NOTE: When preparing your study plan for the application, please remember to include all the obligatory studies: TC meetings and reports, research ethics, book exam and B&M symposium.

Degree structure of B&M doctoral programme (effective since 1.8.2017): 

1. Doctoral thesis

2. Discipline-specific studies (30 ECTS)

2.1. Scientific content training (>15 ECTS)

Obligatory studies:

  • Thesis committee meetings and reports (0 ECTS)
  • Research ethics (1 ECTS)
  • Book exam (5 ECTS)

Elective courses within the following fields:

  • Developmental neuroscience
  • Excitability, synaptic transmission, and neuronal networks
  • Disorders of the nervous system
  • Sensory and motor systems
  • Neuroimmunology, neuroendocrine systems and sleep
  • Cognition and behavior
  • Systems and computational neuroscience

2.2. Scientific seminars and activities (<15 ECTS)

  • B&M symposium (1 ECTS, obligatory)
  • Scientific seminars, conferences, symposia
  • Research visit
  • Scientific publications not included in thesis

3. General competence studies (10 ECTS)

Elective transferable skills courses withing the following topics:

  • Communication and teaching
  • Management and entrepreneurship
  • Career planning and development
  • Legislation
  • Basic research tools and skills


General information about the structure of the doctoral degree and doctoral dissertation at the University of Helsinki is available at the Instructions for students website.

Search for courses: You can search for relevant courses organized by the B&M or other study programs through the links below. 

Registration to courses: You can register to courses in WebOodi or through a separate e-form during the registration time indicated in the course announcement. 

Cancellation: Please note that it is very important to cancel your registration as soon as possible if you, for some reason, cannot participate in a course you have registered to. Cancellation can be done in WebOodi (during the registration period) or by contacting the course organizer or coordinator.

Aalto NBE courses: B&M doctoral candidates have a limited access to some of the courses organized by Aalto University's Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. For more information and the application form for non-degree studies of Aalto courses, please contact the coordinator.

Courses taken in another university/abroad and conference presentations: To get the credits registered to your study register, please send a certificate of the passed course / presentation to the coordinator.


According to the Rector’s Decision (No 22/2016) doctoral programmes are degree programmes which will have degree requirements of their own. The faculty responsible for the doctoral programme has approved the programme’s new degree requirements and curriculum and those will become valid from 1.8.2017. The rector has decided on the general principles for the transition period of the education reform (Decision No 23/2016).

General transition guidelines:

All doctoral candidates must transfer to the new degree system if they do not complete their degree before 31.7.2020. During the preceding transition period (1.8.2017 – 31.7.2020) they can choose from the following options:

1) they can continue to study according to the old degree requirements, i.e., 60 ECTS credits (40 ECTS for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Dental Science degrees) and faculty and/or major based guidelines until 31.7.2020

2) they can transfer to the new degree system and begin to study according to the new degree requirements, in which case it should be noted that:

  • There is an e-form available in Flamma to apply for the transition to the new degree system.
  • The transition to the new degree system can be done at any time during the transition period, but once it is done, it is not possible to return to the old system. 
  • The transition to the new degree system must be completed before the beginning of the pre-examination process (by January 2020).
  • Once the transition period ends on 31.7.2020, all doctoral candidates will be transferred to the new degree system
  • All new doctoral candidates granted the right to pursue doctoral studies after 1.8.2017 will use the new system of 40 ECTS credits 
  • In the new degree system, 40 ECTS credits will be required in addition to the doctoral thesis. These credits are distributed between discipline-specific studies (30 credits) and general competence studies (10 credits). 
  • The composition of discipline-specific studies differs between doctoral programmes, while the required general competence studies are doctoral school specific. 
  • An obligatory course of research ethics must be included in the discipline-specific studies
  • In the new degree system studies completed more than 10 years earlier cannot be included in a doctoral degree.
  • Studies included in a Master’s degree cannot be transferred to a doctoral degree. However, extra studies completed during MSc studies that are not included in the degree, can be transferred to doctoral degree if they fit the doctoral programme-specific degree structure.
  • The new degree structure may include more obligatory studies than the old system. In addition, there may be differences in the number of credits gained for specific courses or activities.


Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind specific transition guidelines: 

Faculty Current obligatory studies Corresponding studies in the new B&M degree structure
Biological and Environmental Sciences Licentiate examination (522082, 51064, 529245, 52970) B&M book exam: NEUBM-010

Preliminary examination (590381)

2 presentations of the dissertation research project (590382, 590383)

B&M book exam: NEUBM-010

No credits for Thesis Committee presentations. For presentations outside own unit: NEUBM-104

Medicine / Veterinary Medicine No obligatory studies  



September 20-­21, 2018  

University of Helsinki, Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33 (Small lecture hall, 4th floor)

Welcome to the Annual B&M Student Symposium organized by the B&M Student Council!

In addition to B&M students and supervisors, we welcome other interested researchers and MSc/PhD students to this meeting. Registration to all lectures and workshop of the symposium is free. 

Credits: 1 ECTS credit for participation in all lectures and workshops + 1 credit for a poster presentation at the symposium. 

Registration to the symposium is closed.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Niko Busch, University of Münster, Germany: Neural oscillations, excitability and perceptual decisions
  • Karl J Friston, University College London, UK: I am therefore I think: Free energy principle
  • Seth Grant, University of Edinburgh, Scotland: The molecular building blocks of the behavioural repertoire
  • Jari Koistinaho, University of Helsinki & University of Eastern Finland: Modelling brain diseases using human iPSC-derived cells
  • Bigna Lenggenhager, University of Zurich, Switzerland: The bodily self and its plasticity
  • Freda Miller, University of Toronto, Canada: Building and repairing the brain with neural stem cells
  • Miguel Nicolelis, Duke University, USA: Linking brains to machines: From basic science to neurological neurorehabilitation
  • Joe Z. Tsien, Augusta University, USA: On the brain’s basic wiring and computational logic
  • Martin Krzywinski, Genome Sciences Center, Vancouver, Canada: Sense and Sensibility - a workshop on drawing data, concepts and experimental protocols for your papers and presentations


PROGRAM (for detailed program, please see the pdf file below)


Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Session 1: Computational brain

  • Karl J. Friston: I am therefore I think: Free energy principle
  • Joe Z. Tsien: On th brain’s basic wiring and computational logic

Session 2: Computational brain + Data visualization

  • Miguel Nicolelis: Linking brains to machines: From basic science to neurological neurorehabilitation
  • Martin Krzywinski: Sense and Sensibility - a workshop on drawing data, concepts and experimental protocols for your papers and presentations

Poster session

Evening program, dinner


Friday, September 21, 2018 

Session 3 “Cellular Neuroscience: neuronal growth & synaptic control“

  • Freda Miller: Building and repairing the brain with neural stem cells
  • Seth Grant: The molecular building blocks of the behavioural repertoire
  • Jari Koistinaho: Modelling brain diseases using human iPSC-derived cells

Session 4 “Cognitive Neuroscience”

  • Niko Busch: Neural oscillations, excitability and perceptual decisions
  • Bigna Lenggenhager: The bodily self and its plasticity


The Symposium is organized by the B&M Student Council 2018:

  • Pushpa Khanal (University of Helsinki), chair
  • Giuliano Didio (University of Helsinki)
  • Arun Mahato (University of Helsinki)
  • Dovile Kurmanaviciute (Aalto University)
  • Ceren Pajanoja (University of Helsinki)
  • Tuomas Puoliväli (University of Helsinki)
  • Ivan Zubarev (Aalto University)


For more information, please contact B&M Student Council chair or B&M programme officer

When: 17 December, 2018 9:00-17:00
Venue: University of Helsinki, Meilahti campus, Biomedicum lecture hall 2


The symposium will include:

  • Keynote lecture by Tomas Paus (University of Toronto) 
    Dr. Paus works on functional and structural organization of the human brain using a variety of approaches including studies of patients with brain lesions, patients with psychiatric disorders, functional and structural neuroimaging, and brain stimulation. 
  • Talks by leading Finnish investigators in biological psychiatry
  • Short talks by young investigators, selected based on submitted abstracts.
  • Posters selected based on submitted abstracts. 

NB: Abstracts approved for oral/poster presentation have the option to be published as a supplement to Psychiatria Fennica (vol. 50, 2019).

Target audience: Students, postdocs and faculty working on human genetic and imaging studies in psychiatric diseases, mechanisms of psychiatric diseases, including functional, pharmacological and genetic analyses in model organisms, and related fields. 

Credits (NEUBM-301): Students will receive 1 ECTS from attendance + submitting a 1 page essay on the scientific content of the symposium, or 2 ECTS by attendance + poster/oral presentation + essay.

Please register and/or send your abstract at the online registration form.
Deadline for registration and abstract submission is on November 21 (for registration without submitting an abstract: December 10, 2018).

We hope to see you there!


Iiris Hovatta, PhD, professor of behavioral genetics      

Tiina Paunio, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry

Mikaela Laine, MSc, doctoral student

Alexandra Lahtinen, MSc, doctoral student                    


Time: Aug. 25 – 30, 2019
Place: Tartu / Pühajärve (Estonia) 
Organizers: Doctoral Programme Brain & MindUniversity of Helsinki, and University of Eastern Finland

Summary: The target group for this training course are doctoral and post-doctoral students working in broad areas of neuroscience and pharmacology. The aim of the course is to introduce a variety of methods available for assessment of rodent behaviour in laboratory conditions. A special emphasis is on translational potential of behavioural animal models. In addition, good practices for design and implementation of animal testing will be covered, addressing the ongoing debate and concerns regarding reliability and reproducibility of findings in basic research. 

Maximum number of students: 40
Credits: 2 ECTS for attendance, 3 ECTS for attendance with presentation (10 min slideshow)

Participation fee for students: 380 €, covering accommodation and meals during the course (5 nights)

FENS and IBRO-PERC provide 4 stipends of 750 EUR for master and/or PhD students interested in attending this course.

Through these stipends FENS and IBRO-PERC aim to encourage and promote international experience of students; hence, students that are currently residing or studying in Estonia or Finland are not eligible for a FENS and IBRO-PERC stipend for this course.





More information from Vootele Voikar or Katri Wegelius.