Biomedical Sciences

MScR Integrative Neuroscience

The MSc by Research in Integrative Neuroscience covers all levels of modern neuroscience, including molecular, cellular, systems, regenerative, cognitive, clinical and computational neuroscience. This makes it the ideal programme to prepare you for a research career including a PhD.

Our MSc includes:

  • A taught component in Semester One, which includes lectures on many different areas of neuroscience, specialist electives, and generic skills training. 
  • Two 12-week research projects in Semester Two (or one 24-week research project). 

The hands-on research emphasis allows you to contribute to real-world projects, where you will have the opportunity to engage with more than 120 world-leading Neuroscience groups covering interests from Brain Imaging to Neuroscience.  

This is a full-time, 12-month programme, beginning in September and ending in August the following year. You are expected to be on campus from the beginning of week one of Semester 1. We recommend that you also attend Welcome Week, which is the week prior to week one of semester 1. 

What will you learn? 

Semester One – Taught 

Programme themes 

The first 12 weeks of semester one is the taught component comprising lectures on many different areas of neuroscience, including: 

  • Neural development 
  • Neurodegeneration and regeneration 
  • Sensory and control systems 
  • Synaptic physiology 
  • Invertebrate model systems 
  • Neural circuits for cognition 
  • Motor disorders 
  • Cognitive neurology 
  • Neuroinformatics 


Elective Courses 

You will also have the opportunity to choose one of four elective courses, allowing you to specialise in a particular area of interest.  

Elective courses run on two half-days a week. These courses can provide a deeper insight into the concepts and methodology of a specific field of interest.  

Elective courses include: 

  • Development Neurobiology 
  • Neural Dynamics 
  • Neurodegeneration and regeneration 
  • Neurodevelopment disorders 

Elective course availability will be subject to student numbers. While every attempt will be made to allocate you to your preferred elective course choices where demand is high, we cannot guarantee this. You should check course details for timetabling information and location as courses are taught at a number of sites across the university.  

Course information

Core Skills  

To help you gain a range of skills you can apply in many areas, you will develop core skills including experimental design, data analysis and statistics. There will be additional sessions to help you understand the ethical and legal framework under which animal research is conducted in the UK. 

Semester Two and Summer: Research projects 

Our programme has a strong hands-on research emphasis, allowing you to contribute to real-world projects, and putting you in an ideal position for a career in research. You may choose from available projects or contact principal investigators from the Edinburgh Neuroscience community to arrange a project. The Edinburgh Neuroscience community comprises more than 120 world-leading Neuroscience groups covering interests spanning different levels of analysis from  genes to cognition, across the life course, in health and disease. 

Edinburgh Neuroscience

Research Project 1 (January – April) 

By the end of Semester 1 you will have arranged your first 12-week project. This project may continue as Project 2, effectively making it a 24-week project. Alternatively, you can start a new project for Project 2.  

There are two assessments related to Project 1:

  • Research proposal: in the research area of Project 1 and building on training in experimental design.  
  • Poster Presentation: Summarising the research conducted during Project 1) 
Research Project 2 (May to August) 

During the summer period, you will commence a second project, or continue with your first project. There are 2 assessments related to Project 2: 

  • Dissertation  
  • Oral Presentation summarising your research project. 

You will also have the opportunity to attend a neuroscience conference. Usually, this is the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) Festival of Neuroscience or the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum,  which are held in alternating years.    

Learning targets and assessments 

These are structured so that you are encouraged to learn to produce everything a working scientist would be asked to for their research, including a group poster presentation, a short review of a topical research paper in Neuroscience, poster and oral presentations, a research proposal and a dissertation.  

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to help you develop a career in research. A high number of students proceed to PhDs in Edinburgh and elsewhere. Other positive next destinations include medical study, teaching and research assistant posts or science communication roles.