University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews


The MRes in Neuroscience is designed to provide advanced training in neuroscience research. Students conduct a year-long research project and learn relevant techniques and skills through course work. The overall aim is to give students the necessary skill set to succeed as independent research scientists.

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (typically 2.1 or higher) in a science-related subject (e.g. neuroscience, physics, biology, psychology, computer science). Candidates with other suitable and equivalent qualifications such as relevant work experience or research accomplishments will also be considered.

All applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of language competency.

Course modules

Compulsory modules:
1. Research Design in Neuroscience: intensive week-long module provides an introduction to designing and carrying out neuroscience research at the postgraduate level.
2. Techniques and Skills in Neuroscience Research: examines state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques through critical analysis of primary literature.
Optional modules:
Students choose two optional modules (optional modules may vary from year to year; see the University's position on curriculum development). Examples of optional modules include:

1. Neurodegeneration and Aging: develops a detailed understanding of molecular neuroscience at the biochemical and molecular level.
2. Motoneurons: From Physiology to Pathology: provides an in-depth knowledge of key aspects of neuronal function and potential dysfunction by focusing on motoneurons.
3. Behavioural Neuroscience: allows students to access current research in the area of behavioural neuroscience. Possible topics include motivation, learning and attention.
4. Vision: from Neurons to Awareness: develops an advanced understanding of the psychological processes involved in visual perception.
5. Neural Basis of Episodic Memory: examines how the brain enables us to remember information from our personal experience.
6. Neuromodulation: explores the diverse range of neuromodulatory mechanisms and outlines their importance in information processing in the nervous system.
7. Synaptic Transmission: covers recent progress in understanding the morphology and ultrastructure of synapses, neurotransmitter corelease and recycling mechanisms, retrograde signalling, synaptic plasticity, the role of glial cells and the development of neurotransmission.
8. Mechanisms of Behaviour: Integrating Psychological and Neuroscience Perspectives: explores some of the many physiological and neural systems that modulate patterns of behaviour in a range of species, including humans.

Research project and thesis
Students will spend one year conducting an original research project culminating in a data-based thesis of not more than 15,000 words. The thesis will describe the research results obtained from the year-long research project and must be submitted by a date specified in August.

If students choose not to complete the thesis requirement for the MRes, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PG Cert instead of an MRes.

Assessment methods

The course begins with a week-long intensive module which continues during Semester 1 with a weekly seminar series. Over two semesters, students will also complete two additional Honours-level modules.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, practicals and guided independent study. The modules are assessed principally by written work and oral presentations.

During Semester 1 and 2, and during the summer months, students will conduct an original research project culminating in a written thesis, which forms the main component of assessed work.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MRes Full-time September 2017 GBP 8,400 per Whole course (Scotland) 1 years
MRes Full-time September 2017 GBP 8,400 per Whole course (Wales) 1 years
MRes Full-time September 2017 GBP 8,400 per Whole course (EU) 1 years
MRes Full-time September 2017 GBP 8,400 per Whole course (England) 1 years
MRes Full-time September 2017 GBP 20,370 per Whole course (International) 1 years
MRes Full-time September 2017 GBP 8,400 per Whole course (Northern Ireland) 1 years

Campus details

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Get in touch

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Key information

Postgraduate Secretary for Psychology
Telephone number: 
01334 462157