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MSc Neuroscience

https://www.neuroscience.ox.ac.uk/

Our internationally acclaimed, interdisciplinary and interdepartmental MSc in Neuroscience

COURSE DIRECTOR: PROFESSOR ANDREW J KING


COURSE LECTURER: DR DEBORAH J CLARKE
This is a full 12 month course beginning at the end of September and continuing until mid September
the following year. The course is interdisciplinary in its content, and completely inter-departmental in its
structure. It provides both theoretical and practical training, by combining lectures, practical classes and
demonstrations, and two research laboratory placements. It is modular, so that it can be reasonably
flexible with respect to participants' backgrounds and interests.
There is an eight week introductory course of lectures and practical classes in the first term. In the
second and third terms, students will select from advanced lecture modules, which may also have
associated practicals. Students are required to attend five of these modules covering at least one in each
of the major strands of Neuroscience (molecular, cellular and systems). Assessment of the advanced
lecture modules is by submission of an essay on an aspect of the material covered in each of the
courses or a practical portfolio.
Students also undertake two extended research projects each lasting for approximately three months.
Students are encouraged to select research topics that give them a broad range of new and challenging
laboratory experience. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of techniques and practical experience,
which is gained through classes and demonstrations and through the different research projects. Each
student is required to give oral and poster presentations on their research projects.
The goal is to ensure that Neuroscientists trained in Oxford can match the best trained anywhere, with
an integrated understanding and a practical grasp of the subject that lets them ask questions and tackle
problems which transcend the traditional disciplines from which neuroscience has evolved, and from
which the students generally come.
The MSc in Neuroscience was recently assessed (along with the Psychology undergraduate courses) by
the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), which reviews the performance of
universities and colleges of higher education. The QAA review team awarded the maximum rating for all
aspects of their review.
Around 65% of all graduates from the MSc in Neuroscience continue to doctoral research in Oxford or
elsewhere.
ACADEMIC CONTENT
The academic year begins in late September with the Autumn School in Cognitive Neuroscience and is
divided into three terms. The first term provides an introduction to neuroscience and research methods,
while the second and third terms combine advanced taught courses, essay writing and two laboratory
rotations (research projects), which each lead to a dissertation. The course concludes the following
September with an oral examination.
THE FIRST TERM
The first term comprises 5 compulsory introductory modules and associated practical classes:
Introduction to Neuroscience, Neuroanatomy, Synapses and Transduction, Neuronal Cell and Molecular
Biology, and Systems Neuroscience. This includes a series of 12-14 lectures and associated practical
classes on cutting-edge techniques in neuroscience. A qualifying exam is taken at the end of the first
term to ensure that everyone has acquired an appropriate level of understanding in all areas covered,
irrespective of their undergraduate background. This is a 3 hour essay-based examination.
THE SECOND TERM AND THIRD TERMS
Lectures for the advanced modules take place in the mornings during the University term. Outside of
this time, students work on their research projects, spending approximately 60% of their time in the
laboratory carrying out independent research.
Students select 4 advanced modules, including at least one from each of the clusters labelled A, B and C
to ensure breadth, although lectures are timetabled so that students can attend any part of the course.
Students also attend a compulsory Journal Club as their 5th module, spread over both terms. The
options available for 2016/17 are:
Module Organisers

A1 and A2: Cognitive Neuroscience 6 mini-modules on a variety of themes ( students take 3 themes
for one module and all 6 for 2 modules)
Prof Nick Yeung – Executive control and attention
Prof Masud Husain – Working memory and visual cognition
Dr Mark Walton – Motivation and reward
Prof David Bannerman – Learning and memory
Dr Molly Crocket – Social cognition
Prof Matthew Rushworth – Decision making

A3: Neuroscience and Clinical Mental Prof. Catherine Harmer and Dr. Phil Burnet
Health

A4: Developmental Cognitive Prof Dorothy Bishop and Prof Kate Watkins
Neuroscience

B1: Motor Systems Prof. Peter Magill and Dr Andrew Sharott

B2: Computational Neuroscience Prof. Tim Behrens and Dr. Ben Willmore

B3: Sensory Systems Profs. Andrew King and Andrew Parker

C1: CNS Development, Plasticity and Prof Zoltan Molnar and Prof Colin Akerman
Repair

C2: Molecular Neuroscience Prof. Richard Wade-Martins and Dr. Peter Oliver

C3: Genes, Circuits and Behaviour Dr. Stephen Goodwin and Dr Vladyslav Vyazovskiy

These modules have been designed to embrace the considerable range of expertise available in Oxford
and each has two organisers to ensure continuity in content. They are updated each year to include new
personnel as well as to reflect the rapid changes taking place in neuroscience and feedback from current
students. Each selected advanced module is written up as an extended essay (3,000 words). For the
Computational Neuroscience module, a series of MATLAB exercises are set, which involve the analysis of
real data.
RESEARCH PROJECTS
Students also undertake two 16-week research projects (lab rotations), selected from over 100
submitted, approved abstracts. These are written up as 10,000 word dissertations. Students are
encouraged to talk to as many potential supervisors as time permits, and will then meet with the
Director and members of the Organising Committee to discuss lab rotation choices. With over 100
abstracts submitted each year, there is always plenty of choice, but if students are interested in a
particular lab or research topic, they are welcome to discuss a potential project independently with an
appropriate supervisor. Details of potential MSc project supervisors can be found under the Themes
section of this website.
Results of the first project are presented as a poster at the annual Oxford Neuroscience Day, which is
attended by approximately 350 people. For the second dissertation, students give a short oral
presentation to their peers and mentors. Over 70 full papers have been published from previous MSc
lab rotation projects. Please see Research Highlights for further details.
The MSc concludes in mid-September of the following year with a compulsory oral examination (viva
voce), during which students discuss their work with a panel of examiners, after which a prizes may be
awarded for the best overall student.
1. Who is the Course Director with overall responsibility for students on this course?
Professor Andrew King
2. What induction arrangements will be made?
At the start of the first term, students are provided with a comprehensive programme which includes
familiarisation with the Department’s Library and a separate talk about the University’s Library facilities;
setting up computer accounts and familiarisation with the practical facilities; meetings with the Course
Lecturer, Dr Deborah Clarke, Course Director and Course Secretary.

3. What is the overall length of the course, and for how many weeks are students expected to work
in Oxford?
This is a full-time one-year course. The course starts in late September and finishes the following mid-
September. There is a break of 3 weeks at Christmas and of 1 week at the end of April, however, many
students choose to stay in Oxford during these breaks.

4. What is the pattern of lectures, classes, seminars, tutorials and self-directed work for this course?
Each lecture course comprises of between 12 and 15 hours of lectures. In Michaelmas term there are 5-
7 practical courses and a series of Introductory lectures. From January until the end of August students
will be working on their projects and dissertations, together with attendance at Advanced option
lectures. Students are expected to read widely around their chosen topics in order to produce scholarly
extended essays and extensive literature reviews for their dissertations.

5. What one-to-one or small group teaching will students on this course receive?
On the taught part of the course, students will have small group teaching for classes (usually no more
than 14 in a group) and for practicals (usually no more than 10 students to each
demonstrator). Supervision of projects will be on a one-to-one basis.

6. Who will take overall responsibility for an individual student’s progress and for completing the
joint progress report form in each term of the course?
Responsibility for an individual student’s progress is usually taken by the Course Lecturer in conjunction
with the Course Director who will also monitor progress of all students on the course. The progress
report form each term will be completed by the Course Lecturer in Michaelmas term and by the project
supervisors in Hilary and Trinity terms.

7. What workspace will be provided? What IT support/library facilities/experimental facilities will be


available?
There is a dedicated MSc centre for the MSc in Neuroscience and one other taught MSc course within
the Department of Experimental Psychology (although projects can be undertaken in a number of
different departments throughout the University). The MSc centre is equipped with 20 networked
workstations. Wireless access is provided throughout the Department. The Department of Experimental
Psychology also has its own computing support group if there are problems with equipment or
software. There are copies of dissertations and textbooks for the MSc in Neuroscience held in the MSc
centre.

8. What opportunities are provided for students to take part in research seminars or groups? What
formal graduate skills training will be provided?
Timetables for weekly Departmental Seminars given within all of the pre-clinical and some clinical
departments are circulated. Students are encouraged by their supervisors to attend these talks and also
to attend talks organised by some of the research groups that may be of particular interest. Each year
there is a 2 day seminar on presentation skills and an opportunity to attend a writing skills course
specifically for MSc students. Students are also expected to give a short oral presentation on their Trinity
term project and are provided with feedback, and a poster presentation of their Hilary term project at
the Oxford Neuroscience Day.

9. What are the arrangements for student feedback and for responding to student concerns?
There is an MSc representative on the GJCC for the Department of Experimental Psychology and at the
Divisional level. In addition, students are asked to complete a questionnaire for each lecture course; this
covers lectures, classes and practicals. There is also an annual meeting of students with members of the
Organising Committee to discuss all aspects of the course from admissions through to examinations.

10. What arrangements for accommodation, meals and social facilities will be made for students on
a graduate taught course?
Obviously, this question relates mostly to colleges, but the department does provide a cafeteria and a
common room that can be used by graduate students.
Many colleges will be able to provide at least one year’s accommodation. Generally speaking the college
will provide meals throughout the year, but provision will vary from college to college, especially during
vacations. In addition there are usually self-catering facilities available in graduate accommodation.
Students are members of the Middle Common Room of the college which is the main social centre for
graduates. The MCR provides a common room and usually organises a programme of social events
throughout the year. The college will also provide a bar, some computing facilities and a library, and may
often have dedicated funds for research (conference and field grants). Graduates are also welcome to
participate in all social and sporting activities of the college.

11. What arrangements are in place for pastoral and welfare support?
There are many people within the Department to provide pastoral and welfare support, i.e. the
Supervisor, the Academic Advisor, the Course Director, Mentor and the Course Lecturer. The Course
Lecturer has primary responsibility for pastoral and welfare support. If a student does need such
support, then we ensure that we communicate with the college so that this can be co-ordinated.
There is an extensive framework of support for graduates within each college, including a College
Advisor, usually in a cognate subject, a Tutor for Graduates and/or the Senior Tutor. The Tutor for
Graduates is a fellow of the college with particular responsibility for the interests and welfare of
graduate students. The University also has a professionally staffed confidential Student Counselling
Service, which offers assistance with personal, emotional, social, and academic problems.
Programme Specification:
MSc in Neuroscience
1. Awarding institution/Body University of Oxford
2. Teaching institution University of Oxford
3. Programme accredited by n/a
4. Final award Master of Science (M.Sc.)
5. Programme name Neuroscience
6. UCAS code n/a
7. Relevant subject benchmark statement n/a
8. Date of programme specification January 2015
9. Educational aims of the programme

 To expose students to a broad range of topics within neuroscience and add both breadth and
strength to the traditional '3-year PhD' training model.
 To provide formal training in the theory and practical technology of neuroscience from the most
basic molecular mechanisms through to clinical neurobiological issues.
 To offer research projects in a very wide range of well-established laboratories.
 To offer a flexible response to evolving research areas and methods.
 To bring students from a variety of scientific backgrounds into the field of neuroscience.

10. Programme Outcomes


A. Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of:
1. Structure and Function of the Brain, Neuroanatomy, Neuronal Cell and Molecular Biology, Synapses
and Transduction, Systems Neuroscience, Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience.
Related teaching/learning methods and strategies There is an eight-week introductory course of lectures
and practical classes in the first term. Reading is assigned and there is an opportunity to practise writing
essays, providing formative assessment.
Assessment One written three-hour paper (Qualifying Examination) is taken at the end of the first term,
with one opportunity to resit early during the following term in the case of failure. Each student is
assigned an academic advisor from among the Course Committee to whom they can turn for advice and
help.
2. Advanced topics in Neuroscience
Related teaching/learning methods and strategies In the second and third terms, students select from
further, advanced lecture modules, which may also have associated practical requirements. Students
select four modules from this group, at least one module within each major branch of the subject
(cognitive, systems and molecular neuroscience). Students also choose from a wide range of research
projects to be undertaken in the remainder of the year. Two placements in laboratories working in
different areas will be completed by the end of the year, studying research topics approved by the
Organising Committee.
Assessment Each module is assessed in the form of an extended essay (3000 words) on a topic chosen
by the student and approved by the module organizer. Written feedback is provided on each essay. A
compulsory journal club at which students make presentations based on recent publications in a
relevant area of research is also associated with each module. The research projects each require a
formal dissertation (not more than 10,000 words) and a public presentation of the research material.
Written and oral feedback is provided.
B. Skills and other attributes
Students will have the opportunity to develop the following skills during the course.
I. Intellectual skills
A. Ability to evaluate and synthesize complex research material.
B. Experience of initiating and completing research projects with self-appraisal of the outcome.
C. Ability to present verbally and in written form the results of their research projects.
D. Knowledge of current activity in the field of Neuroscience (in its broadest sense).
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
A. Students are required to produce four extended essays and two research dissertations during the
course. They are supported in these activities by advice on the scope and format of the essays, by
research supervision during the project that leads to the dissertation, and by the programme of
advanced lectures that forms the core teaching of the course.
B. Students are expected to select two research projects from a list of available options, to take
responsibility under supervision for designing and setting up the research study, to conduct the
experimental component of the research independently, and to prepare the written account of the
project independently with feedback from their supervisors.
C. Students are required to present the first research project in poster format and to give a formal talk
with slides on their second research project. See also B.
B. Students are required to attend lectures for the entire Introductory Course and for the four advanced
modules that they have selected. Breadth is ensured by insisting on a selection of modules including at
least one from each of the major fields (cognitive, systems and molecular neuroscience) and by
requiring each student to justify their choice of modules to the Organizing Committee before the
advanced section of the course begins.
Assessment
A. The extended essays are given indicative marks and written feedback when essays are handed in. A
summative assessment is prepared by the Examiners.
B and C. Each student receives individual feedback on their research dissertations and on the
presentations of the research projects.
D. The Qualifying Examination ensures a minimum standard. The final examination includes an oral
examination of both research projects and typically includes questions designed to require the
candidates to place their project work in a broadly-based context.
II. Practical skills
Experience of laboratory-based research requiring a wide variety of technical skills, including
experimental design, understanding the use and operation of laboratory equipment, data analysis.
General understanding and application of computational and statistical methods. Research presentation
and time management skills.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies Where relevant, practical laboratory classes, associated with
lectures, are given in both introductory and advanced modules.
Assessment Students receive formative assessment of these skills from their project supervisors and
members of the Organizing Committee.
III. Transferable skills
Presentation skills for communication. Ability to write scientifically at an advanced level. Personal skills
in integrating into the host research group and in some cases in meeting and dealing with human
experimental subjects.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies Students are required to take a professional development
programme, including courses in communication and presentation skills, commercial exploitation of
science, time management, and the relationship between academic and industrial research.
Assessment These courses are not formally assessed in themselves. However, students are, for example,
tested on their communication and presentation skills in the oral and poster presentations of their
project work. These are tested informally via feedback from the research group and from research
supervisors. There are more formal assessments of written communication skills in the form of feedback
on extended essays and project dissertations.

11. Programme Structure and Features


Subjects
Introductory courses
 Introduction to the brain
 Neuroanatomy
 Synapses and transduction
 Neuronal cell and molecular biology
 Synapses and transduction
 Overview of systems neuroscience

Advanced courses
 Cognitive neuroscience
 Learning and memory
 Neuroscience and clinical mental health
 Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience
 Motor systems
 Computational neuroscience
 Sensory systems
 CNS development and plasticity
 Molecular neuroscience
 Genes, circuits and behaviour

Professional development
 Communication and presentation skills
 Commercial exploitation of science
 Experimental design and statistics
 Careers
Two independent 3-month research projects.
Assessment
All students are required to pass the Qualifying Exam, which covers the introductory material, at the end
of the first term. Students will write either a 3,000-word essay or an equivalent practical write-up (as
appropriate) on completing each of their specialist modules. They will write up a 10,000-word research
report on each of their two research projects. The award of Distinctions is made on the basis of
submitted written work and performance in the final oral examination.

12. Support for Students and their learning


There is a full time course lecturer (Dr Clarke), whose office is in the MSc Centre. Students would usually
approach her in the first instance, and she would determine whether the problem should be referred to
the Course Director and/or discussed with the Organizing Committee. An open system is encouraged in
which several avenues for complaint are made available so that the students should not feel constrained
by any personal factors in making their views known. In addition, all students will have a College Advisor
or Graduate Tutor, who can act as a liaison point in more serious cases. Further support, particularly
during the introductory term, is provided through the allocation to each student of an academic advisor
from the Organizing Committee and of a mentor from among a previous cohort of students who have
taken the MSc in Neuroscience and who are currently pusuring doctoral research in the University.
The students have access to superb IT facilities. The MSc Centre is solely for use by MSc Neuroscience
and MSc in Research in Psychology (a total of around 40 students). The Centre has 20 PCs, networked to
a single server, so they can connect from any machine and access their files. There is also a Macintosh
for use of some platform specific software, plus laser and colour printers. IT maintenance support is
provided by IMSU. All PCs are loaded with a variety of standard software packages, and if students
require anything additional for their project, it can usually be installed (depending on licence
restrictions). The Colleges also provide good IT resources and Support Officers prepared to train and
assist students. In addition, there is the University Computing Service, which provides facilities and
classes from a basic level through to training students to use very sophisticated programmes and
computing languages.
Students at Oxford have access to a wide range of libraries. The most important University libraries for
these students are the Radcliffe Science Library and the Hooke Library with very extensive holdings of
scientific books and journals. In addition, students have access to departmental libraries of all
contributing departments and their college library, which may be able to purchase books upon request.
The OLIS cataloguing system incorporates the holdings of all major University libraries, Faculty libraries,
and most College libraries and access to most scientific journals is available electronically.

13. Criteria for Admission


The same deadline applies to both studentships, Wellcome Trust 4-year applications and the 1-year
MSc. This deadline is in early January. The application procedure for both is identical:
Candidates are required to submit a CV, a statement of no more than 1,000 words explaining why they
want to pursue the course, and to arrange for a minimum of two referees to submit letters of
recommendation.
The Course Director (Professor King) and Course Lecturer (Dr Clarke) together with the members of the
Organizing Committee shortlist all applications, and at a subsequent meeting of the Organizing
Committee candidates are selected for interview.
Interviews are usually 30 minutes in duration, and consist of a 10 minute presentation given by the
student on their research project followed by questions. Attributes assessed at interview include:
 Ability to undertake doctoral research in Neuroscience;
 Capacity to benefit from theoretical and practical training in advanced Neuroscience;
 Good quality degree in science or mathematics (equivalent to at least 2.1 standard in UK
universities);
 Ability to reflect critically on experience to date.
Studentships are offered to the best candidates, then further candidates are offered self-funding places
at the discretion of the Organizing Committee.
Overseas candidates for the MSc in Neuroscience are sometimes exempted from interview in person.
Telephone or video interviews will be undertaken in these cases. All candidates for the Wellcome Trust
programme are expected to attend interviews in Oxford.
14. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standards of learning
Feedback is collected even before the students start the course. In the summer before they start
students are asked to complete a questionnaire on their level of current knowledge in various areas of
neuroscience, computing and statistics. This is considered in relation to the teaching to be given in the
first term.
Feedback is collected towards the end of each term, both on the taught components of the course, and
the Professional Development and Careers course. This feedback is considered by the respective module
organiser and the MSc Organizing Committee.
We also hold feedback meetings with all the students to discuss more general aspects of the course.
Each student is assigned an academic advisor from the members of the Organizing Committee, which
provides a route for more informal feedback. In addition, Dr Clarke holds regular meetings with the
students to discuss progress and feedback related to the course and to supply relevant information.
Surveys on WebLearn are used to collect feedback on lecture content and on each lab rotation.
The course is routinely reviewed by the Division of Medical Sciences on behalf of the University. The last
review was in 2003/2004. The Division bears formal responsibility for the quality and standard of the
course and, as well as instigating reviews, receives the examiners' reports. The internal examiners'
report offers reflection on both the assessment and teaching of the course. The Division ensures that
the course committee responds appropriately to the reports. The Divisional Graduate Studies
Committee plays an active role in formulating policy in respect of graduate courses.
Several studentships for the course are derived from external funding (Wellcome Trust, Rhodes). The
course and its outcome have therefore been peer-reviewed by external bodies on a regular basis.
The Oxford Learning Institute offers a wide range of opportunities for staff development, and
complements the provision made by the Division for new academic staff members. All staff have annual
appraisals at which training needs may be discussed and new appointees are subject to review before
being confirmed in post after 5 years. The review includes an evaluation of teaching skills.
The pass rate is 100% among those students who have pursued the course to completion. In a very small
number of cases, students have opted not to complete the course and an important activity is to
support and enable students to perform at their best and complete in all cases where possible. Most
students proceed to a DPhil/PhD and there is considerable enthusiasm from subsequent research
supervisors for the students who graduate from the course.

15. Regulation Of Assessment


The assessment of the course is subject to the regulations set by the Division and approved by the
central Educational Policy and Standards Committee (EPSC), which are published in the Examination
Regulations. Any changes to these regulations must have the approval of the Division and of the central
EPSC.
The marking conventions (marking scheme, weighting, combining of marks) are also subject to approval
by the Division. They are communicated to students via the handbook, and any changes made during
the year as a result of review are communicated separately.
The Division approves the nomination of examiners, proposed by the Organizing Committee. The choice
of examiners is subject to approval by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) and Proctors on behalf of the
University.
Boards of examiners, under their elected Chairs, are responsible for the setting of all papers and for
marking scripts. Assessors may be appointed to assist where necessary.
An external examiner is appointed for the end-of-year examinations. The external examiner prepares a
report each year, in which s/he is asked to comment on overall standards, as well as on the examination
process itself.
Examiners' reports (internal and external) are considered in the first instance by the Organizing
Committee. The Divsional EPSC then sees the reports together with the response of the committee. The
Divisional EPSC may make its own recommendations which are then communicated to the Organizing
Committee. Changes may be introduced to the course or assessment procedure for the following year.
The reports and responses are also monitored by the central EPSC.
Final Examination
Marking scale
High
80-100
Distinction
70-79 Distinction
65-69 Very Good
60-64 Good
50-59 Pass
Marginal
45-49
Fail
Below
Clear Fail
45

16. Indicators of quality and standards


Reports from external examiners regularly make reference to the high quality of the students.
The MSc in Neuroscience was included in the most recent QAA Subject Review of Psychology and
received the top rating of 24/24.

THE MAIN CLOSING DATE FOR ALL


PROGRAMMES OF STUDY AND
STUDENTSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IS
NOON ON JANUARY 8TH 2018.
Before completing the application form you are advised to read the details published on the University
of Oxford Graduate Studies prospectus website. This website will give you information about fees,
courses and Colleges. There is also a link from this site to the online application site and for you to
download hard copies of the application form. Please note that we prefer online applications.
Unsuccessful applications for the 4 year Wellcome Trust studentships will also be considered for the
one year MSc in Neuroscience course, unless they clearly express a wish NOT to be considered for the
MSc in Neuroscience in their personal statement.
Please read the Application Guide before completing the application form. We recommend online
applications if at all possible. There is no need to complete the section on Study Plans/Research
Proposal but you should write a brief statement (maximum 1000 words) of your reasons for wanting to
do this particular course. You need to include an up-to-date curriculum vitae (including your e-mail
address, where appropriate) and academic transcripts. Applications should be sent to Graduate
Admissions Office, University of Oxford, Wellington Square, Oxford. Applicants are requested to also ask
three academic referees to write, in confidence. With paper applications, it is recommended that
references be sent to you so that a completed application may be submitted. If this is not possible,
referees should send their references letters directly to the address above BEFORE the closing date.
Please quote the following course code:
TM_NS1 for the MSc in Neuroscience
Selected candidates for the one year MSc Neuroscience will be invited for interview on February 7th
and 8th 2018.

GRADUATE ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR THE


MSC IN NEUROSCIENCE FOR ENTRY IN
2016-17
Please check the latest criteria before applying for 2017-18
1. Criteria
Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of a
candidate’s ability to meet the following criteria:
2. Academic ability
Proven and potential academic excellence.
Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or to have achieved a first-class or an upper second
class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualifications[1]) in a scientific subject.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA we seek is 3.5 out of 4.0.
However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or
international equivalent (e.g. a GPA of at least 3.7 out of 4.0).
Appropriate indicators will include:
Academic references/letters of recommendation which support intellectual ability, academic
achievement, motivation, and ability to work in a group.
Personal statement This must be in English of no more than 1,000 words. This will be assessed for: your
reasons for applying; evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study; the
ability to present a reasoned case in English; commitment to the subject beyond the requirements of
the degree course; capacity for sustained and intense work; reasoning ability; ability to absorb new
ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.
Performance at interview
Candidates who are shortlisted are normally interviewed as part of the admissions process. There will be
a minimum of 3 academics on the interview panel. Candidates will be selected for interview based on
their submitted application. The interviews will be held on Thursday February 11th and Friday February
12th 2016. Interviews for Home and EU students will be held in Oxford, but interviews with overseas
applicants may be held via Skype or telephone. The interview (whether in Oxford or via Skype or
telephone) will last 30 minutes and will consist of a 10 minute oral presentation on a piece of
independent research, followed by questions on that research by the panel of interviewers and more
general questions on your interests in neuroscience.
3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places
The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:
 There are minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted onto
Oxford’s research and taught programmes.
4. English language requirement
Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in
English at the higher level required by the University.
5. Deadlines and required full set of application materials
Please refer to the Graduate Admissions website for information on the deadlines which must be met,
and the full set of supporting materials required, in order for applications to be guaranteed to be
considered.
6. Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an
initial offer a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until the college
which gives you an initial offer of a place is satisfied that you have sufficient funding to cover your fees
and living costs for the standard period of fee liability for your course.
7. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties.
Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status,
disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.
Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the
application of the selection criteria appropriate to the programme of study. Further information on how
these matters are supported during the admissions process is available here.
8. Other information
We encourage prospective applicants to communicate with us prior to submitting an application to
discuss the course content, teaching, assessment and to answer any questions.
9. Assessors
All applications will be assessed by at least 3 members of academic staff with relevant experience and
expertise.
10. Course webpage See link on the graduate admissions webpages
at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate_courses/course_guide/courses_az.html]

COSTS
Your main costs will be your living expenses and your University & College fees
 Living expenses, which include rent, food etc., are ~£12,900 per annum for a single person,
depending on your lifestyle. You will find it useful to read the information provided at How
much will it cost to live in Oxford?
 The University tuition fees vary substantially, depending on your chosen course and your fee
status. Your fee status is determined by your nationality and country of residence. Most
students will be charged either at the standard (Home/EU) rate or the overseas rate. For most
programmes of study, the Home/EU rate will be c£4,200 and the overseas rate will be £18,770,
for 2016/17. Please check the course's website for confirmation of the fee rates. (Fee rate
information will be updated shortly for 2017/18.
 EU students who start on a course in 2017-18 will be charged the Home rate for tuition fees for
all subsequent years of their course
 The College fee for the academic year 2017/8 will be £3,021.
You can use the Fees, Funding & Scholarship search tool to help you work out the precise annual cost of
any course.
STUDENTSHIPS
FOR WELLCOME TRUST 1+3 PROGRAMME

The Wellcome Trust fund FIVE Studentships per year for the 4 year doctoral programme. Students must
have, or expect to obtain, at least an upper second class degree. Overseas applicants are also eligible for
these awards, and must obtain a degree equivalent to at least that of an upper second class honours
degree from a British university. The bursary associated with each Studentship will start at
approximately £19,500 per annum (increasing incrementally each year to over £21,000 p.a. in the final
year), plus payment of University, College and research expenses. However, for overseas students (from
non European Union countries), University fees will only be paid at the home student rate i.e. students
will have to pay the difference between home student and overseas fees (approximately £10,000 per
annum). However, there are a limited number of awards available separately from the University which
may cover this shortfall.
MSC IN NEUROSCIENCE

Studentships may be obtained in open competition from the Medical Sciences Division for the one year
MSc in Neuroscience. These are open to all applicants. Students must have, or expect to obtain, at least
an upper second class degree. Please check the latest bursary details.
DIRECT ENTRY TO DPHIL (PLEASE APPLY DIRECTLY TO YOUR DEPARTMENT OF INTEREST)
Medical Research Council studentships may be obtained in open competition in all departments for
DPhil study. These are open to UK citizens and citizens of countries in the European Union. Students
must have, or expect to obtain, at least an upper second class degree. Please check the latest bursary
details.
Other studentships may also be available and you are advised to check the departmental websites for
further details. Supervisors may also hold personal sources of funding for DPhil study. It may also be
possible to fund yourself for a DPhil.
Further details of University and College scholarships can be found in the University of Oxford Graduate
Studies Prospectus

For further details on the programmes or specific questions please contact;

Dr Deborah J Clarke, Course Lecturer


Graduate Programme in Neuroscience
Department of Experimental Psychology
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3UD
E-Mail: deborah.clarke@psy.ox.ac.uk
Wellcome Trust Doctoral Programme in
Neuroscience
COURSE DIRECTOR: PROFESSOR ANDREW J KING
COURSE LECTURER: DR DEBORAH J CLARKE
The Wellcome Trust funded graduate training programme in Neuroscience is very well established. The
programme has been running since 1996 and has an excellent record of achievement in terms of the
publications and future careers of students who have graduated from the programme. The programme
is highly regarded internationally and its alumni are now leading neuroscientists.
The course gives an integrated view of Neuroscience, and provides a wide range of practical skills so that
the students can ask questions and tackle problems that transcend the traditional disciplines from which
Neuroscience has evolved. The first year follows the taught MSc course, during which students undertake
two extended research projects from a choice of over one hundred offered by the extensive
Neurosciences research community in Oxford. Students also attend the graduate programme lecture
series which provides a broad education covering molecular, cellular, systems, computational and
cognitive neuroscience.
After successful completion of the MSc in Neuroscience, Wellcome Trust funded students continue with
a 3 year doctoral research project (DPhil). During the third term students decide which laboratory(ies) and
supervisor(s) they wish to work with and write a proposal for their three-year doctoral research project.
The doctoral project can take place in any area of Neuroscience within the Oxford network of laboratories
and approved Supervisors.
Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS)
Scholarships
In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must select the Oxford
Centre for Islamic Studies Scholarship in the University of Oxford Scholarships
section of the University's graduate application form and submit your
application for graduate study by the relevant January deadline for your course
(6 or 20 January 2017). See the Courses page for the deadline applicable to your
course).
You must also complete an Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Scholarships
Supporting Statement (see Related documents on this page) and upload it,
together with your graduate application form, by the deadline.
We will use the details you insert in the 'Nationality and ordinary residence'
section of the graduate application form to assess your nationality and country
of ordinary residence. For a definition of ordinary residency and further details
on how to complete this section of the graduate application form, please see
the 'Nationality and ordinary residence' section of the graduate application
form and also the Technical Help.
To be eligible for consideration for this scholarship, applicants must be
successful in being offered a place on their course after consideration of
applications received by the relevant January deadline for the course. Course
applications which are held over after the January deadline to be re-evaluated
against applications received by the March deadline or course applications
which have been put on a waiting list are not eligible for scholarship
consideration.