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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Basic and Translational Neuroscience is no longer accepting new applications.


The course offers both taught and research components including a project rotation in a laboratory of the student’s choosing from the projects offered by Cambridge Neuroscience principal investigators. The write-up for the project will be formally assessed.

Supervisors will be drawn from principal investigators listed on the Cambridge Neuroscience website. For projects in external organisations (industry-based), the student would have an additional academic University-based supervisor in addition to the industry-based supervisor. 

Students will be expected to choose three research training modules from the five to seven available. These modules vary from year to year and may be shared with other courses. 

In addition to the research project and research training modules, the students will receive more than 20 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops on the five main themes of Cambridge Neuroscience.

Students taking this degree will be members of the University’s Postgraduate School of Life Sciences (PSLS) who offer a wide variety of core skills training. Visit the Researcher Development page on the PSLS website for more information.

One to one supervision

The programme director will be appointed as principal supervisor for all students for the duration of the master's year; project supervisors drawn from the principal investigators or senior research staff within their groups will also be assigned for the research projects. The principal supervisor, assisted by the programme coordinator, will provide individual guidance and general support and meet the students at least once a term (i.e. at least three times during the MPhil course).

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Interdisciplinary seminars and journal clubs (minimum attendance one per week).


More than 20 hours of neuroscience lectures during the Michaelmas and Lent terms.


Research training modules – must complete three out of the five to seven modules offered.

Posters and Presentations

Students may participate in a symposium where they will have the opportunity to present their research. Students will be encouraged to join cognate learned societies in order to give presentations arising from their projects at relevant conferences.


Students will receive regular oral feedback and advice from their supervisor about performance and research direction throughout the course, and students can also expect to receive termly formal feedback reports via the Postgraduate Feedback and Reporting System.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding feedback.


Thesis / Dissertation

A report on the research project, not exceeding 10,000 words in length, including tables, figure legends, and appendices, but excluding bibliography.


One essay, not exceeding 5,000 words in length. With the permission of the Degree Committee, the essay may comprise a research proposal for a prospective PhD project.

Written examination

An MCQ paper on research methods and statistics critical appraisal.


The examination shall include an oral examination on the work submitted by the candidate and on the general field of knowledge within which such work falls.

Key Information

12 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 24, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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