4 years full time
Starts in September 2017

Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme

Our interdisciplinary neuroscience research community is one of the largest in the UK. Spend your first year doing rotations in different laboratories and taking taught modules across a wide range of neuroscience fields, strengthening your research training before choosing a PhD project.

This competitive four-year PhD Programme is for you if you wish to deepen your expertise in neuroscience before choosing your primary research focus, or if you’re coming to neuroscience with a background in the psychological or physical sciences. 

Areas of study

We offer research projects in a wide range of areas:

  • cellular and molecular neuroscience
  • cognitive and behavioural neuroscience
  • circuits, systems and computational neuroscience
  • translational and clinical neuroscience.
The first year made me engage with areas I had avoided before, and was a great help when deciding what I wanted to devote myself to for the following three years.”Meike C Sieburg
Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD and Associate Tutor

If you’d like to join us as a research student, find out how to apply at Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme


Faculty from four participating schools offer neuroscience research projects on the Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme:

  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School faculty

    Prof Mara Cercignani
    Professor in Medical Physics

    Research interests: Pathogenesis

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    Prof Hugo Critchley
    Chair in Psychiatry

    Research interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Consciousness, Emotion, Mental health (Human disease), Neuroimaging, neuropsychiatry, Neuroscience (Human disease), Psychophysiology

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    Dr Andrew Dilley
    Senior Lecturer In Anatomy

    Research interests: Sports medicine

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    Dr Neil Harrison
    Reader in Neuropsychiatry

    Research interests: Alzheimer's Disease, Brain, Cognition, Dementia, Drug discovery, Hippocampus, Inflammation, Mood, Neurodegeneration

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    Prof Nigel Leigh
    Professor (Honorary Consultant) in Clinical Neurology

    Research interests: Pathogenesis

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    Dr Natasha Sigala
    Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience

    Research interests: Ageing, Attention, Categorisation, Cognitive Neuroscience, Executive Functions, Expertise, Learning, Memory, Prefrontal Cortex, Psychology, Visual perception

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  • Engineering and Informatics faculty

    Dr Luc Berthouze
    Reader in Informatics

    Research interests: Biomedical Signal Processing, Computational Neuroscience, Developmental Robotics, EEG, EMG, Motor Control, Network Theory and Complexity, Neuronal network, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

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    Dr Christopher Buckley
    Lecturer In Neural Computation

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    Prof Phil Husbands
    Research Professor Of Artificial Intelligence

    Research interests: Adaptive Systems, Artificial Intelligence, artificial life, Bio-inspired Neural Computing, Bio-inspired Robotics, Complex System Design, Computational Neuroscience, Digital Art & Design, Evolutionary Computation, evolutionary robotics, History of Science/Medicine/Technology, Machine Learning (AI), Mobile Robots, Nervous system, Optimisation Problems, Systems neuroscience

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    Prof Thomas Nowotny
    Professor Of Informatics

    Research interests: Biomimetics, Chemical Sensing, Computational Neuroscience, Dynamic Clamp, Electronic Nose, GPU Computing, High Performance Computing, Insects, Ion channels, Machine Learning (AI), Neural networks, New Computing Paradigms, Olfaction, Robotics, Systems neuroscience

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    Dr Andy Philippides
    Reader in Informatics

    Research interests: computational biology, Computational Neuroscience, Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Evolutionary Computation, insect navigation, navigation, Robotics

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    Prof Anil Seth
    Professor of Cognitive & Computational Neuroscience

    Research interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Consciousness, EEG, Neuroimaging, neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, Psychology, Time Series, Virtual Reality

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  • Life Sciences faculty

    Prof Claudio Alonso
    Professor of Developmental Neurobiology

    Research interests: Drosophila, Gene regulation, Hox genes

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    Prof John Atack
    Professor of Molecular Pharmacology

    Research interests: Alzheimer's Disease, Drug discovery, Neuropharmacology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Schizophrenia

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    Dr Thomas Baden
    Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience

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    Prof Keith Caldecott
    Professor of Biochemistry 'Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder'

    Research interests: Ageing, Drug discovery, Mitosis, Neurodegeneration, Proteomics

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    Dr Paul Graham

    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

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

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    Prof George Kemenes
    Professor of Neuroscience

    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 Ildiko Kemenes
    Reader in Neuroscience

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

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    Prof Corne Kros
    Professor of Neuroscience

    Research interests: Hearing

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    Prof Leon Lagnado
    Professor Of Neuroscience 'Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder'

    Research interests: Vision

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    Prof Miguel Maravall Rodriguez
    Professor of Neuroscience

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    Dr Ruth Murrell-Lagnado
    Reader in Neuroscience

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    Dr Jeremy Niven
    Senior Lecturer in Zoology

    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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    Dr Andrew Penn
    Research Fellow

    Research interests: Neuroscience, Neurotransmitter receptors, slice electrophysiology

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    Prof Guy Richardson
    Professor of Neuroscience 'Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder'

    Research interests: Deafness, Hearing

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    Prof Louise Serpell
    Professor of Biochemistry

    Research interests: Alzheimer's Disease, Biomedical neuroscience, Cell biology, Dementia, Drug discovery, Neurodegeneration, Neurodegenerative disease, Protein misfolding, Structural biology, Synthetic biology

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    Prof Kevin Staras
    Professor Of Neuroscience

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

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    Prof Simon Ward
    Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

    Research interests: Allosteric, Alzheimer's Disease, Biomarkers, Cancer (Human disease), Chemoinformatics, Cognition, Drug Design, Drug discovery, Inhibitors, Ion channels, Medicinal Chemistry, Neurodegeneration, Neuroscience (Human disease), Schizophrenia, Structural biology

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  • Psychology faculty

    Prof Aldo Badiani
    Professor of Psychology & Addiction Medicine

    Research interests: Drug addiction, Electrophysiology, Emotion, Environment, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Human psychopharmacology, Immunohistochemistry, Motivation, Reward

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    Dr Chris Bird
    Senior Lecturer in Psychology

    Research interests: Hippocampus, Memory, Neuropsychology

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    Dr Jenny Bosten
    Lecturer in Psychology

    Research interests: colour, GWAS, Individual differences, Matlab, Psychophysics, Virtual Reality

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    Dr Dan Campbell-Meiklejohn
    Senior Lecturer in Psychology

    Research interests: Decision making, Neuromaging, Psychopharmacology, Reinforcement Learning Models, Social cognition, Social Influence, Social Neuroscience

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    Dr Hans Crombag
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Addiction and law, Associative learning, Motivation, Neurobiology of behaviour, Reward

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    Prof Dora Duka
    Professor of Experimental Psychology

    Research interests: Addictions, Alcohol, Cognition, Emotion, Human psychopharmacology, Motivation, Smoking

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    Prof Anna Franklin
    Professor of Visual Perception and Cognition

    Research interests: Cognition, Perception, Vision

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    Dr Catherine Hall
    Senior Lecturer in Psychology

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    Dr Sarah King
    Reader in Behavioural Neuroscience

    Research interests: Addictions, Alzheimer's Disease, Behavioural Neuroscience, Gene manipulation, Mouse genetics, Neurodegeneration, Neuroscience (Human disease), Neurotransmitter receptors

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    Dr Eisuke Koya
    Senior Lecturer in Psychology

    Research interests: Associative learning, drugs of abuse, Motivation, neuronal ensembles, nucleus accumbens, palatable foods, Prefrontal Cortex, slice electrophysiology

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    Prof Jennifer Rusted
    Professor of Experimental Psychology

    Research interests: Behavioural Neuroscience, Cognitive decline with age, Dementia, Experimental psychology, neuropsychopharmacology

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    Prof Julia Simner
    Professor of Psychology

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    Dr Peggy St Jacques
    Lecturer in Psychology

    Research interests: Autobiographical Memory, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Memory

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    Prof Jamie Ward
    Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

    Research interests: Experimental psychology, Psychology

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Entry requirements

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

The closing date for receipt of applications is 9 January 2017.

It is only possible to start this degree in September.

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.

English language requirements

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

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £18,750 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.

Contact us