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MSc Neuroscience

Awarded Best Postgraduate Science Course in 2012 by Postgrad Ireland


Course Structure


This one-year M.Sc. course aims to provide a multidisciplinary training in the neurosciences, in topics ranging from molecular to behavioural neuroscience. The course is ideal for students wishing to extend their specialised knowledge, and for those wishing to convert from their original degree discipline. The programme will equip participants with the skills necessary to progress into a career in biomedical, pharmaceutical or neuropsychological research.


Instruction for the course consists of approximately 200 contact hours over two academic Terms to include lectures, laboratory practical sessions, journal club workshops and student-based seminars. Modules are assessed by a mixture of in course assessment and written examinations.


Specialist modules covered include:

  • Form and Function of the Nervous System
  • Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Drug Development
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Experimental Neuroscience
  • Scientific Literary Skills
  • Neural Engineering
  • Neuroimaging Technology
  • Current Topics in Neuroscience
  • Research Skills


The third Term consists of a research project on some novel aspect of Neuroscience. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) is a dynamic research environment with research spanning molecular/cellular neuroscience to clinical/translational neuroscience. Projects across these research areas may be undertaken in consultation with an expert supervisor. For students interested in a project in cellular/molecular neuroscience a range of cellular techniques such as tissue culture, immunocytochemistry, western immunobloting and immunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, Immunoassays, flow cytometry, Real-time PCR, and high performance liquid chromatography are available. In addition, some projects will involve assessing behavioural, electrophysiological and neurochemical endpoints using in vivo models of neurological and psychiatric disease. For those with an interest in experimentation on human subjects, projects will be offered utilizing techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, electrophysiological recording and neurocognitive testing.


Term dates: The course runs for a full 1 year, normally starting in the last week of September and running to end of August in the following year.



Learning Outcomes


By the end of the programme the participants will:

  • Understand the structure and function of the nervous system from “molecule to mind”.
  • Understand the biological basis of a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders
  • Have a knowledge of treatment strategies for psychiatric and neurological disorders
  • Have knowledge of key techniques used to answer research questions in the neurosciences.
  • Have acquired practical laboratory skills, experience in troubleshooting, and expertise in selected methodologies used to study nervous system function to facilitate a research or research-related career.
  • Have acquired detailed knowledge and critical understanding of selected areas of neuroscience through independent study and the laboratory research projects.


Have acquired and developed transferable skills in:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Data analysis, statistics and presentation
  • Critical evaluation of published information
  • Ability to work in collaboration with others
  • Organizational ability


About the course


What’s the course about? The M.Sc. course in Neuroscience studies the functioning of the nervous system at all levels, from the molecules that make up individual nerve cells, to the complexities of animal and human behaviour. A major focus is on the molecular, biochemical and cellular basis of neurotransmission and synaptic function. The course also covers the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacological treatment of psychiatric, neurodegenerative and neurological disorders.


Where do our students go? The preferred career path of our students is to conduct PhD research. Opportunities exist in Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) for Ph.D. research. We also encourage and help our M.Sc. students to look for Ph.D. opportunities internationally.  Some of our students have gained Ph.D. positions as far-afield as Australia. The two next most common career choices are Medical or Health related degrees or direct entry into research labs.


Popularity of the course? We were delighted the course was Awarded the Best Postgraduate Science Course 2012 this year by PostGrad Ireland.



Since its foundation, the M.Sc. in Neuroscience has now taught over 100 students, who have come from a variety of academic backgrounds including neuroscience, physiology, psychology, pharmacology, chemistry, medicine and others. Our course is one of the most popular in Ireland. Its global recognition is also reflected by our international alumni, who have come from throughout the world, including Canada, USA, Asia, Australia, the UK and other parts of Europe. The course has seen a rapid rise in applications and student numbers. We have doubled student intake since the course began. Based on previous years, we receive approximately 100 applications each year. Roughly half are asked for interviews and half again are finally accepted onto the course. Entry is competitive, is based on high calibre of the student, with approximately 1 in 4 chance of acceptance.


Course Content and Teaching Methods: The course provides students with a broad based appreciation of the neurosciences, and in depth instruction in certain specialised areas of neuroscience from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. From a practical perspective the course involves in-depth instruction in novel methodologies used in neuroscience/ biomedical research, including the fundamentals of molecular, biochemical and cellular biology. In addition to neuroscience specific knowledge and skills, this M.Sc. programme also trains the student to become proficient in a range of transferable skills such as experimental design, data handling, research methods and written/oral communication skills.  The M.Sc. programme aims to provide students with a well-balanced and integrated theoretical and practical knowledge of neuroscience, and to highlight the progress and intellectual challenges in this exciting and fast-developing discipline.


High Research Quality: Many lecturers and guest speakers from academic, clinical and pharmaceutical industry sectors with international recognition in the area of neuroscience contribute to the course. Students are required to submit a dissertation based on an empirical research project conducted in one of the many neuroscience groups located within or affiliated to TCIN ( Opportunities for national and international placements to conduct research projects are also available In collaborating universities, hospitals and industry.


How do we teach? The multidisciplinary M.Sc. in Neuroscience at TCIN attracts students with a variety of academic, cultural and international backgrounds. Considering the diverse academic backgrounds of the M.Sc. class, in addition to learning within the context of formal lecture and workshop sessions, we encourage fellow students to learn about each other’s cultures and backgrounds, which enhances their overall experience.


State of art facilities in TCIN: The M.Sc. Neuroscience course is run by the Department of Physiology, School of Medicine and is currently directed by Prof. Kumlesh K. Dev. The course is based primarily in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN). The TCIN laboratories and offices occupy the top two floors of the Lloyd Institute, which also houses TCIN’s MRI research suite, the only one of its kind in Ireland. TCIN provides and environment where students have access to state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities with fully-equipped laboratories and lecture theatres. The students’ overall training experience is enhanced by the daily oppertunities to interact with high-calibre neuroscientists of wide and complementary expertise including, neurology, psychiatry, neurodegeneration, genetics,  immunology, bioengineering, nanoscience and neuroimaging.


Application Procedure


To be eligible for admission, applicants will be expected to hold a good degree in Biological Sciences, Psychology, Medicine or Allied Health Sciences. Admission to the course is based on the applicant's academic record, and their ability to benefit from the course. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview.


How, Where and When Can I apply?

You can apply directly via the SITS application system by following this link:

Course director: Prof. Kumlesh K. Dev


Preliminary enquiries may be directed to:

Prof. Kumlesh K. Dev

Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience

Lloyd Institute

Trinity College






The fees for the MSc Neuroscience are given at the following URL under the PAC code TRS23 and TCD code 746:




Last updated 1 February 2017


In association with:
Ireland's EU Structural Funds Programmes 2007-2013, NDP, European Union Structural Funds and HEA