What is Neuroscience?
Neuroscience is the discipline concerned with the scientific study of the nervous system in health and disease. It probes the intricate processes of the nervous system in an attempt to understand how we think, move, perceive, learn and remember. Research in the neurosciences is of considerable importance in medicine, considering the debilitating and costly effects of neurological and psychiatric disease. In this regard, a major goal of modern neuroscience research is to elucidate the underlying causes of, and to produce more effective treatments for, major brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and depression.#
Do you enjoy…
- Finding out how the brain achieves simple and complex actions?
- Analysing evidence and developing your own hypotheses?
- Performing experiments in the laboratory?
Neuroscience: The course for you?
Neuroscience is an ideal topic for students who have an interest in understanding how the brain works. Additionally, the topic is suited to students who are interested in using concepts and techniques from a variety of biological disciplines. The neuroscience degree in Trinity brings together lecturers from diverse backgrounds including psychology, physiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and genetics to deliver a truly multidisciplinary training. This diversity is also reflected in the range of laboratory projects offered during this degree, which offers students broad horizons after graduation
Neuroscience at Trinity
Trinity has a strong research focus in Neuroscience centred around the Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), with 45 research groups and 250 researchers within the Lloyd Building and in labs in the many affiliated academic schools and departments that drive Neuroscience activity in Trinity. These research groups investigate a wide variety of topics in Neuroscience and Trinity neuroscientists are well respected by the neuroscience community worldwide, regularly contributing at international meetings and in high impact publications. This breadth of research expertise is the driver for excellence in teaching across a range of disciplines within this degree. There is a lively research community within TCIN, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and principal investigators and its interdisciplinary ethos allows for fruitful interactions between scientists of various backgrounds. This community regularly meets at seminars and social events to discuss the latest news in the field and beyond.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
Graduates in Neuroscience can expect to find employment in a wide range of areas, utilising their general scientific training as well as their specialist skills. In the past Neuroscience graduates have pursued careers in academic, government, pharmaceutical, biotechnology or medical research organisations. Some graduates study for higher degrees in neuroscience, biology or psychology or, medicine or allied health-related disciplines. For those not seeking a research or medical career, the course provides transferable skills and experience that are suitable for a wide variety of careers, including in education, commercial, and management settings.
Your degree and what you’ll study
Neuroscience links neurobiology with cognitive science and, as a result, modules in multiple disciplines (Anatomy, Biochemistry and Immunology, Genetics, Pharmacology, Physiology and Psychology) are provided. The course involves in-depth instruction in the fundamentals of modern molecular and cellular biology, as well as in the structure and operation of the nervous system. Other modules focus on the development of the nervous system, its response to injury and disease, the relationship of the brain to behaviour, imaging the brain, and the drug treatment of brain disorders. You will also be trained in scientific methodology and experimental design, data handling and research skills.
The third year will cover core topics in Neuroscience including: Neuroanatomy and Development; Systems, Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience; Neurophysiology; Neurochemistry; Neuropharmacology; Neurogenetics; Molecular Neuroscience; as well as research skills, basic laboratory skills for Neurobiology.
The final year will examine some more specialised areas of Neuroscience and examine others at a more advanced level. Topics will include: Neuropsychology; Neurochemistry; Neuronal and Glial Physiology; Neuropharmacology; Developmental Genetics; Neuroimmunology and Neurodegeneration; and Neuropsychiatric Genetics. There will be a greater focus on research with modules involving scientific literature skills (literature review and journal clubs) and all students will carry out a major Capstone research project in one of the many research groups in the schools that contribute to the Neuroscience degree.
Modules are assessed by continual assessment based on written assignments, oral presentations and literature reviews and written examinations. The Capstone research project is graded according to performance across many elements: oral presentation, literature review, poster presentation, student performance in the laboratory and the submitted dissertation.
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Study abroad and internship opportunities
Students may arrange to study abroad during their third year following discussion with staff. Students are also facilitated in seeking internships, in Ireland or abroad, during the summer and some opportunities exist for research laboratory placements within the university.
Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University Dual B.A. Programme
Neuroscience is also available within the Dual B.A. Programme between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University. Please note: The Dual B.A. is only open to Single Honours students. Joint Honours students cannot apply to the Dual B.A.. For more details, see https://tcd.gs.columbia.edu/
Applicants to the Dual BA Programme must apply by 2nd January 2024 for September 2024 entry. The admissions process includes a review of the applicant’s academic history, letters of recommendation, an essay, and an interview conducted in English. Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) can be submitted but are not required for 2024 entry. Applications are reviewed by a joint committee with representatives from both Institutions. EU applicants to the Dual BA Programme must also apply to and receive an offer from their chosen programme at Trinity through the Central Applications Office (CAO)
Study Biological and Biomedical Sciences Programme at Trinity College Dublin
Biology is the study of life in all its complexity and diversity. In the Biological and Biomedical Sciences programme, we explore how life first arose; the properties that distinguish living organisms from inert matter; how living organisms function and how the vast diversity of life forms was generated; and how organisms reproduce themselves and how they interact both with each other and with the environment.
AwardsB.A. (Moderatorship) Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)
CAO InformationCAO Points 555 (2023) CAO Code TR060
Gabrielle McCabe, Course Administrator
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I specialised in Neuroscience as I wished to gain an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the brain in both health and disease. A wide variety of topics were covered and I particularly enjoyed the neuroanatomy practicals and the lectures focusing on neuropharmacology, neuroimmunology, neuroinflammation and neurogenetics. On completion of my degree, I undertook a Ph.D. in the Neuroimmunology research group in Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience before going on to work as a post-doctoral researcher in King’s College London, investigating the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease.