Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of science that studies the brain and the entire nervous system at different levels of organization, from genes and molecules to nerve cells and networks; and beyond. The focus of interest in a neuroscientist’s research may lie in understanding the neurobiological bases of behaviour, analysing the functional roles of a single molecule, or in developing novel treatments to neurological disorders or sensory deficits.
The Master’s Programme in Neuroscience provides students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in a scientifically vibrant international environment. You will be taught by scientists who will provide you with a wide spectrum of opportunities for practical training and for becoming integrated into the stimulating neuroscience community. When you graduate, you will master essentials of neuroscience and have deeper knowledge and skills in subfields of your choice. The Programme prepares students for PhD studies and a research career, or equally for a career in the private or public sector.
Training is arranged in modules and consists of lecture courses, hands-on laboratory courses, seminars and book exams. Group work, reports and presentations help you to develop critical thinking and communication skills that are essential for successful careers within Academia as well as jobs in the private and public sectors.
Compulsory studies provide a broad general knowledge of the field for all students, whereas optional studies will offer you much freedom to focus on topics of your interest. You may choose lecture or laboratory courses for example in molecular and cellular neuroscience, developmental neurobiology, sensory biology, regeneration biology, systems neuroscience, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, brain disorders, etc. You may also expand your knowledge by taking courses from other Master’s Programmes.
Students undertake modules to the value of 120 credits (cr; ECTS) according to their personal study plan. The Master’s Degree consists of
- 60 cr of advanced studies, including a research project (Master’s Thesis, 30 cr)
- 60 cr of other studies chosen from the Programme or from other Programmes (e.g. Genetics and Molecular Biosciences, Translational Medicine, or Psychology)
The curriculum of the Programme will in principle enable completing 90 cr in 12 months (full-time studying and utilizing study opportunities during the summer months, and not including the Master’s Thesis research project). However, completing the Programme in 2 years is recommended, as it will give more flexibility with the optional studies. Career planning or extracurricular activities may be included in the personal study plan.
The Master's Programme in Neuroscience has three study tracks to choose from:
- Biology teacher (specializing in either neuroscience or physiology). Students studying for qualification as biology teachers will have 60 cr of pedagogical studies in their degree (applies only to Finnish or Swedish speaking students).
- The degree structure of the Master's Programme in Neuroscience. (To view the different structures of neuroscience or physiology study tracks, please select the relevant track from the dropdown menu).
- Master's Programme in Neuroscience courses at the University of Helsinki WebOodi.
- Preliminary curriculum for the academic year 2018-2019.
The choice of optional study modules will define your specialization within the fields of neuroscience or physiology and makes it possible to broaden your knowledge into other disciplines. Discussing the options with teachers and study advisors during the first months of your studies will help you in identifying the various opportunities and in preparing your personal study plan. The plan may be revised, if necessary, as your studies progress.
All students undertake a Master’s Thesis (30 cr). You will learn how a research project proceeds, from planning the work and choosing adequate methods to performing the experiments and analysing the results. The Thesis is typically based on an experimental research project carried out in one of the University’s research groups under the supervision of an experienced researcher. The Thesis may also consist of a theoretical literature study. You will write your Thesis as if it were a scientific publication, critically describing, contemplating and discussing your results in the light of previous scientific literature on the topic.
In your written Thesis you are expected to demonstrate that you are capable of scientific thinking, that you master relevant research methods and that you are profoundly familiar with the topic of the Thesis. Completing the Thesis work shows that you have the required skills in project management and written scientific communication.
During the Master's Seminar in Neuroscience, you will get support for all stages of the Thesis process and beyond, including data acquisition, communication skills, peer interaction and support, networking and career opportunities.
The Master’s Thesis of students studying towards biology teacher qualification can deal with pedagogical or didactic issues in biology teaching (applies only to Finnish or Swedish speaking students).