Neuropharmacology

MRes

Explore the effects of drugs on the nervous system and contribute to the development of novel therapies for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

One year

Start date

Course overview

Our Neuropharmacology MRes focuses on the study of how drugs and substances interact with the nervous system to influence its function and behaviour. 

Neuropharmacology plays a vital role in advancing our understanding of the nervous system, identifying new therapeutic targets, and developing drugs that can improve the lives of individuals affected by neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws from pharmacology, neuroscience, chemistry, psychology, and medicine, in order to address complex questions related to drug interactions with the nervous system.

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“We want our students to become active members of academic and industrial research communities in the field of neuroscience and drug discovery, learning state-of-the-art approaches in our facilities and joining us in pursuit of new understanding and treatments that make a difference.”

Professor Gavin Woodhall
Professor of Neuroscience for Drug Discovery and Co-Director of Aston Institute for Health and Neurodevelopment

Why Neuropharmacology at Aston University?

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Internationally recognised research
We are ranked 10th in the UK for research in Allied Health Professionals in terms of Research Power (REF, 2021)
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Research active staff
Learn from active neuroscience researchers who specialise in areas such as epilepsy, Parkinson's, dyslexia, autism, learning and development
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Specialist equipment and knowledge
Study in research-level laboratories with expert researchers in neuroscience and pharmacology

Course description

Neuropharmacology MRes

Our Neuropharmacology MRes programme offers you the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects and collaborate with passionate, research-active faculty members in the field of Neuropharmacology. 

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What we will provide
As a postgraduate student and active researcher in this field, you will join an exciting body of scientists aiming to enhance our understanding Neuropharmacology. Our Neuropharmacology MRes programme offers you the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects and collaborate with passionate, research-active faculty members in the field of Neuropharmacology.

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What you will provide
As a postgraduate student, you will be required to balance academic work and research projects. You will be expected to engage with teaching materials, online lectures, and in-person sessions. It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understand that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, you must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel. 

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What skills we teach
The Neuropharmacology programme places an emphasis on professional development and research-related communication skills, with a dedicated Professional Development for Neuroscientists module. Here you will develop your abilities in areas such as oral and written presentation, personal promotion and employability, intellectual property, scientific writing, systematic review and meta-analysis, and research ethics. 

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Career prospects
Our teaching is research-led and prepares graduates for careers across a variety of sectors including academic research, pharmaceutical, medical, and clinical roles, and wider scientific professionalism.

How you will learn

During your year at Aston, you will study specialist modules that combine theory and practice through small group tutorials, lectures and hands-on laboratory sessions in bespoke, highly-equipped teaching and research laboratories. You’ll complete a core curriculum of three taught modules which will provide you with a detailed understanding and critical analysis of the contemporary research and analysis methods used in Neuroscience.

You will access theoretical learning materials for general study, revision and assessment through our virtual learning platform blackboard. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, recorded lectures, online tutorials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more. 

What you will learn

 You will have the opportunity to complete research practicals using some of the advanced technologies of Neuroscience, including real-time recording of brain cells using research-grade in vitro set-ups, receptor pharmacology experiments, molecular neuroscience techniques and EEG and EMG.  

These sessions are supported by training in core research skills such as formulating a scientific research question, scoping and implementing research designs, and advanced programming and data analysis

Research project

The dissertation research project is a substantial part of the Neuropharmacology MRes programme, which will enable you to conduct original and in-depth research in the field of neuropharmacology in a research laboratory. You will develop, implement and communicate an original piece of research with the support of a research active supervisor.

Facilities

You will have access to state-of-the-art research laboratories which are equipped with multiple neuroscience recording set ups to allow real-time recording of brain cells in vitro, EEG and EMG, as well as advanced instrumentation for molecular biology, cell culture, neuroimaging, and drug screening. 

At Aston University, enjoy full access to all the facilities including the university’s library, labs, study spaces, cafes and more. 

Course objectives

  1. Provide students with the means to carry out an extensive laboratory-based project on a specific topic within Neuroscience.  
  2. Provide advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in a particular area within the field of Neuroscience research.  
  3. To provide expert-led training in Neuroscience laboratory skills  
  4. To develop a range of transferable skills (written and oral communication, time management, project management, team working, data collection and analysis) that will produce graduates who can bring qualities of critical judgement and reasoning to their chosen occupation and who are capable of applying and disseminating knowledge in a team-based environment.  
  5. Provide awareness of good laboratory practise and safety issues in a modern research laboratory.  
  6. Enable students to develop an informed and critical appreciation of the scientific developments within a particular area of Neuroscience research.  
  7. Produce graduates with the skills required to proceed to a more specialist higher degree at PhD level or a career in Neuroscience research. 

Modules

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Advanced Neuroscience - A comprehensive and deep dive into the science of anatomy, physiology, cellular and molecular neuroscience. Learn how our brains work from the molecular level, increasing in complexity to whole organisms.15
Neuroscience Research Laboratory Competencies - Explore key concepts for effective research design and implementation including safe working in the laboratory environment, health and safety risk assessments, experimental design and research planning, ethics in Neuroscience and data handling and analysis.15
Professional Development for Neuroscience - Develop the translational and transferable skills required of Neuroscience postgraduates which will equip students with the skills required to undertake advanced senior level scientific careers.30
Total60

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Neuroscience Project - Undertake an extensive and in-depth research project in a laboratory on a specific research theme within Neuroscience at Aston, producing an original and detailed dissertation on this area of research.120
Total120

Entry requirements

Upper Second-class Honours degree (2:1 or equivalent) from a recognised university in a suitable science or medical science subject (e.g. Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Medicine). 

Applicants will be invited to select a suitable research project as part of the application process and attend a brief online interview to discuss their research plans with their prospective supervisor. 

IELTS 6.0 minimum across all sub-bands with a 6.5 minimum overall.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

 

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,750

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

We use a wide variety of assessment types, including as appropriate to the topic, including coursework (such as essays), examinations, practical work, oral and written presentations, dissertation research project. 

Career prospects

Our teaching is research-led and prepares graduates for careers across a variety of sectors including academic research, pharmaceutical, medical, and clinical roles, and wider scientific professionalism. 

Graduates of our neuroscience programmes at Aston develop key specialised skills sought out by employers within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors where expertise in neuropharmacology and research proficiency are highly valued including advanced research skills, experimental techniques, clinical trial research, scientific/medical writing, ethical awareness, and project management, and more. 

Past students have pursued careers as research scientists in academia, with many graduates choosing to continue their academic journey by pursuing a PhD. 

Others pursue research science positions in industry or as clinical researchers, medical science liaisons, regulatory affairs specialists, scientific writers, consultants, biostatisticians, drug discovery scientists, neuropharmacologists, clinical researchers, academic researchers, research and development managers, consultants, pharmaceutical scientists, and clinical project managers. 

Employers in the United Kingdom looking for such specialist skills include higher education institutions, Novartis, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Roche, AstraZeneca, the NHS, the Medical Research Council, Capgemini and more. 

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Neuropharmacology MRes at Aston University?

Aston University is known for its academic excellence and commitment to research with a strong reputation in science. Our Neuropharmacology programme offers you the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects and collaborate with passionate, research-active faculty members in the field of Neuropharmacology. Our facilities have the latest equipment and technology, providing you with the very best research environment to conduct research.

If you are an international student, Aston University may provide various resources and support services to help with your transition and integration into the UK educational system.

When applying, choose from a research theme from our list of projects:

Research projects

 

What research could I do in my final project?

The dissertation research project is a substantial part of the Neuropharmacology MRes programme, which will enable you to conduct original and in-depth research in the field of neuropharmacology in a research laboratory. This provides you with the opportunity to develop, implement and communicate an original piece of research, and is completed with the support of a research active supervisor.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

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