MSc in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience | University of Oxford
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MSc in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience

About

The course is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills of advanced technologies, to conceptualise and run research projects that develop and test novel psychotropic and neurological agents.

The MSc taught course in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience is a one-year course designed to equip students with the transferable skills required for a career in translational (“cell to patient”) research. The course will offer you insights into a range of fields including molecular biology, brain imaging, behavioural research and epidemiology. It is delivered by pre-clinical and clinical research teams based in the Department of Psychiatry, in other University of Oxford  centres within the neuroscience community, and in the NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility.

The course will provide you with:

  • a broad knowledge of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders and their current treatments and management;
  • direct experience in integrative, multidisciplinary and novel pre-clinical and clinical research investigation for treatment discovery;
  • an ability to critically appraise research methods and experimental results;
  • familiarity in conceptualising and designing experimental protocols and clinical trials for drug/treatment discovery;
  • an opportunity to communicate research results and their clinical implications to a wide audience.

The course will be delivered through a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, student presentations, self-directed learning and study. You will participate in small group teaching and develop close working relationships with academic and project supervisors. In addition to this, practical classes will enable you to acquire analytical skills required for the processing of structural biology, brain imaging and clinical trial data.

Course assessments are based on four essays, two 6,000 word dissertations and an oral poster presentation. The dissertations are based two 12-week projects, one completed in the second term and the other in the third term. You will be provided with a list of topics, some laboratory- and some clinic-based, and will have the opportunity to consult with project supervisors and submit a list or preferred topics.

You are advised to visit the Department of Psychiatry website to obtain further information on the course.

Graduate destinations

This is the first year that the course will be run so we cannot give details of destinations chosen by past graduates. Based on the course design and content, we anticipate that some MSc students will apply for PhD places in the UK and overseas and that others will carry on to medical school, work for pharmaceutical companies and health services around the world or as research assistants and clinical trials co-ordinators.

Other potential career destinations include positions as medical writers, patent lawyers, regulatory affair officers and medical sales representatives.

Other courses in this area

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2019-20

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in any science discipline. Successful completion of a professional training course or professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field may also be considered.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Whilst interviews are not mandatory, they are a normal part of the admissions process. An interview will be arranged for applicants who appear to fulfil the basic requirements for entry to the course.

Applicants selected for interview will be notified within 3 weeks of the deadline for applications, usually by the end of January, and will be interviewed in mid-February. Successful candidates will usually be informed within 7 days.

The duration of the interview will be 15 minutes, and will be conducted by telephone. Applicants will be asked about their motivation to attend the course, their experience and knowledge of research (including a discussion of their last research project where applicable), and their interpretation of some data emailed to them shortly prior to the interview. The interview panel will consist of the Course Director, Assistant Course Director, and one staff member from the departments hosting the course (Psychiatry, NDCN, NDM, Pharmacology). An equal number of male and female interviewers will be selected.

Publications

Publications are not expected but, when documented on CVs, will be taken into account.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Research experience, such as a placement, in a professional environment (Industry, neuropsychiatric ward). Exceptional students in the physical sciences (mathematics, physics) who express a strong interest and vision to transfer their skills to clinical neuroscience and drug discovery.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Department of Psychiatry, Department of Pharmacology, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Nuffield Department of Medicine to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work. 
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department of Psychiatry and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. 
  • A supervisor may be found outside the Department of Psychiatry.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.

Resources

All students enrolled on the MSc Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience course will be based in a dedicated open-plan office in the Department of Psychiatry. You are welcome to use this space during the day for self-study both before and after your classes. The room contains printing and photocopying facilities.

You will also be provided with a laptop and given access to a remote desktop connection for the duration of your MSc studies. This will provide access to a variety of software required to support your studies which will involve several departments.

The Department of Psychiatry offers up-to-date seminar room facilities. Meeting rooms are also available for social and networking events. The department also offers excellent IT facilities and support.

The Department of Psychiatry provides well-equipped suites for psychological testing and patient consultation as well as laboratories that support basic neuroscience, clinical and experimental medicine research. There is also a brain imaging facility, the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, on site. These resources and other state-of-the art technologies are also provided by our allied departments in the Medical Sciences Division.

Course lectures will take place in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and the Nuffield Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Clinical Medicine. You will also have access to the extensive range of seminars and symposia in other departments in the University.

University libraries stock many current textbooks relating to neuroscience and you will be able to access virtually all relevant journals through the University library services. You are likely to find the Cairns Library and Radcliffe Science Library particularly helpful.

Funding

There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

Full funding opportunities are available for all applicants to this course, whatever your nationality. The Medical Sciences Graduate School website provides further details, as well as information about external funding opportunities.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2019-20

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below. You may have seen separate figures in the past for tuition fees and college fees. We have now combined these into a single figure.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Additional information

How to apply

Applicants can contact the course administrator with basic questions about the course and application process.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Personal statement:
500 words

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in.

This will be assessed for:

  • reasons for applying
  • evidence of understanding of the proposed area of study;
  • your ability to present a coherent case in proficient English
  • your commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
  • your preliminary knowledge of the subject area and research techniques
  • capacity for sustained and intense work
  • reasoning ability
  • ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, at least two of which must be academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Your references will support your intellectual ability, your academic achievement, your motivation and interest in the course and subject area, and your ability to work effectively both in a group and independently.

Start or continue an application

Step 1: Carefully read the entry requirements on this course page to make sure you meet all the criteria.

Step 2: Check above what documents are required and prepare to apply by reading our Application Guide.

Step 3: Apply as soon as possible. Consult the Application Guide for more information about deadlines.

Application GuideApply

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