Neuroscience (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • We are a leading centre of research, ranked 8th in the UK for research output in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • With over 50 research groups on campus, Sussex Neuroscience is one of the largest and most interconnected neuroscience communities in the UK. Each participating school of study has a strong international reputation, demonstrating the depth of expertise across Sussex Neuroscience.
  • Neuroscience is of central importance for the development of new drugs and therapies for some of the most feared and debilitating diseases affecting billions of people worldwide. There can hardly be a more exciting time to acquire a degree in neuroscience, and Sussex offers a unique interdisciplinary environment in which to pursue this goal.
  • Research projects are available in our areas of particular strength from hearing to Alzheimer’s disease. Our links with the world-renowned Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and the Neurodegenerative Disease and Ageing Research Centre, to name but a few, ensure our research projects are truly interdisciplinary.

Programmes

  • PhD in Neuroscience
  • PhD in Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme
  • MPhil in Neuroscience

MPhil, PhD in Neuroscience 

For these courses, you are assigned directly to your chosen supervisor and begin your laboratory research straight away, with entry in September, January or May each year. You must discuss funding opportunities with your supervisor when applying.

Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme

You start with a year undertaking several short laboratory rotations with different supervisors and by completing taught modules to broaden your experience before choosing your supervisor for PhD research in Years 2 to 4. Application to the 4-Year PhD Programme is competitive and four students are accepted each year for September entry. This Programme provides each student with a stipend throughout the four years of study and also covers home/EU fees
and research costs.

Visit School of Life Sciences: Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme

Which PhD should I choose?

The standard PhD is suitable for you if you already have a clear idea of your specific research interests, together with the background and experience to suit a particular research project and supervisor.

The 4-Year PhD Programme offers you the opportunity to choose your research project from the large range of laboratories belonging to Sussex Neuroscience. Laboratory rotations in Year 1 provide techniques and experience, helping to inform this choice, while taught elements encourage interdisciplinarity by allowing students with different biological, psychological or physical science backgrounds to transition into their Neuroscience PhD. There are currently over 30 supervisors who offer projects to students beginning the 4-Year PhD Programme, working in the following broad areas:

  • cellular and molecular neuroscience
  • circuits, systems and computational neuroscience
  • behavioural and cognitive neuroscience
  • translational and clinical neuroscience.

Research in the School of Life Sciences

The School of Life Sciences is a vibrant international research community. Research in the School ranges from the most basic chemical building blocks of life to studies of how the brain generates behaviour or how insect societies are organised. We offer PhD/MPhil courses and welcome discussion with applicants about potential projects.

At the University of Sussex there are over 50 research groups working on the nervous system and this community is represented by Sussex Neuroscience. A significant component of our research is in cellular and molecular neurosciences, with particular strengths in learning and memory, neuropharmacology, sensory systems and synaptic physiology. About 20 of these groups are located in a new Centre for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, a three-storey building newly renovated to provide the infrastructure required for the best research. This building fosters a highly interactive and collaborative environment, with substantial sharing of space and facilities.

Understanding how the brain works is the hugely challenging goal of neuroscience. Knowledge of the brain is increasing exponentially, making neuroscience the most rapidly advancing of all sciences. Interest and excitement in how the brain works is wholly understandable – after all, the scientific study of the brain is key to solving the greatest philosophical and scientific puzzles of all, the physical nature of the mind and consciousness.

Perhaps more than any other area of science, an integrated interdisciplinary approach is essential for fundamental advances in neuroscience.
Neuroscientists must employ a wide range of both human and animal model systems and apply a multitude of remarkable new tools and technologies. The range of expertise within neuroscience at Sussex, our interdisciplinary ethos and the research training environment are recognised internationally as exceptional.

In joining us as a postgraduate student, you become a member of a team with expertise in diverse areas such as simple-systems analysis, computational modelling and cellular, molecular, structural, cognitive and developmental approaches to the brain. We give you unique opportunities to involve yourself in collaborations across the disciplines – within the School of Life Sciences, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the Department of Informatics and the School of Psychology, for example.

Student progress and support

Throughout your studies, you take part in laboratory meetings, journal clubs and a weekly seminar series. We encourage all students to participate in national and international scientific meetings.

The School offers full support to all research students by monitoring their progress in the form of annual reviews, informal meetings and midyear reports (Year 1). The annual Postgraduate Research Colloquium brings doctoral students and faculty together for a wider discussion of research projects within the School. All third-year doctoral students give a talk on their research, and all second-year students submit a poster depicting the key aims and objectives, methods and findings of their project.

We aim to ensure that you have the best possible research experience. The relationships between supervisors and research students are among the most rewarding of academic partnerships. We also host regular social events for our students to mingle with their peers and supervisors across the biosciences. We take student feedback seriously, and doctoral students are represented on our Student Experience Committee.

Tools and technologies

We offer an exceptional range of tools and technologies including functional and structural MRI, electrophysiology, multi-electrode arrays (MEA), protein structure determination, brain slice, behavioural analysis, genomics, neurogenetics, advanced microscopy, imaging and transmission, and electron microscopy.

Entry requirements

MPhil in Neuroscience

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research.

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

PhD in Neuroscience

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research.

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

PhD in Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper-second class undergraduate honours degree in a biological or physical science discipline.

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

The closing date for receipt of applications is 11 January 2016.

It is only possible to start this degree in September.

If you are a non-EEA student you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your university application to be considered and processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance and your Tier 4 visa.

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

MPhil in Neuroscience fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Neuroscience fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Overseas students: £18,3002

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Prof Claudio Alonso
Professor of Developmental Neurobiology
C.Alonso@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Drosophila, Gene regulation, Hox genes

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Prof Jonathan Bacon
Professor of Neuroscience
J.P.Bacon@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: ant navigation, Drosophila, neural circuits, social arthropods

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Prof Paul Benjamin
Emeritus Professor
P.R.Benjamin@sussex.ac.uk

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Prof Daniel Colaco Osorio
Professor of Neuroscience
D.Osorio@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: bird, cephalopod, colour, cuttlefish, evolution, neuroethology, physiology, Vision

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Prof Thomas Collett
Emeritus Professor
T.S.Collett@sussex.ac.uk

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Prof Juan Pablo Couso
Professor of Developmental Genetics
J.P.Couso@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Genomics, Peptides

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Prof Adam Eyre-Walker
Professor of Biology
A.C.Eyre-Walker@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Mitochondria, Mutation, Population genetics, Transposable elements

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Prof Jeremy Field

jf94@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Behavioural Ecology, cooperative breeding, evolution of sociality, Evolutionary biology, parental care, primitively eusocial wasps and bees, social dominance hierarchies

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Prof Tim Flowers
Professor of Plant Physiology
T.J.Flowers@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: halophytes, ion transport, Plant physiology, salinity, salt-tolerant plants

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Prof Dave Goulson
Professor Of Biology
D.Goulson@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Animal ecology, Behavioural Ecology, Biodiversity, Conservation Ecology, Insecticides, Pollination

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Dr Paul Graham
Reader
P.R.Graham@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Learning, Memory, navigation, neuroethology, social insect biology, Vision

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Dr Majid Hafezparast
Reader in Human/Mammalian Molecular Genetics
M.Hafezparast@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Aging, Axonal transport, Human Molecular Genetics, Intracellular signalling, Motor neuron disease, Mouse genetics, Neurodegeneration, Neurodegenerative disease

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Prof Elizabeth Hill
Emeritus Professor
E.M.Hill@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: chemical contaminants, fish, human health, Metabolomics, Pollution, urinary biomarkers of disease

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Prof William Hughes
Professor of Evolutionary Biology
William.Hughes@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Behavioural Ecology, biology and conservation of apex predators, causes and consequences of 'animal personalities', conservation biology, disease ecology and evolution, evolution of sociality and symbiosis, Evolutionary biology, host-symbiont interactions and evolution, lions, pollinator conservation, social insect biology, white sharks

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Dr Ildiko Kemenes
Reader in Neuroscience
I.Kemenes@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Electrophysiology, Invertebrates, learning and memory, Memory

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Prof George Kemenes
Professor of Neuroscience
G.Kemenes@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Adenylate cyclase, Amyloids, Computational Neuroscience, Cyclic AMP, Electrophysiology, Histones, Intrinsic plasticity, Ion channels, Learning, Memory, Memory dysfunction, microRNA, Neurodegeneration, Protein kinase, Synaptic plasticity, Systems neuroscience, Transcription factors

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Dr Sergei Korneev
Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience
S.Korneev@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Memory

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Prof Corne Kros
Professor of Neuroscience
C.J.Kros@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Hearing

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Prof Leon Lagnado
Professor Of Neuroscience 'Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder'
L.Lagnado@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Vision

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Prof Michael Land
Associate Tutor
M.F.Land@sussex.ac.uk

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Prof Miguel Maravall Rodriguez
Professor of Neuroscience
M.Maravall@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Ted Morrow
Senior Research Fellow
Ted.Morrow@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Drosophila, Evolutionary biology, Evolutionary genetics, Evolutionary Medicine, Gene expression, Sexual antagonism, Sexual conflict, Sexual selection

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Dr Jeremy Niven
Senior Lecturer in Zoology
J.E.Niven@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, Behavioural choice, Behavioural Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Evolutionary biology, neuroethology, Sensor Integration, Sensory receptors, Systems neuroscience

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Prof Michael O'Shea
Emeritus Professor
M.O-Shea@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Invertebrates

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Dr Mika Peck
Senior Lecturer in Biology
M.R.Peck@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: ecology and conservation of biodiversity hotspots, impacts of global change, primate behaviour, primate conservation, REDD++, spider monkeys, tropical rainforest ecology

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Prof Francis Ratnieks
Professor of Apiculture
F.Ratnieks@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, beekeeping, Behavioural Ecology, honey bee, Insects, Social evolution, social insects

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Prof Guy Richardson
Professor of Neuroscience 'Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder'
G.P.Richardson@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Deafness, Hearing

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Dr Jorn Scharlemann
Reader in Ecology & Conservation
J.Scharlemann@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: agriculture and conservation, Applied ecology, Biodiversity, Conservation, Conservation Science, Environmental modelling, Environmental policy, Environmental Statistics, GIS Mapping, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation, Sustainability: Environmental

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Prof Kevin Staras
Professor Of Neuroscience
K.Staras@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Alzheimer's Disease, Computational Neuroscience, Drug discovery, Ion channels, Memory, Neurodegeneration, Neurodegenerative disease, Structural biology, Synapses

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Dr Alan Stewart
Senior Lecturer in Ecology
A.J.A.Stewart@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Community Ecology, Conservation Ecology, Conservation Science, Ecology, biodiversity and systematics, Entomology, Insects

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Careers and perspectives

Our training courses equip you with the knowledge for scientific careers in academia, industry and scientific publishing. A research degree will give you a range of transferable skills that will be valuable in your chosen career.

Our graduates have secured posts as science teachers, university lecturers, and researchers within the pharmaceutical industry. Many of our graduates go on to postdoctoral research posts within the UK and internationally.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

School of Life Sciences,
Postgraduate Admissions,
John Maynard Smith Building 
University of Sussex, 
Brighton BN1 9QG, UK
T +44 (0)1273 678057 
E lifesci@sussex.ac.uk 

Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme 

Ruth Staras,
School of Life Sciences,

Postgraduate Admissions, 
John Maynard Smith Building, 
University of Sussex, 
Brighton BN1 9QG, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877660
E r.staras@sussex.ac.uk

Visit the School of Life Sciences: Neuroscience

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