Neuroscience with Cognitive Science MSci

Neuroscience

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAA-AAB
UCAS code:
B144
Start date:
September 2018

If you want to gain advanced knowledge of the nervous system, this is the course for you.

You can choose from a range of modules based on the latest research – from genetics and genomics to philosophical aspects of cognitive science. And to support your career development, you study research methods and computing skills options.

Your integrated Masters year means you develop advanced research skills.

“Lecturers present material from their own research, so the course really is at the forefront of neuroscientific discovery.” Felix KernNeuroscience with Cognitive Science BSc

MSci or BSc?

We also offer this course with research placements or as a three-year BScFind out about the benefits of an integrated Masters year.

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAA-AAB

Subjects

A-levels must include at least one from Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology.

If you are taking a science subject that has the separate science practical assessment, we would normally expect a pass. If you are not able to take the science practical assessment, your application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) in English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Extended Project Qualification

We take the EPQ into account when considering your application and it can be useful in the summer when your results are released if you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. We do not routinely include the EPQ in the conditions of your offer but we sometimes offer alternative conditions that include the EPQ. If you wish to discuss this further please contact Admissions at ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 30 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access course will need to be in Science. You will need substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in at least one science subject or to have taken a science A-level alongside the Access course.

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

You will need a Higher Level in at least one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology, with at least grade 5.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma would normally need to be in Applied Science and you will need to have opted for substantial numbers of modules in Biology-related topics. Alternatively, you will need a relevant science A-level (from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology) alongside the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma.

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AAABB

Subjects

Highers must include at least one science subject, with at least grade B. Ideally, you will have one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology as an Advanced Higher.

GCSEs

You will also need Chemistry or Physics, plus Mathematics, at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AA in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels must include at least one from Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology. 

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

You will need a Higher Level in at least one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology, with at least grade 5.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 80%

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses.

However, we may consider you if you have studied one year or more of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution, or if you are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you want to apply for a business-related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

If you have the Senior High School Graduation, you may be eligible to apply for our International Foundation Year. If you successfully complete an International Foundation Year, you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex.

Check which qualifications the International Study Centre accepts for the International Foundation Year.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 14/20.

Additional requirements

You will need to be taking the science strand within the French Baccalauréat with good results (13/20) in at least one science subject.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 1.8 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results (12/15) is essential.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H1,H2,H2,H3 .

Additional requirements

Highers will need to include at least one science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology, at grade H1.

You must have at least grade O5 in Mathematics and English.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 85/100.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in at least one science subject with good results is essential.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in at least one science subject with good results is essential.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in at least one science subject with good results is essential.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in at least one science subject to a high level with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 5th in the UK for Anatomy and Physiology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018).
  • 93% of our students, of those available, were in work or further study six months after graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015).
  • Sussex is a world-famous pioneer in teaching and research in cognitive science. We're one of the few universities in the UK to offer undergraduate courses in the subject.

Course information

How will I study?

You spend 75% of your time studying Neuroscience. You cover a variety of modules in both fundamental biology and neuroscience, with options to study topics such as:

  • cognition
  • psychology
  • physiology. 

Teaching is through a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals. You are assessed through a mix of coursework and unseen exams.

You spend 25% of your time studying Cognitive Science. You explore the subject matter of cognitive science and the various disciplines it comprises. There is a focus on the strengths and challenges of integrating those disciplines. Key principles and concepts are introduced, as well as the methodology of cognitive modeling.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

How will I study?

You spend 75% of your time studying Neuroscience. You explore:

  • neural circuits
  • neuroscience principles and techniques
  • developmental biology and medical neuroscience.

You spend 25% of your time on Cognitive Science. Grappling with debates concerning the role of computation and representation in scientific explanations of the mind, you gain further conceptual foundations crucial for Year 3. You investigate how inquiries into language and cognition can be mutually informative.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you

I’ve noticed an increase in my confidence and understanding of my subject, as well as my ability to communicate.”George Britton
Neuroscience with Cognitive Science BSc
Studied abroad in Amsterdam

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for.

Recent Life Sciences students have gone on placements:

  • AkzoNobel
  • Pfizer
  • the NHS.

Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

You spend 75% of your time studying Neuroscience. You develop your own interests by choosing a research project and selecting options. Your project is normally done in a University laboratory. At the end, you write a project report in the form of a scientific paper. 

You spend 25% of your time studying Cognitive Science. You decide how you'll deepen your knowledge of the mind by choosing from modules on:

  • consciousness and philosophical topics
  • animal and machine intelligence
  • recent issues in cognitive science research.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

How will I study?

You work towards your integrated Masters degree. In this year, you develop your research skills, and carry out a major research project conducted with one of our research teams. This project takes up about 50% of your work load.

You study modules exploring topics such as:

  • research, professional and communication skills
  • advanced methods in molecular research
  • a selection of specialised options.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

I work on synapses – the connection sites between neurons. These fascinating structures are targets for diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”Professor Kevin Staras
Professor of Neuroscience 

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£19,200 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Recent Life Sciences graduates have started jobs as:

  • trainee scientist, neurophysiology, Taunton and Somerset NHS
  • CEO, The Mind and Body Project
  • researcher, Gillespie Manners.

(Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Employers value the skills taught on our courses – communication, teamwork and laboratory skills. You also develop abilities in interdisciplinary thinking, numerical and data analysis and being able to apply a range of methods to tackle different problems.

Your Neuroscience and Cognitive Science degree can lead to a career in fields including:

  • biotechnology and neuropharmacology
  • neuropsychology and AI-based IT
  • games software and web development.

You can also go on to postgraduate study, including teaching and research positions in higher education.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Academic Skills in Life Sciences

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Students will learn about the range of research done in the School of Life Sciences, how to read and evaluate the primary research literature, how to write scientific essays, referencing scientific misconduct and also some of the quantitative skills needed in life sciences. This module is taught by lectures, workshops and tutorials, which are normally taken with the Academic advisor. A class will be run on careers.

Module learning outcomes

  • To understand and interpret a primary research paper in Life Sciences, especially the main research objectives, outcomes and how the conclusions are justified by the evidence.
  • To demonstrate the ability to understand and explain quantitative data especially the graphical presentation, and do basic calculations relevant to life sciences, including an understanding of units.
  • To develop communication skills and explain scientific concepts orally and in writing, using suitable organisation and use of graphics.
  • To search databases and online resources for information, understand plagiarism and use a conventional referencing system to build a bibliography.

Cognition in Clinical Contexts

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module will introduce you to the aims, methods, theories and empirical findings associated with a scientific approach to studying the human mind. You will learn how psychologists develop models of cognitive function that are tested against data from behavioural studies of healthy individuals, as well as from individuals with brain damage or psychopathology.

After an introductory lecture covering the historical background to cognitive psychology and the main methodological approaches taken, the module will proceed to cover five core topics: perception, attention, thinking, memory, and language.

Each topic will begin with one or two background lectures that introduce key concepts and experimental approaches. The background lectures are then typically followed by a lecture which addresses the topic from a neuropsychological approach, considering how that aspect of cognition is affected by brain injury; covering material such as agnosia, neglect, and amnesia.

Additional lectures will address the topics from a more psychopathological approach, for example examining the role of attentional biases in anxiety. The module concludes with four lectures considering cognition in the broader context of behaviour and behavioural control.

Introduction to Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you gain a historic overview of how neuroscience and the understanding of how the brain works developed over the centuries.

Fundamental knowledge about neuronal activity and the outline of the nervous system will be discussed but the overarching goal of the module will be to demonstate the role of neuroscience as a core discipline in a wide variety of scientific fields.

In your lectures, you study selected topics on the forefront of modern neuroscience including:

  • fMRI and synaptic imaging
  • modelling and artificial manipulation of neurons and circuits.

The Ghost in the Machine?

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

You will examine what it means to be an intelligent being and explore how we view ourselves.

You will look at a number of physicalist theories, including the view that cognition is computation.

In doing so, you will examine some of the basic issues underlying cognitive science as an interdisciplinary study of the mind, taking in topics from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, evolutionary theory, biology and philosophy.

 

 

 

Neuroscience and Behaviour

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The module deals with nervous and hormonal bases for sensory perception and behavioural action by humans and other animals.

You will be introduced to the basic components of the nervous systems: neurons, synapses and neurotransmitters, and learn how neurons transmit signals and processes information. You will also cover specialisation of the cerebral cortex, looking at lateralisation and language, as well as sensory processing and perception, exemplified by the visual pathway from the eye to specialised feature detectors in the cortex. Finally, lectures on feeding deal with neural and hormonal controls in behaviour.

Principles of Cognitive Science

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

How do our minds work?

In this module, you answer this question from the perspective of classical cognitive science, which treats the mind as a processor of information.

Over the last 50 years, cognitive scientists have gained deep insights into how we think and what makes us intelligent.

We will investigate how the mind receives, transforms, stores, retrieves and transmits information in order to understand how we comprehend the world, reason, solve problems, remember, develop skills and learn.

In addition to studying the variety, power and limitations of our cognitive capabilities, you analyse and explain the nature of exceptional cognitive abilities, such as creativity and expertise, but we will also see that even seemingly simple everyday tasks involves a surprising richness and complexity of cognition.

A key part of the module will be a case study on a task of your own choosing, which you investigate using the core concepts and models presented in the seminars.

Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module examines the historical origins, perspectives, theories, methods, and empirical findings of research in the area of developmental psychology, with attention to cognitive, perceptual, language, social, emotional, and atypical development. A core emphasis on major theories and research findings in the field of developmental psychology will be complemented by presentations by various members of the Psychology faculty that address a wide range of psychological processes, from the antenatal period through to young adulthood. The module does not require any prior knowledge of psychology.

Research Methods for Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The use of statistics allows us to form a quantitative understanding about experimental or observational data and the information we can extract from it. It allows us to make clear statements about the data in a form that can be understood by other scientists. Ultimately, it gives a rigour and clarity to our analysis of experimental or observational data. An essential aspect of the module is getting experience by solving problems and actually calculating quantities from data. Such experience only comes about from practice and since we are dealing with a highly numerate subject, the details are very important.

A fundamental part of science is asking questions. This leads to a process of inquiry. The results then need to be analyzed and the significance of the results assessed. This is generally done by various statistical methods of course, but looking at how data is represented or misrepresented is also instructive.

The interpretation of findings is a very difficult area, as can be seen in the climate change debate. Even if all scientists agreed on exactly how much of the climatic changes we are observing is due to human activities, what in the data can tell us what to do about it?

Where do the questions come from? Observation. Curiosity. Enquiring minds. Then formalizing the questions and come up with an established and/or interesting and/or useful and/or innovative way of approaching a solution. Neurocientists need to know some specific physics, which are also represented in this module.

Cognitive Psychology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

On this module you will attend 23 one-hour lectures, a two hour practical, and one hour seminar.

You’ll be introduced to Cognitive Psychology topics, from basic perception to thinking.

This includes:

  • sensory systems and visual perception
  • sound and speech perception
  • language
  • attention
  • memory
  • thinking.

The two-hour practical will be a memory experiment. 

Discovering Statistics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Discovering statistics has two components: (1) statistical analysis and (2) empirical research. The empirical project enables you to carry out independent research that will develop skills in experimental research. This project helps to prepare you for your final empirical research project. The statistical analysis parts of the module build upon existing knowledge of statistical theory to enable you to analyse more complex data structures through understanding the general linear model (regression, ANOVA etc.). Practical classes compliment the lectures by providing guidance on applying the general linear model using SPSS, advice on designing and executing projects, and conducting experimental research

Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you examine various philosophical foundational issues in cognitive science by focusing on the nature and role of computation and representation in cognitive scientific explanations.

In particular, you will answer the question: can our everyday way of understanding the mind, in terms of beliefs, desires and intentions, serve as a foundation for a scientific understanding of mind? You then analyse answers that have been given to this question.

Principles of Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system from its structure, molecular and cellular biology and function through to the consequences of its operation, namely behaviour. The aim of this module is to provide you with your first real insight into the detailed workings of the brain and its development through consideration of the fundamental principles of nervous system operation. The module is also an important grounding for those wishing to take its sister module, Neural Circuits.

Topics covered include:

  • Signalling and transmission by nerves and synapses
  • Neurotransmission and neuromodulation
  • Plasticity in the nervous system
  • Cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory
  • Fundamental disease mechanisms
  • Development of the nervous system
  • The role of early experience in the development of the visual system
  • Methodological approaches to studying fundamental brain processes.

Clinical Psychology and Mental Health

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You will investigate the critical role that clinical psychology can play in promoting well-being and helping those who are experiencing mental health difficulties. An expert team of psychologists will help you to bridge theory, research, and practice, evaluating diverse psychological perspectives on areas of mental health difficulty, from anxiety and mood difficulties through to psychosis.

Drawing on contemporary approaches to mental health, you will learn how to integrate theories of causation and approaches to treatment/support, and use your knowledge of research to understand and apply the evidence base to support those experiencing mental health difficulties.

Language, Mind and Brain

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module focuses on linguistic ability as a unique quality of humans. How does human language differ from animal communication systems? How is the human body, particularly the brain, adapted for language? Is language a special kind of cognition, or the product of general higher cognitive abilities?

We further investigate how humans understand and produce speech in such a speedy and efficient way, using a variety of evidence to evaluate theories of how the mind is structured for speech. We'll ask questions like: How are words stored in the mind so that we can find them? Why are grammatical sentences like 'The horse raced past the barn fell' actually very difficult to comprehend? Why are words sometimes 'on the tip of the tongue'?

Neural Circuits

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will teach you about neural mechanisms generating animal behaviour. The level of analysis emphasises types of behaviour that can be understood in terms of underlying neural circuits or specific structures with well­ known neural architectures within the brain.

Topics covered include:

  • organisation and modulation of central pattern generator (CPG) circuits
  • advanced techniques for monitoring and manipulating neural circuits
  • modelling of neural circuits
  • sensory and motor functions of spinal cord circuits
  • brain circuits underlying motor control
  • circuits underlying non-associative and associative learning
  • addiction and learning circuits
  • defects in circuits
  • development of neural circuits

Techniques in Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module will provide practical demonstrations of how neurons and the nervous system function, and will introduce a range of experimental techniques, both old and new, that can be used to address current issues in neuroscience.

It will provide hands on experience with the following topics:

  • The ionic basis of the action potential
  • The generation of force by muscles
  • The structure and development of the nervous system
  • The performance of the human eye and ear
  • The mechanisms of learning

Cognitive Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module aims to provide you with an understanding of how research in cognitive neuroscience has informed our understanding of cognitive processes in the brain. Sussex has an excellent reputation of research in cognitive neuroscience and the module is taught by an expert in the field. Evidence is drawn from a wide variety of methods.

These include case studies of brain-damaged individuals (similar to those featured in The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat), electrical recordings of ‘brainwave’ (EEG), and neuroimaging using fMRI. These methods provide unprecedented clues about the organization of cognition in the living human brain.

Following a discussion of the main methods, the remaining lectures will be organised around a series of different cognitive processes such as:

  • recognising objects and faces
  • space and action
  • memory and amnesia
  • brain development
  • the musical brain
  • executive control of behaviour
  • understanding numbers.

Intelligence in Animals and Machines

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module will develop your understanding of what it means for an animal or a machine to behave intelligently, and how brain and behavioural systems are adapted to enable an animal to cope effectively within its environment. You will consider diverse aspects of intelligence, including navigation and motor control, numerical, language, memory and social skills. You will explore how these are related to one another and how they are matched to the particular needs of animals and machines.

Life Sciences Final Year Research Project

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This is an individual research project involving the investigation of a biological problem or phenomenon using experimental procedures, or the investigation and evaluation of a medical condition, intervention or treatment using literature-based methods, in addition to patient feedback where possible. You will obtain data and information from either laboratory or field-based experiments; from work performed in silico, or from literature-based research.

Literature Project in Life Sciences

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Neuronal Transduction and Transmission

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores aspects of neuronal signalling, in both vertebrates and invertebrates, highlighting how molecular structure relates to function in signalling pathways. The emphasis will be on understanding how molecular and cellular mechanisms underlie the function of the CNS at a systems level and the generation of behaviour.

The module begins with the problem of sensory transduction (getting information into the nervous system), with a particular emphasis on mechanical (auditory) and visual modalities. This will be followed by a series of lectures on how information is processed at the synapse, covering electrical transmission and preand post-synaptic mechanisms at the chemical synapse. You will also be introduced to non-synaptic information processing.

Social Insects

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The eusocial insects comprise approximately 20,000 species of ants, termites, bees and wasps. Eusociality in these groups has evolved 20­-100 million years ago on approximately 10 occasions and has given rise to highly ­organized societies with up to 20 million individuals. Eusocial insects are of great economic and ecological importance. They are also key model systems in many important areas of biology.

The module is divided into several parts:

1) general background material on social insects, focusing in greater detail on four contrasting areas in which research on social insects is particularly active

2) inclusive fitness theory and relatedness

3) how insect societies are organised

4) another special topic relevant to social insect biology, such as mutualisms and symbioses involving social insects; the ecological importance of social insects; the evolution of eusociality in insects; or using social insects to investigate sensory physiology (topics will vary each year)

There will also be two laboratory sessions from a range including: the honey bee waggle dance, nestmate recognition and guarding in honey bees, organisation of ant trail systems, and reproductive queueing in Polistes wasps.

Topics in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module aims to provide students of cognitive science with the opportunity to think critically about recent theoretical developments in cognitive science and associated philosophical discussion, and to read key writings by people in the field.

It will stress the links between the study of cognition and the study of other aspects of the mind, such as:

  • phenomenal consciousness
  • emotion
  • creativity
  • embodiment
  • sensorimotor coordination
  • dynamical coupling, etc.

Actual topics covered will vary from year to year, and may depend on levels of interest.

It will equip you with the ability to understand some of the deeper issues in current research in cognitive science, and to enable you to become a reflective researcher in that area.

Conflict & Cooperation in Social Groups

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Conflict and cooperation cuts across the whole of biology and can be studied among genes or among organisms, in societies of micro-organisms, animals and humans, and also in multi-species mutualisms. It is relevant both in the origin of life and in modern-day organisms and societies. The module focuses on factors affecting the balance between conflict and cooperation in human society, vertebrate societies including primates and cooperative breeders, mutualism partners, and genes within organisms. There are eight lectures followed by six two-hour seminars covering research papers in a single area. In the first of these seminars the research papers are presented by the faculty, and in the others by you and your coursemates.

Conscious and Unconscious Mental Processes

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you explore the existence and nature of conscious and unconscious mental processes in the domains of learning, memory, perception, and volition.

Current Issues in Cognitive Science

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will familiarise you with topics at the leading edge of scientific and philosophical progress in cognitive science.

It will provide insights into the range of methods used to research those topics and the theories behind those methods, in a way that builds upon issues covered in previous modules on the cognitive science pathway.

Topics vary from year to year, and are sometimes chosen by you, but may include:

  • cognitive neuroscientific investigations of the self
  • models of schizophrenia
  • integrated information theories of consciousness
  • the explanatory power of mirror neurons
  • individuating the senses and sensory augmentation
  • theories and architectures of emotion and affect
  • folk psychology as theory, simulation and narrative practice

Drugs, Brain and Behaviour

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Drugs, Brain and Behaviour offers you an overview to the psychological, pharmacological, neurobiological and neurophysiological bases of drug use, abuse and contemporary understanding of addiction (and some mental conditions), and has a strong natural science (neuroscience) orientation. The acute and long-term effects of selected drugs of abuse on behaviour, mood, cognition and neuronal function are discussed using empirical findings and theoretical developments from both human and non-human subject studies on the neurobiological and psychological basis of drug action and addiction.

The module will discuss the anatomical, neurochemical and cell-molecular mechanisms targeted by psychoactive drugs and their distribution, regulation and integration in the broader central nervous system. The focus is on potentially addictive drugs, and the major classes are discussed, including opiates (heroin and morphine), psychomotor stimulants (amphetamine and cocaine), sedative-hypnotics (alcohol, barbiturates and chloral hydrate), anxiolytics (benzodiazepines), marijuana, hallucinogens (LSD, mescaline) and hallucinogenic-stimulants (MDA, MDMA). Critically, with the knowledge of the basic neurobiological and behavioural pharmacology of these drugs 'in hand', contemporary theories and understanding of mental conditions, substance abuse and addiction are considered, focusing on key concepts related to (drug) experience-dependent neuroplasticity, drug-induced neurotoxicity, associative learning, neuronal ensembles and the synaptic basis of learning and plasticity, habit formation and impulse-control.

This module builds on knowledge gained in the core psychology modules C8003: Psychobiology and C8518: Brain and Behaviour. If you are not enrolled on the BSc Psychology course at Sussex you are expected to be familiar with the material covered in these modules.

Innovation in Bioscience and Medicine

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The purpose of this module is to provide you with an overview of how research in the Life Sciences can lead to innovation in society, and the factors that shape, boost or inhibit such innovation.

The module explores the applications of bioscience, particularly in medicine, its products and processes, and their patterns of development. It examines the mechanisms through which products and services are commercialised, such as university-industry links, spin-off firms and corporate alliances.

Wider regulatory and ethical debates and the role they play in the development of biotechnology are also explored.

Neuronal Plasticity and Gene Regulation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will consider how cellular and molecular mechanisms interact in the regulation of neuronal plasticity, the ability of the nervous system to adapt its structural-functional organisation to new situations emerging from changes in intrinsic and extrinsic inputs. During the module particular emphasis will be placed on mechanisms underlying the acquisition, processing and storage of information by the nervous system. You will also discuss recently discovered phenomena such as epigenetic regulation and natural antisense transcripts (NATs) in the context of their importance for the regulation of neural functions.

Philosophy and Science of Consciousness

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module examines the problems and prospects for a science of consciousness. Topics include: defining consciousness, the Hard Problem, the Knowledge Argument against physicalism, qualia, theories of the self, the neuroscience of consciousness, attention and volition, machine consciousness, the evolution and function of consciousness, the Grand Illusion theory.

Sensory Function and Computation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

You learn fundamental concepts in sensory coding, including:

  • feature detection
  • adaptive representations
  • coding by spike rates and timing
  • population coding.

You will learn in seminars as well as workshops where computer code will be introduced and used to analyse and simulate sensory coding by neurons.

Structure and Function in the Brain

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The aim of the module is to reveal the anatomical substrates on which the processing of sensory information and the generation of motor commands depend. Specific attention will be paid to the relationship between structure and function. The module will cover the development of the anatomical features of the nervous system and will give a comparative interpretation of the anatomy of brain regions and their cellular components using a variety of examples including vertebrate and invertebrate models. The module will provide basic knowledge of the main techniques used to study the functional anatomy of the brain at systems, cellular and molecular levels.

Advanced Techniques in Neuroscience

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

This module offers a choice of practical classes on key current techniques in neuroscience including:

  • advanced microscopy and imaging
  • electrophysiology
  • molecular biology
  • psychophysics
  • EEG
  • computational neuroscience 

This practical experience is complemented by seminars on the ethics of human and animal studies.

Life Sciences Master of Science Research Proposal

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

The module aims to develop an appreciation of the research field in which students will be conducting their research project, thereby enabling them to design and propose a detailed programme of research. Students will also attend seminars on science communication, careers, grant writing and science funding. Students will also have regular tutorials with their project supervisor during which they will discuss the background of the project, sources for literature review and appropriateness of experimental strategy.

Current Topics in Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

This module will introduce you to a diversity of active areas of research in life sciences. The module will be taught via a series of research seminars given by University of Sussex staff, research students and invited speakers. These seminars will provide an excellent opportunity for you to learn about the latest developments in a range of topics, gain insight into the nature of scientific research, and meet with a diversity of researchers. The module will be assessed via a portfolio of work summarising, synthesising and communicating the research for a scientific audience and the general public.

Life Sciences MSci/MRes Research Project 1

  • 45 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

This individual research project will involve the investigation of a biological problem or phenomenon using laboratory-based, field-based or computer-based experimental procedures. Research results will be critically analysed, evaluated and presented, both orally and in the form of a written project report.

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