Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

BSc Neuroscience

UCAS code: B140

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Neuroscience

Neuroscience is the study of:

  • the nervous system
  • how the brain works
  • how cells interact to control behaviour

Research in neuroscience tries to better understand the structure of the nervous system. It explores how it:

  • works
  • develops
  • malfunctions
  • can be manipulated

We aim to develop more effective treatment of diseases such as:

  • stroke
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • mental illness
  • cancer
  • toxicity
  • trauma

In Years 1 and 2 of your BSc (Hons) degree, you will complete a broad programme of study in biomedical sciences. This structure is shared by all our undergraduate Biomedical Sciences degree programmes.

We introduce you to Neuroscience in your Year 1 and 2 compulsory courses.

Specialisation in Neuroscience will begin in Year 3. In your final year, you will focus on this discipline.

Our Biomedical Sciences programmes have a common structure in Years 1 and 2. This provides a firm grounding in the knowledge, understanding and skills needed for all of our specialist subject areas.

In Years 3 and 4, you will focus on exploring your chosen subject area in-depth. You will have opportunities to move between honours subject areas at the end of Years 2 and 3.

Year 1

The main theme you will study is 'the importance of biomedical sciences to medicine and health'. You will learn how biomedical science discoveries and breakthroughs have led to medical and scientific advancement.

You will take three compulsory courses covering:

  • biomedical sciences
  • medical biology
  • molecular and cellular biology

Plus others from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical courses. We expect you to take at least one course in biological chemistry.

Year 2

The theme of your second year is 'foundational understanding of biomedical sciences'. This includes essential learning in biomedical disciplines.

You will take three compulsory courses:

  • Biomedical Sciences 2
  • Microorganisms, Infection & Immunity 2
  • Cells to Organisms 2

You will also choose courses from a range of biomedical and non-biomedical options.

Year 3

You will study two compulsory courses:

  • Biomedical Sciences 3, a cornerstone to the theme of 'developing knowledge from experiment'
  • Neuroscience 3

You will also take a combination of optional courses that broaden your understanding of your chosen subject.

Plus, you will develop key graduate attributes including analytical and communication skills.

Year 4

The final year theme is 'research in practice'.

You will study the compulsory course, General Neuroscience, plus two option courses that cover cutting-edge topics in more depth.

With individual support from a supervisor, you will complete a major research project. This can involve original, laboratory-based research or data/literature analysis-based research.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2024/25)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in the University's Central Area and at the King's Buildings campus.

In your final year, some teaching will take place in:

  • The Chancellor's Building at BioQuarter
  • The Western General Hospital

All sites offer state-of-the-art lecture theatres and laboratory facilities.

Study materials are available online. Plus, you will have full access to the University's libraries and computer laboratories.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to study in:

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Asia

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will have the opportunity to study in:

  • Europe
  • North America
  • Asia

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I be assessed?

We use in-course assessments and exams in all years.

Your degree classification will be based on your performance in Years 3 and 4.

The broad analytical, scientific and personal skills you gain on this programme will equip you for a variety of careers.

This programme will particularly appeal to those planning:

  • a career in biomedical research or a related area
  • a graduate-entry career in industry, management or the public sector

Previous graduates have been employed in science and non-science sectors, including:

  • teaching
  • marketing
  • accountancy
  • policy research

Many of our graduates choose to go on to further study before entering successful academic or industry-based research careers.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 25 April 2024 to lower entry requirements from AABB by S5 or AAAB by S6.)
  • A Levels: AAB in one year.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 25 April 2024 to lower entry requirements from ABBB by S5 or AABB by S6.)
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Biology and Chemistry at B. Higher Mathematics or Physics and Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry are recommended. National 5s: Mathematics at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: Biology and Chemistry at B. Mathematics or Physics is recommended. GCSEs: Mathematics at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Biology and Chemistry, one at 5 and one at 6. Mathematics or Physics is recommended. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics: Analysis and approaches or Mathematics: Applications and interpretation at 5. If Mathematics and English Language do not form part of your IB diploma we will also accept GCSE Mathematics, or equivalent, at B/6 and GCSE English Language or equivalent at C/4.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AB in Biology and Chemistry.
  • A Levels: AAB in one year to include Biology and Chemistry.
  • IB: 36 points with 666 at HL to include Biology and Chemistry.

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 59 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 59 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

Please apply for only one Biomedical Sciences degree. If you apply for multiple degrees within the Biomedical Sciences suite only one application will be taken forward for consideration with the remaining applications being processed as unsuccessful. You will have the opportunity to switch between degrees in later years provided the required courses have been passed.

Second year entry

There are a limited number of places for second year entry each year. Achieving the required grades does not guarantee an offer for direct entry into second year. Applicants will not be considered for second year entry where: they are applying with resit qualifications;they have taken their final examinations over more than one academic year; they have a gap in study since completing their eligible high school qualifications.

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Neuroscience

Additional costs

No additional costs.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding