Research course


University of Sussex · School of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

MPhil in Neuroscience : A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research. PhD in Neuroscience : A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research. PhD in Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme : A first- or upper-second class undergraduate honours degree in a biological or physical science discipline.

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

  • PhD in Neuroscience
  • PhD in Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme
  • MPhil in Neuroscience
  • MPhil, PhD in Neuroscience

    For these courses, you are assigned directly to your chosen supervisor and begin your laboratory research straight away, with entry in September, January or May each year. You must discuss funding opportunities with your supervisor when applying.

    Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme

    You start with a year undertaking several short laboratory rotations with different supervisors and by completing taught modules to broaden your experience before choosing your supervisor for PhD research in Years 2 to 4. Application to the 4-Year PhD Programme is competitive and four students are accepted each year for September entry. This Programme provides each student with a stipend throughout the four years of study and also covers home/EU fees
    and research costs.

    Which PhD should I choose?

    The standard PhD is suitable for you if you already have a clear idea of your specific research interests, together with the background and experience to suit a particular research project and supervisor.

    The 4-Year PhD Programme offers you the opportunity to choose your research project from the large range of laboratories belonging to Sussex Neuroscience. Laboratory rotations in Year 1 provide techniques and experience, helping to inform this choice, while taught elements encourage interdisciplinarity by allowing students with different biological, psychological or physical science backgrounds to transition into their Neuroscience PhD. There are currently over 30 supervisors who offer projects to students beginning the 4-Year PhD Programme, working in the following broad areas:

    • cellular and molecular neuroscience
    • circuits, systems and computational neuroscience
    • behavioural and cognitive neuroscience
    • translational and clinical neuroscience.
    Research in the School of Life Sciences

    The School of Life Sciences is a vibrant international research community. Research in the School ranges from the most basic chemical building blocks of life to studies of how the brain generates behaviour or how insect societies are organised. We offer PhD/MPhil courses and welcome discussion with applicants about potential projects.

    At the University of Sussex there are over 50 research groups working on the nervous system and this community is represented by Sussex Neuroscience. A significant component of our research is in cellular and molecular neurosciences, with particular strengths in learning and memory, neuropharmacology, sensory systems and synaptic physiology. About 20 of these groups are located in a new Centre for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, a three-storey building newly renovated to provide the infrastructure required for the best research. This building fosters a highly interactive and collaborative environment, with substantial sharing of space and facilities.

    Understanding how the brain works is the hugely challenging goal of neuroscience. Knowledge of the brain is increasing exponentially, making neuroscience the most rapidly advancing of all sciences. Interest and excitement in how the brain works is wholly understandable – after all, the scientific study of the brain is key to solving the greatest philosophical and scientific puzzles of all, the physical nature of the mind and consciousness.

    Perhaps more than any other area of science, an integrated interdisciplinary approach is essential for fundamental advances in neuroscience.
    Neuroscientists must employ a wide range of both human and animal model systems and apply a multitude of remarkable new tools and technologies. The range of expertise within neuroscience at Sussex, our interdisciplinary ethos and the research training environment are recognised internationally as exceptional.

    In joining us as a postgraduate student, you become a member of a team with expertise in diverse areas such as simple-systems analysis, computational modelling and cellular, molecular, structural, cognitive and developmental approaches to the brain. We give you unique opportunities to involve yourself in collaborations across the disciplines – within the School of Life Sciences, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the Department of Informatics and the School of Psychology, for example.

    Student progress and support

    Throughout your studies, you take part in laboratory meetings, journal clubs and a weekly seminar series. We encourage all students to participate in national and international scientific meetings.

    The School offers full support to all research students by monitoring their progress in the form of annual reviews, informal meetings and midyear reports (Year 1). The annual Postgraduate Research Colloquium brings doctoral students and faculty together for a wider discussion of research projects within the School. All third-year doctoral students give a talk on their research, and all second-year students submit a poster depicting the key aims and objectives, methods and findings of their project.

    We aim to ensure that you have the best possible research experience. The relationships between supervisors and research students are among the most rewarding of academic partnerships. We also host regular social events for our students to mingle with their peers and supervisors across the biosciences. We take student feedback seriously, and doctoral students are represented on our Student Experience Committee.

    Tools and technologies

    We offer an exceptional range of tools and technologies including functional and structural MRI, electrophysiology, multi-electrode arrays (MEA), protein structure determination, brain slice, behavioural analysis, genomics, neurogenetics, advanced microscopy, imaging and transmission, and electron microscopy.

Department specialisms

For further information, visit the webpage below.

Information for international students

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please

Qualification and course duration


part time
36-72 months
full time
24-48 months


part time
24-48 months
full time
12-36 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 678057