dementias (Professors Chandran, Ritchie & Smith; Drs Connick, de Sousa, Dhillon, Hunt, Mahad, Muniz-Terrera & Pal)
  • Synaptic Biology & Disease (Professor Grant; Drs Komiyama, Sylantyev & Wang)
  • Epilepsy (Dr Chin)
  • Neonatal development & the effect of premature birth (Dr Boardman)
  • Neuro-oncology / Translational Neurosurgery (Drs Grant, Brennan & Hughes)
  • Functional Disorders (Drs Stone & Carson)
  • Sleep medicine (Dr Riha).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0)131 465 9581