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Introducing the new Cambridge Neuroscience MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience

Cambridge Neuroscience is delighted to announce its MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience.

This research theme brings together research groups in basic and translational neuroscience through a joint seminar and research training programme involving contributing Departments and Institutes from across four Schools. The programme is based in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neurosciences, under the Programme Director Professor Ole Paulsen but the lab rotations and PhD element can be undertaken in a wide range of participating departments.




The programme is a one-year Masters course with both taught and research components. Students selected onto the course will follow the structured MPhil in Basic and Translational Neuroscience research training. The aims of this one-year, full-time research training course are as follows:

  • to give the student experience of research work;
  • to expose them to a variety of laboratory environments and the balance of self sufficiency and team work needed in a researcher;
  • to introduce them to the basic skills of experimental design, project management, time management etc. needed in research;
  • to familiarise the student with the practicalities of laboratory research, imparting an understanding of the nature of bench research, of record keeping and data handling and of good laboratory practice;
  • to introduce them to basic analytical techniques needed to understand and contextualise their research;
  • to familiarise them with basic scientific writing and presentation skills.

The additional objectives that are specific to this programme will be:

  • to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds into neuroscience by providing a taught module with a basic overview of neuroscience;
  • provide students thorough training in neuroscience methods, data analysis and statistics techniques;
  • give students the necessary basic but broad understanding of neuroscience to prepare them for future PhD studies;
  • provide students with adequate experience in neuroscience research to enable them to make an informed choice of PhD project if they so wish.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Masters course, students drawn from a diverse range of subject backgrounds are all expected to have:

  • developed a broad understanding of modern research techniques, and thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to research in topics related to Neuroscience;
  • been exposed to a number of theoretical approaches to brain science and trained in critical thinking in the area;
  • acquired specific expertise in neuroscience research methods and statistics;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field;
  • acquired knowledge of a broad range of interdisciplinary research areas and supervisors to inform their choice of PhD projects if applicable;
  • undertaken training in generic and transferable research skills including the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies.


Students wishing to progress to the PhD after completing this MPhil course must apply via the Graduate Admissions Office.  They will be required to pass the MPhil degree at a sufficient level to satisfy the Departmental Graduate Education Committee of the Department they are applying to and that they have the skills and ability to achieve the higher degree.

Posted on 21/10/2015

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