Master of Science (MSc) in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

Authors: Peter Aquino 

Publication date:  28 Jul 2007

Light micrograph of nerve cells (neurons) with immunofluorescent staining.


Programme administrator, MSc in Neuroscience, MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research, Department of Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF. [Link]

This is a one year full time or two year part time masters degree which aims to provide specialist postgraduate training in neuroscience and covers a wide range of neuroscience topics including clinical, molecular, and behavioural related neuroscience areas.

Who's it for?

Graduates from many different scientific specialties do the course, but those with medical backgrounds are usually psychiatrists or neurologists.

When did you do it?

I did the full time course two years after qualifying as a doctor.

Why did you do it?

I became interested in neuroscience while I was a medical student and wanted to develop my knowledge further at postgraduate level.

Was it worth it?

Very much so. It was extremely enjoyable studying with an international group of students. It was also useful in my psychiatric and medical senior house officer posts.

How much effort did it entail?

A lot. There was a considerable amount of material to get through during the year and little time to do locum work (this would not apply to the part time programme).

Is there an exam?

Yes. There are four written examinations at the end of March, four 3000 word essays to be completed during the year, and finally a 7000 to 10000 word thesis based on a research project done in the second and third terms. A poster presentation based on the thesis also contributes to the overall mark of the course.

How much did it cost?

The cost of the course is £4500 full time for home students and £13500 for overseas students.

Top tip

Pick a research topic for your thesis that thoroughly interests you as otherwise it can be laborious. It is also valuable if the research project uses techniques that will be of benefit to you in your future career. (My research entailed developing a method to measure corpus callosum volumes in preterm infants using magnetic resonance imaging techniques.)

Competing interests: None declared.

Peter Aquino clinical research physician London  peteraquino17@hotmail.com)

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