MSc in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience | University of Oxford
Radcliffe Camera
Radcliffe Camera (Image credit: Howie Chu / Graduate Photography Competition)

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 on 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 course page on the department's website to obtain further information on the course (see Further Information and Enquiries).

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course 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.

Graduate destinations

As this is a new course we are unable to 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.

Changes to this course and your supervision

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. In certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

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, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

Courses suggested by the department

Clinical Neurosciences DPhil
Clinical Neurosciences MSc by Research
Neuroscience MSc
Neuroscience combined MSc and DPhil
Pharmacology MSc

All graduate courses offered by the Department of Psychiatry

Entry requirements for entry in 2020-21

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours 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 your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

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

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

English language requirement

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement.

Detailed requirements - higher level

The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are:

IELTS Academic7.5Minimum 7.0 per component
TOEFL iBT110

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22
  • Reading: 24
  • Speaking: 25
  • Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or C1 Advanced191Minimum 185 per component
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or C2 Proficiency191Minimum 185 per component

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. For more information about the English language test requirement, visit the Application Guide.

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

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.

Supervision

Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. 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. Whether you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

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

After an offer is made

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, you will be required to meet the following requirements: 

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Some postgraduate research students in science, engineering and technology subjects will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate prior to applying for a Tier 4 visa. Further information can be found on our Tier 4 (General) Student visa page. For some courses, the requirement to apply for an ATAS certificate may depend on your research area.

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 1,100 full or partial graduate scholarships available across the University. You will be automatically considered for over two thirds of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant January deadline, with most scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. To help identify those scholarships where you will be required to submit an additional application, use the Fees, funding and scholarships search and visit individual college websites using the links provided on our college pages.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2020-21

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home/EU (including Islands)£7,970
Overseas£23,505

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.

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.

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

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, it is possible that you may incur additional expenses. You would need to meet those additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2020-21 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,135 and £1,650 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2020-21, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.

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: Read our guide to getting started, which explains how to prepare for and start an application.

Step 2: Check that you meet the Entry requirements and read the How to apply information on this page.

Step 3: Check the deadlines on this page and plan your time to submit your application well in advance.

Step 4: Our Application Guide will help you complete the form. It contains links to FAQs and further help.

Step 5: Submit your application as soon as possible (you can read more information about our deadlines).

Application GuideApply

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