BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, directed towards understanding how cells within the nervous system interact with each other to form the brain and regulate body functions, human behaviour, memory, emotions and consciousness. The malfunction of the nervous system lies at the heart of a number of devastating and currently incurable conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Neuroscience research probes the mechanisms underlying such malfunctions, with a view to helping in the discovery of drugs to prevent or manage these disorders.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Neuroscience is one of the degree subjects available through the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in the common entry Science course.

Students study similar modules for all degree subjects in the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. This is a sample set of modules that a Neuroscience student could study each year in UCD.

First Year

  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Cell Biology & Genetics
  • Basis of Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biology in Action
  • Life on Earth
  • Linear Algebra for Science
  • Calculus for Science
  • Optional Science Modules
  • Elective Module

Second Year

  • Biomolecular Lab Skills
  • Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology
  • Biomolecular Sciences
  • Principles of Neuroscience
  • Chemistry for Biologists
  • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Cell Signalling
  • Membrane biology
  • Pharmacology of Neurodegenerative & Psychiatric Illness
  • Data Modelling for Science
  • Nervous System Development
  • Sensory Neuroscience
  • Higher Cortical Function
  • Advanced Nervous System Pharmacology
  • Optional Modules
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

  • Research Project
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Advanced Neurochemistry
  • Molecular Neuroimmunology
  • Synaptic Signalling
  • Advanced Topics in Neural Development & Degeneration

Timetables & Assessment

Each student will have their own timetable based on their individual module selection. This is a full time course and classes may include lectures, practicals and tutorials, depending on the subjects. Students will also be expected to study independently (autonomous student learning). Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

Professional Work Experience

A limited number of opportunities exist in second and third year to gain additional laboratory experience during the summer. Funded schemes are organised by public and private bodies, e.g. the Irish Health Research Board and The Wellcome Trust (UK). In addition, occasional opportunities arise within individual research groups.

For detailed information on subject content click here

International Study Opportunities

A limited number of Fourth Year projects are available in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; the Institute of Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Ruhr University Bochum; and in the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

As a Neuroscience graduate, you’ll have the opportunity to obtain employment in:

  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical research, including drug development and clinical trials
  • Hospital and university laboratories
  • Neuroscience research institutes
  • Government agencies

Neuroscience graduates also pursue graduate studies at MSc or PhD level. PhD programmes in Ireland and abroad cover areas as diverse as biotechnology, cell biology, and biomedical and health science. Many graduates also pursue graduate medicine and graduate pharmacy courses.

Other Entry Routes

“UCD Science allowed me tailor my degree to encompass all the aspects of science I need in order to succeed while keeping me intrigued and excited along the way. In third year, I was lucky to partake in the Erasmus Programme at the University of Nottingham which gave me a different insight into the scope of neuroscience and the opportunities it presents. UCD offering multiple opportunities to travel and learn really highlights their dedication to offering the best possible education and to encouraging us to develop as a person! In addition, I had the absolute privilege of doing a 6-month thesis project in The Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, which allowed me to work as a real scientist in a lab, something I see myself doing in the future.”

Jodie Bermingham, Graduate

Contact Information

Dr Derek Costello
UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science
Dublin 4


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