Master of Science by Coursework in Neuroscience

  • 1. The Divisional Board of Medical Sciences shall elect for the supervision of the course an Organising Committee which shall have power to arrange lectures and other instruction.

  • 2. The Organising Committee shall appoint for each candidate an academic advisor.

  • 3. Each candidate shall follow a course of study in Neuroscience for at least three terms and for a substantial part of the three subsequent vacations, as determined by the course timetable, and will, when entering for the examination, be required to produce a certificate from the Organising Committee to this effect.

  • 4. Candidates shall be examined in all of the following ways:

    • (i) each candidate must pass a qualifying examination at the end of the first term from the beginning of the course. The test shall consist of the satisfactory completion of the Neuroscience Introductory Course and one three-hour written paper on the topics covered in that course, as set out in the Schedule; the Organising Committee shall not later than the end of the Hilary Term preceding the examination submit to the examiners a list of candidates who have satisfactorily completed the qualifying examination. Candidates who fail the qualifying examination once shall be permitted to take it again in the first week of Hilary Term of the year of the final examination;

    • (ii) each candidate will be required to submit to the examiners online via WebLearn a pdf of a typed essay of not more than 3,000 words on a topic approved by the Organising Committee in each of the four modules chosen for study, as set out in the Schedule, or in the case of the modules specified by the Organising Committee one practical notebook in each module chosen for study; candidates must submit their titles for approval by deadlines determined by the Organising Committee and posted in the Gazette no later than the end of the preceding term;

    • (iii) each candidate will be required to submit to the examiners three copies of a typewritten or printed dissertation of not more than 10,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) on each of the two research projects chosen for study, as set out in the Schedule;

    • (iv) each candidate will be required to give a public oral presentation on each of his or her research projects, on dates to be determined by the Organising Committee.

    • (v) each candidate will be required to participate in the compulsory Journal Club and give a presentation.

  • 5. Each candidate will be examined viva voce.

  • 6. Before being given leave to supplicate, candidates must have demonstrated understanding of and competence in the topics covered by the professional development programme as set out in the Schedule, to the satisfaction of the programme organisers, who shall submit a certificate to the examiners to this effect.

  • 7. The dissertations on the first and second research projects must be submitted to the Chair of Examiners, M.Sc. in Neuroscience, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford by dates to be specified by the Organising Committee and which will be published in the University Gazette not later than the start of Michaelmas Term of the academic year in which the examination is taken.

    8. The essays for each module must be submitted online via Weblearn by deadlines determined by the Organising Committee and posted in the Gazette no later than the end of the preceding term.

    9. The practical notebooks must be submitted to the Chair of Examiners, M.Sc. in Neuroscience, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford by deadlines determined by the Organising Committee and posted in the Gazette no later than the end of the preceding term.

    10. Each submission must be accompanied by a certificate indicating that it is the candidate's own work.

  • 11. The viva voce examinations will be conducted in September in the year in which the candidate is examined on dates to be determined by the examiners.

  • 12. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.

  • 13. The examiners shall retain one copy of each dissertation of each successful candidate for deposit in the most appropriate departmental library.

Schedule

The syllabus for study will include four principal components:

  • (a) Professional Development Programme for Neuroscientists

    Candidates will be required to follow a programme of Professional Development courses to provide transferable skills for a career in scientific research. The programme will consist of practical exercises and taught classes with interactive discussions and practical assignments in the following areas:

    • (i) Presentation skills, verbal and written;

    • (ii) Career planning, assessing personal skills and values, curricula vitae, and interview techniques;

    • (iii) Exploitation of science: patents and intellectual property;

    • (iv) Ethical and social issues in science.

  • (b) Introduction to Neuroscience

    Five module introduction to neuroscience, each consisting of lectures and practicals. Candidates who have already received training in neuroscience may, at the discretion of the Organising Committee, be exempted from attendance at one or more of the introductory modules. Such candidates will be required to pass the qualifying examination which will cover the topics covered in the Introduction to Neuroscience. They will be required to follow an alternative course of instruction approved by the Organising Committee.

    • Module I: Introduction to the brain

    • Module II: Neuroanatomy

    • Module III: Neuronal Cell and Molecular Biology

      Module IV: Synapses and transduction

      Module V: Systems overview.

    Candidates will also be required to take courses on experimental design, computing, and statistics, approved by the Organising Committee.

  • (c) Specialist neuroscience courses

    This will consist of five taught courses consisting of lectures, seminars, practicals, and demonstrations, chosen from a list of courses in neuroscience to be approved annually by the Organising Committee. These will be grouped under three headings: molecular, cellular, and systems, and candidates will be required to choose at least one course under each of the three headings. Details of the courses available in each academic year will be published in the Course Handbook and on the course website not later than the start of Michaelmas Term of the academic year in which the examination is taken.

  • (d) Laboratory research projects

    Two research projects based on the candidate's laboratory placements, each under the supervision of a research supervisor, on subjects selected in consultation with the Organising Committee. The research projects shall be in separate areas of neuroscience.